There are those who pull down their Christmas decorations as soon as the clock strikes 12 AM December 26. There are some, I am told, who keep their tree up until Easter. I am the sort who keeps the tree up until at least Julgransplundring, which is conveniently right before my birthday. In honor of the continuing holidays, I present to you one of the most precious gifts my family ever received. How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas is a story my mother read to us five sisters every Christmas Eve after Mass, before bedtime. I wrote about it here a few years ago. If I close my eyes I can still hear Mom's voice imitating Santa and Mrs. Claus. I remember stifling tears when the children receive presents they'd always wished for but that they thought Santa didn't know about. I wanted Mom to read each page slowly, so that I had time to absorb the mesmerizing illustrations.
My mom tore this story from one of her women's magazines (Family Circle) years before I came along. We've attempted to locate the original author, the magazine publishers, and anyone who might know where we can obtain a new copy. When Dayton's 8th Floor used to change up their holiday displays, we told them about this beloved story hoping they'd feature it. I even contacted PBS asking if they'd do some research for one of their historical shows. But no one else seems to care about this story with the same fervor we do. It remains one of the wonderful experiences my family shares.
Below you can read it for yourselves, especially if your tree is still up and you are not quite finished with the holidays. Just click on each photo to enlarge the yellowed but beautiful copy. Happy New Year!