The next best thing to receiving a Christmas box of your own, is to be present at the reception of a friend's.
It was a big square wooden box, packed to the brim with smaller boxes and parcels tied with ribbon and holly, and tucked into every crevice funny surprises. You could picture, just from looking at it, the kind of home that it came from, filled with jokes and nonsense and love.
"It's the first Christmas I've ever spent away from home," said Patty, with the suggestion of a quiver in her voice.
But her momentary soberness did not last; the business of exploration was too absorbing to allow any divided emotion. Harriet sat on the edge of the bed and watched in silence, while Patty gaily strewed the floor with tissue paper and scarlet ribbon. She unpacked a wide assortment of gloves and books and trinkets, each with a message of love. Even the cook had baked a Christmas cake with a fancy top. And little Tommy, in wobbly uphill printing, had labeled an elephant filled with candy, "for dere cister from tom."
Patty laughed happily as she plumped a chocolate into her mouth, and dropped the elephant into Harriet's lap.
"Aren't they dears to go to such a lot of trouble? I tell you, it pays to stay away sometimes, they think such a lot more of you! This is from Mother," she added, as she pried off the cover of a big dressmaker's box, and lifted out a filmy dancing frock of pink crêpe.
"Isn't it perfectly sweet?" she demanded, "and I didn't need it a bit! Don't you love to get things you don't need?"
"I never do," said Harriet.
Patty was already deep in another parcel.
"From Daddy, with all the love in the world," she read. "Dear old Dad! What on earth do you s'pose it is? I hope Mother suggested something. He's a perfect idiot about choosing presents, unless—Oh!" she squealed. "Pink silk stockings and slippers to match; and look at those perfectly lovely buckles!"
She offered for Harriet's inspection a pink satin slipper adorned with the daintiest of silver buckles, and with heels dizzily suggestive of France.
"Isn't my father a lamb?" Patty gaily kissed her hand toward a dignified, judicial-looking portrait on the bureau. "Mother suggested the slippers, of course, but the buckles and French heels were his own idea. She likes me sensible, and he likes me frivolous."
She was deep in the absorbing business of holding the pink frock before the glass to make sure that the color was becoming, when she was suddenly arrested by the sound of a sob, and she turned to see Harriet throw herself across the bed and clutch the pillow in astorm of weeping. Patty stared with wide-open eyes; she herself did not indulge in such emotional demonstrations, and she could not imagine any possible cause. She moved the pink satin slippers out of reach of Harriet's thrashing feet, gathered up the fallen elephant and scattered chocolates, and sat down to wait until the cataclysm should pass.
"What's the matter?" she mildly inquired, when Harriet's sobs gave place to choking gasps.
"My father never sent me any s-silver b-buckles."
"He's way off in Mexico," said Patty, awkwardly groping for consolation.
Någon som känner igen texten, och kan tala om var jag hämtat den?
Johannes och jag rekommenderar "The Little Mixer, av Lillian Nicholson Shearon, som söndagslektyr.