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A Christmas Baby for Ursula

Dedicated to my Grandma Ursula

 A Christmas Baby for Ursula    It was a cold and blustery winter day. The town of Wetzlar was blanketed with snow. Christmas was just a few weeks away. Four year old Ursula stood at the window watching the snow drift to the ground. It was an eerie sight to see. It seemed as if the world had stopped. The town that was once busy with life had now become silent. The blizzard had kept the townspeople captive in their flats for nearly six weeks now. Ursula began to wonder whether she would ever again feel the warm rays of the sun beating down upon her as she and her friends played kick the can down the streets of town. How she longed to be outside once again.

     "Come away from that drafty window Ursula," said her mother. "We don't need you getting sick now. Especially since we have no way of getting to the Doctor." "I sure hope this blizzard ends soon," said Ursula's mother with a very concerned look on her face as she stood in the kitchen with one hand rubbing her belly. As Ursula turned from the window she saw the concern in her mother's face. She wondered what was wrong but then became distracted by the growling of her own stomach. Ursula walked over to the kitchen table and grabbed an apple. There were only two more left and they had already become bruised and mealy. But she was hungry and after six weeks there wasn't much food left in the house. Ursula noticed that her mother had been rubbing her belly and how it looked a lot bigger than it normally did. She couldn't remember though the last time she had seen her mother eat very much of anything. And yet, her stomach seemed to be growing a little bit bigger everyday. She didn't remember seeing that round middle on her mother six weeks ago. So she asked, "Mother, why are you looking so fat?" Ursula's mother was quite caught off guard by this question. After a silent moment she nervously turned to her daughter and said, "Oh, I guess I've just been eating too much since we've been cooped up in here for so long." Ursula looked at her own belly and then took another glance at her mother's and decided to put the apple back.

A Baby for Ursula     Changing the subject quickly, Ursula's mother said, "Why don't we finish our Christmas decorations for the tree?" This made Ursula smile because she had been wanting to string the popcorn for the garland, although it seemed as if she ate more than she strung. Ursula and her mother sat at the kitchen table by the warm stove. Ursula asked another question. "Mother, what is Christmas?" Ursula's mother smiled at this question; she had always loved to share the Christmas story with anyone who cared to hear. "Well, let's see now," said her mother. "It was a long long time ago. And there was this King who had sent out a notice to all of his people that they were to travel to their place of birth for a counting. They were all going to be taxed. So, this young carpenter by the name of Joseph went with his wife, a very special woman by the name of Mary, on a long journey to his home town of Bethlehem." "Why was she special mother?" asked Ursula. "Mary was very much loved by God because she had a pure and obedient heart. She wanted to please God in all that she did. And God had chosen her to bring us a Savior." "Oh," said Ursula with a puzzled look on her face. Her mother continued, "By the time that Joseph and Mary had arrived in Bethlehem all of the rooms to sleep in had been taken. Now Mary you see was very tired from the long trip and she was expecting a baby at any time. They had to find a place to rest. There was this inn keeper who didn't have anymore rooms left but he did offer his stable for the young couple to rest in." "You mean where the smelly animals live?" asked Ursula. "Yes," said her mother, "it was the only place left. Then the baby was delivered and many people rejoiced. In fact, there was a bright star in the sky that hung over the place where the baby named Jesus laid. A great angel came to both shepherds and wise men alike and told them of the birth of this great child. And of how the bright star in the sky would lead them to him. They were to go and bring gifts to this special child and worship him." "Why?" asked Ursula. "Because," continued her mother once again, "the baby Jesus was really the son of God who had been sent to us as our gift. Anyone who believed that this child was really the son of God and accepted him into their heart to be their savior and guide in life would receive another special gift, the gift of living forever in heaven with God The Father." Ursula seemed a bit confused by the whole story but she loved to watch the way her mother's face was filled with excitement and joy as she told it. "Christmas is the very special day that we celebrate Jesus' birthday," said her mother. "What about St. Nikolas Mother, when does he come into the story?" asked Ursula. "Well, St. Nikolas wasn't alive until about three hundred years after Jesus was born. But he was a man who loved Jesus so much that he would secretly give gifts to those in need," explained Ursula's mother. "Like the wise men, right Mother?" asked Ursula. "Yes dear, just like the wise man when they gave their gifts to Jesus. St. Nick set a wonderful example to all of us that we should give to others at Christmas time in remembrance of the greatest gift ever given to us. That's why we give gifts to each other on Christmas day. But, Christmas is not about the kind and generous St. Nick, it is about celebrating the gift of the baby Jesus that was given to us," said Ursula's mother.

A Christmas Baby for Ursula     Ursula got a confused look on her face and asked another question. "Mother, where do babies come from; are they all gifts given by God?" Ursula's mother stopped stringing the popcorn and paused for a brief moment as she thought about how to answer this question. "Yes," she simply answered and left it at that. "That's what I want for Christmas," said Ursula. "I want a little baby just like the baby Jesus." Ursula's mother smiled. She glanced at the sugar cubes sitting on the table which reminded her of a story her own mother had once told her. She turned toward the window sill and said, "Well, if you take some of these sugar cubes and set them on the window sill as a gift for the stork he will bring us a baby. "Who is the stork Mother?" asked Ursula. "The stork is a beautiful majestic bird that flies from heaven on God's command and delivers babies to those who God desires. If we pray to God and ask him for a baby He will hear our prayers and send his great stork," said Ursula's mother. "What are the sugar cubes for?" questioned Ursula. "It's a long journey from heaven all the way to here and the stork will need the sugar cubes for the way back to heaven. They will also be a sign to help the stork know which family to leave the baby with," said her mother.

A Christmas Baby for Ursula     Ursula immediately grabbed a handful of sugar cubes and ran to the window. She lined them all along the sill and wiped the fog from the window so they could be seen. She folded her little hands, knelt in front of the window, closed her pale blue eyes tightly and began to pray. "Dear God," she said, "thank you for the gift of baby Jesus and for the time of Christmas. Please send your great stork to give us a baby. I promise to be good and help my mother take good care of him. Amen." Ursula's mother's eyes filled with tears as she knelt beside her daughter and rocked her in her arms as they looked up into the dark sky.

     Every morning BabyUrsula would wake up and run to the window sill to see if the stork had come and taken the sugar cubes and left a baby. She did this for the next few weeks. On Christmas Eve Ursula was quite sad when she went to bed. She thought maybe God hadn't heard her prayer or maybe the stork had gotten lost in the blizzard. But the very next day, Christmas morning, as she once again made her way to the window, the sugar cubes were gone. She called for her mother. "Mother! Mother! Come quick the stork has taken the sugar cubes." From the next room Ursula heard her mother call to her. "Come here sweet child and see what gift God has given to us." Ursula entered her mother's room, she was still in her bed, and lying beside her was the answered prayer. God had sent Ursula a baby brother. "This is the best Christmas ever," Ursula proclaimed with joy. She ran back to the window; the snow had stopped and the sky looked brighter than it had in weeks. Ursula knelt down at the window once more, folded her little hands and closed her pale blue eyes even tighter than before and thanked God for the great gift he had given them.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Christina Messer

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