“WE’LL be moved in by Christmas!” declared Mr. Smith-Jones to his wife and children. Even the family dog wagged its tail at the news.
They were standing outside the Old Webster Place where a sign in the yard announced “Sale Pending.”
The Old Webster Place, over two centuries old, sat close to the road along an avenue of large sugar maples. A bright June-green field stretched out behind the back of the house and, along a tumbledown split-rail fence at the side of the property, a dense hedgerow of holly bushes grew, their dark shiny leaves set off by a profusion of small white flowers that looked for all the world like snow. The effect was startling
“Those bushes will be filled with berries come the fall,” said Ms. Smith-Jones and she imagined cutting holly boughs on Christmas Eve and placing them along window sills and above doorways, in the old tradition, to keep troubled spirits said to roam at large on that hallowed night from entering the house and disturbing the peace and joy of the season.
“Just think of it,” said Mr. Smith-Jones.
They could not believe their good fortune. Soon the old farmhouse would be theirs.