Annie and Willie's Prayer

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E.P. Dutton, 1884 - Belief and doubt - 28 pages

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My father read this story every single Christmas Eve to my family for the past 37 years. Before that, his mom read it to his family for at least 20 years. It's a family tradition that I plan on continuing. I was pleasantly surprised to find it on google books and was excited to see it had pictures! I only ever heard the story before today. Seeing the pictures just added to the spirit.
The story is about a two children who help their father realize the true meaning of Christmas. It's obviously not in modern times, but the message is as true today as it was 120 years ago.

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Page 14 - A box full of tandy, a book and a toy — Amen — and then Desus, I'll be a dood boy." Their prayers being ended they raised up their heads, And with hearts light and cheerful again sought their beds; They were soon lost in slumber both peaceful and deep, And with fairies in dreamland were roaming in sleep. Eight, nine, and the little French clock had struck ten Ere the father had thought of his children again; He seems now to hear Annie's half suppressed sighs, And to see the big tears stand in...
Page 27 - And at the same moment the presents espied; Then out of their beds they sprang with a bound, And the very gifts prayed for were all of them found. They...
Page 11 - So restlessly tossed on their soft, downy beds. Eight, nine, and the clock on the steeple tolled ten, Not a word had been spoken by either till then, When Willie's sad face from the blanket did peep, And whispered, " Dear Annie, is 'ou fast as'eep?"
Page 19 - Then he turned to the stairs and softly went down, Threw off velvet slippers and silk dressing-gown, Donned hat, coat, and boots, and was out in the street, • A millionaire facing the cold driving sleet.
Page 24 - Claus, laughing, stood up in the top, As if getting ready more presents to drop. And as the fond father the picture surveyed, He thought for his trouble he had amply been paid, And he said to himself, as he brushed off a tear, " I'm happier to-night than I've been for a year ; I've enjoyed more true pleasure than ever before, What care I if bank stock falls ten per cent, more ! Hereafter I'll make it a rule, I believe, To have Santa Claus visit us each Christmas Eve.
Page 12 - Well, why tan't we p'ay dest as mamma did den. And ask Dod to send him with p'esents aden ?" " I've been thinking so too," and without a word more Four little bare feet bounded out on the floor, And four little knees the soft carpet pressed, And two tiny hands were clasped close to each breast. " NJDW, Willie, you know we must firmly believe That the presents we ask for we're sure to receive ; You must wait very still till I say the 'Amen.
Page 17 - I was harsh with my darlings," he mentally said, " And should not have sent them so early to bed; But then I was troubled, my feelings found vent. For bank stock to-day has gone down ten per cent. But of course they've forgotten their troubles ere this, And that I denied them the thrice-asked-for kiss; But, just to make sure, I'll steal up to the door, For I never spoke harsh to my darlings before.
Page 25 - I'll make it a rule, I believe, To have Santa Claus visit us each Christmas Eve." So thinking, he softly extinguished the light, And tripped down the stairs to retire for the night. As soon as the beams of the bright morning sun Put the darkness to flight, and the stars one by one, Four little blue eyes out of sleep opened wide, And at the same moment the presents espied...
Page 13 - Dear Jesus, look down on my brother and me, And grant us the favor we are asking of Thee. I want a wax dolly, a tea-set and ring, And an ebony work-box, that shuts with a spring. Bless papa, dear Jesus, and cause him to see, That Santa Claus loves us as much as does he : Don't let him get fretful and angry again At dear brother Willie and Annie. Amen.
Page 13 - Now, Willie, you know, we must firmly believe That the presents we ask for we're sure to receive; You must wait just as still till I say the ' Amen,' And by that you will know that your turn has come then.

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