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Anne's House of Dreams

15. Christmas At Four Winds
At first Anne and Gilbert talked of going home to Avonlea for Christmas; but eventually
they decided to stay in Four Winds. "I want to spend the first Christmas of our life
together in our own home," decreed Anne.
So it fell out that Marilla and Mrs. Rachel Lynde and the twins came to Four Winds for
Christmas. Marilla had the face of a woman who had circumnavigated the globe. She
had never been sixty miles away from home before; and she had never eaten a
Christmas dinner anywhere save at Green Gables.
Mrs. Rachel had made and brought with her an enormous plum pudding. Nothing could
have convinced Mrs. Rachel that a college graduate of the younger generation could
make a Christmas plum pudding properly; but she bestowed approval on Anne's house.
"Anne's a good housekeeper," she said to Marilla in the spare room the night of their
arrival. "I've looked into her bread box and her scrap pail. I always judge a housekeeper
by those, that's what. There's nothing in the pail that shouldn't have been thrown away,
and no stale pieces in the bread box. Of course, she was trained up with you--but, then,
she went to college afterwards. I notice she's got my tobacco stripe quilt on the bed
here, and that big round braided mat of yours before her living-room fire. It makes me
feel right at home."
Anne's first Christmas in her own house was as delightful as she could have wished.
The day was fine and bright; the first skim of snow had fallen on Christmas Eve and
made the world beautiful; the harbor was still open and glittering.
Captain Jim and Miss Cornelia came to dinner. Leslie and Dick had been invited, but
Leslie made excuse; they always went to her Uncle Isaac West's for Christmas, she
said.
"She'd rather have it so," Miss Cornelia told Anne. "She can't bear taking Dick where
there are strangers. Christmas is always a hard time for Leslie. She and her father used
to make a lot of it."
Miss Cornelia and Mrs. Rachel did not take a very violent fancy to each other. "Two
suns hold not their courses in one sphere." But they did not clash at all, for Mrs. Rachel
was in the kitchen helping Anne and Marilla with the dinner, and it fell to Gilbert to
entertain Captain Jim and Miss Cornelia,--or rather to be entertained by them, for a
dialogue between those two old friends and antagonists was assuredly never dull.
"It's many a year since there was a Christmas dinner here, Mistress Blythe," said
Captain Jim. "Miss Russell always went to her friends in town for Christmas. But I was
here to the first Christmas dinner that was ever eaten in this house--and the
 
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