We want to take this opportunity to thank the many people and businesses that gave their time, donations, songs and money to make this the best Christmas party we have ever had. We raised about $5700. for the Harpswell Home Heating Assistance Program and the Santa Fund received so many presents for the children. We are overwhelmed by the generosity we experienced this year. We are truly a blessed community of caring, giving, loving people. Thank you from all of us at Cook’s Lobster House. Please let the folks and businesses that gave to this great cause that you appreciate their kindness.
Please enjoy this short story that I think portrays the kind of community we live in.
An Island Christmas Gift
Pete looked at the tree all lit up across the harbor with its bright red, blue and golden lights twinkling in the bitter cold air. He could hear the singing and the laughing of so many people having a good time. Pete shook his head as he picked up the last of the scrapes of wood to heat his home. Inside his wife and children waited for him to return so they might have dinner together by the fire. It was so cold. How could he go in and face his family with so much need and no way to comfort them except these last bits of wood. His blood boiled as he thought of the plenty that was just across the harbor. The food, the drink, the warmth was just across the bridge. Why he asked himself had this happen to his family?. He had worked hard all his life; He had been a fair man to his fellow-man. He even went to church now and then when he didn’t have to work.
He laid the last of the sticks of wood on the fire and sat at the table. The faces of his family warmed him as his wife dished out the stew. That is the last of the fire wood he said with a saddened voice. Tomorrow I shall have to go try to find some for us. Don’t worry It will be alright, he said trying to comfort them. Things had been tough before but never this bad. His fishing boat had been sunk by the nor’easter that hit the island in November. That fishing boat was the only source of income he had to support his family.
After dinner the children were sent up to bed and he and his wife sat and talked of the good times in the past they had at Christmas. Their house was always so full of family, friends, gifts and food on this special evening. Why had life all of a sudden turned on them so cruelly? Why had the people they cared for turned away when they were needed most? Pete glared out his window at the tree across the harbor and building full of happy people. I am going over there to ask them what is right about them being so happy and my family having not even the wood to keep us warm this Christmas. Pete started to get up when his wife pulled him back down and softly said, Pete, we have each other. A calming feeling came over him and he took his place next to her again.
Look Pete said, I guess their party is over. They looked as a parade of cars and trucks left the building across the harbor and started across the bridge. I bet they had a great time with not a care in the world. I bet their Christmas trees will be filled to the top with presents for their children. His wife held his hand tightly as he trembled with the thought that their tree would be bare except for the hand-made items his wife had so lovingly made for all of them.
As the parade of vehicles came across the bridge his phone rang. It was his stern man who had worked for him for many years. Hey Pete, The stern man said, just left a great party. I wish you could have been there. Pete’s anger grew as he thought of the party that had just gotten out across the harbor. I’m coming over his stern man said.
Pete hung up the phone and thought about how he was going to give his stern man a lesson. Going to a party and not telling me about it. My stern-man was out having a great time while my family is on the road to destruction. I’ll let him have it, he said to himself. Just then a knock came at the front door. Pete was furious. He went to the door and opened it wide. Surprise! The roar of a multitude of voices nearly set Pete on the ground. Pete walked out into the cold night and shielded his eyes from all of the light given off by the parade of cars that had driven across the harbor bridge and were now on his front lawn. His stern man came up to him and said Merry Christmas Pete. We brought you some wood and some things to put under the tree for the kids. I could not believe the faces. It seemed like half the town was there on my front lawn. Yeah, his stern man said, we had a little party to help you out and a lot of the town showed up. We have something for you out back Pete. We made our way to the back and there stood a most beautiful sight. A lobster boat with a sign on it that read “An Island Christmas Gift”. We knew you couldn’t make it without a boat so the entire town has been collecting money and we were able to get her for you Pete. Merry Christmas to you and your family was being shouted out by all the well wishers. I fell to my knees and thanked the Lord and my many friends.
I don’t know all the secrets of this life but this I do know. The spirit of Christmas is all around us. God has made sure of that.
Merry Christmas My Friends!