Title: The Twenty-Four Days before Christmas
Author: Madeleine L’Engle
Illustrated by: Joe De Velasco
Date Read: 12/21/16
Seven year old Vicky Austin is getting ready to portray the angel in the school Christmas play. She thinks she’s not pretty and will forget her lines. The play director says if her mom and dad will just help her practice she can do it. Of course, mom and dad encourage her and at each rehearsal she gets better and better as the angel.
As the days draw nearer to Christmas the family is involved with preparation of the grand event. Each day they decide what they will do to decorate. One day they make Christmas cards, another they go to the forest and cut down a tree and later they decorate it. Mom is pregnant with child number four to round out the family of ten year old John, four year old Suzy, Doctor dad and housewife mom. They also have two dogs and two cats.
Every day when John comes back from his morning paper route he informs the family of whether there is snow in the forecast. On some days he’s sure it’ll snow, other times he says “no snow”. Vicky is so looking forward to playing outdoors in the white stuff but also knows that Mom’s due date to deliver the baby is getting closer and closer and she prays that her mother will not be in the hospital over Christmas.
A day or so before Christmas Eve when the play is scheduled a blizzard settles in and things begin to happen – the play is cancelled, they wonder if dad will make it home from his office. Yet the kids are resourceful and do their chores.
This story is about the Austin family when they were younger. I’m going to have to check out the stories about the Austin family and re-introduce them to granddaughter who fell asleep while I read this warm Christmas story to her last night.