It was December.
Carol had seen nine Christmas trees lighted on her birthdays,
one after another; nine times she had assisted in the holiday
festivities of the household, though in her babyhood her share
of the gayeties was somewhat limited.
For five years,
certainly, she had hidden presents for Mama and Papa in their
own bureau drawers, and harbored a number of secrets sufficiently
large to burst a baby's brain, had it not been for the relief
gained by whispering them all to Mama, at night, when she was
in her crib, a proceeding which did not in the least lessen the
value of a secret in her innocent mind.
For five years
she had heard "'Twas the night before Christmas," and hung up
a scarlet stocking many sizes too large for her, and pinned a
sprig of holly on her little white night gown, to show Santa Claus
that she was a "truly" Christmas child, and dreamed of fur-coated
saints and toy-packs and reindeer, and wished everybody a "Merry
Christmas" before it was light in the morning, and lent every
one of her new toys to the neighbors' children before noon, and
eaten turkey and plum pudding, and gone to bed at night in a trance
of happiness at the day's pleasures.