Kyrie's Celtic Christmas
Click on image to enlarge.
by Leta Nolan Childers
Description: Widowed mother of two irrepressible boys, Kyrie's life is so busy and full that she's had little time to prepare for her sons' favorite holiday. How did it suddenly become Christmas and she's yet to even prepare one batch of cookies? To save the boys' Christmas, Roiban Kildaire gets in touch with the feminine side he never knew he had and promises to delight them with all sorts of holiday goodies. But will manly Roiban prove to Kyrie that he's figured out the way to her heart is through her sons' stomachs?
eBook Publisher: DiskUs Publishing,
eBookwise Release Date: December 2010
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [48 KB]
Reading time: 28-40 min.
Ms. Childers has written a sweet, short story that I wish would have gone on a lot longer. Her characters are very real...But you will come away with a very wonderful, warm feeling after reading Kyrie's Celtic Christmas. I recommend this short story very highly, especially at this time of the year, and with all that is going on out there in the world today. It will make you feel good. Sue Hartigan, All About Murder Reviews
Kyrie grabbed her wooden spoon and beat the batter until it glistened, always a good sign for a light and tasty scone. She covered the bowl to let the dough proof before filling her teakettle and setting it on the stove. A good cuppa would taste delightful before she had to turn to the real work of the day, waking the boys, finishing breakfast and beginning on Saturday's chores.
It had been a long week and the weekends were never long enough to get everything done that she needed to get done before Sunday evening would again roll along, leaving her regretting all the chores she hadn't been able to get done before preparing for another week of clerking at Toodles. Once she stepped back in the store, there would be barely a minute to spare for thoughts of anything but filling and ringing up orders. As the only real store in the village, it filled with customers from opening until after closing, and what little free time there might be would be consumed with restocking the shelves.
Still, it was good that her work kept her busy. God knew they needed the money, Sean's pitiful pension barely paid to keep a roof over her and the boys heads. But, God rest his soul, it wasn't Sean's fault that he'd been taken from them at such an early age. And, Kyrie refused to allow a moment's time given to self-pity. She'd mourned when she lost him, mourned hard and as long as she could before facing the reality that it was left to her to keep her little family together.
Dropping the tea ball into the pot she'd first warmed with hot water from the kettle, Kyrie chuckled quietly at what a silly goose she had been in those first days of trying to figure everything out. She'd known naught of paying bills or seeing to getting coal and sod to heat the place. The notion of paying the rates stymied her for a full week until she'd finally just gone and done it, discovering that as long as the money was ready to pay into the coffers, they were more than willing to help one along. She'd learned a lot in the past three years. What she missed about Sean the most was his gentle laugh, the way he'd catch her around the waist in the kitchen and spin her around until it was his kiss that made her head spin, the warmth and feel of him in their bed. And she worried about what the boys were missing without Sean to teach them to grow into men that they could both be proud of.
Not that she had anything to complain about in the boys. Patrick and Seamus were fine lads, growing into sturdy and lean eight and nine-year-olds. But three years for Kyrie was like thirty to the boys. Admittedly, Kyrie decided, stirring a spoonful of honey into her tea, it had sometimes seemed like thirty years or three minutes to her since she'd last felt Sean's hand on her face or heard the low croon of his "Kyrie," as he'd come to find her in bed in the dark of the night.
Pulling the towel from the waistband of her apron, she smudged at the tears in her eyes and chastised herself. No time for tears, not when there were floors to scrub, windows to wash, the boys clothes to mend and cooking for the week to come. And what was she doing, sitting there, mooning away about what would never be again.
Well, perhaps one more moment, to herself, to remember, to cherish that which would never be again.
Patrick shoved Seamus away from the window to get a good look at the day for himself. "Lemme see, boyo." His face fell when he looked out at the brown grass in the back yard of the cottage. The vines and plants of the garden stood like summer's ghosts. No snow. And they'd both said extra Our Fathers and Hail Marys in hopes that God would fulfill one of their many wishes and bring snow to the village.
It was their only wish for Christmas, now only three weeks away. They'd given up on trying to remind Mam about the upcoming holiday. She was so busy these days and though she tried to spend time with them in the evenings, urging them to study hard and then falling asleep in her rocker with one of their socks and a darning egg, needle and thread in her hands. So, they'd given up on reminding Mam that Christmas was coming and that she hadn't baked one sweet or written on one card. She'd forgotten...and they were trying so hard to be kind and good sons and not remind her that this was the most wonderful time of the year, next to their birthdays.
"Rats." Patrick said, pulling away from the window and looking at Seamus, a year younger but as close in looks and height that they could be twins. "We'll try again tonight, boyo. This time, down on our knees."
"You're sure it's not too much we're askin' for, Patty? Some years we don't even see snow."
"God wouldn't do that to us this year, Shay. It's all we've been askin' for Christmas, ain't it? Such a little thing for God to do." He pulled on a frayed sweater over his shirt. "Now mind you wear your old boots, boyo. If we're goin' to be workin' this day we don't want to ruin our good boots."
Obediently, Seamus returned his good boots to their place under his bed. "Are you thinkin' that Roiban will be for hirin' us, then, Patty? Not much work to do, I'm thinkin', this time of the year."
"There's always lots of odd jobs to do on a farm," Patrick said soberly. "And how else are we goin' to buy Mam a fine present for Christmas?"
"I meant to save up my money." Seamus tied a new knot in an already heavily knotted lace in his boot.
"Aye, and so did I. But, I was weak. I like them comic books and the gum, too."
"And I like the sweets just too much. I'll be givin' 'em up for Lent this year. Then I won't have to worry about havin' spendin' money."