By the Shores of Silver Lake Book Discussion -- Christmas Eve
It snowed all day. "Well it's going to be a white Christmas," Pa smiled. The surveyors house was full of secrets. Mary knitted socks for Pa's Christmas present and Laura made him a neck tie. Together in the attic she and Carrie made an apron for Ma and Mary stitched a fine piece of muslin to make a handkerchief to tuck in its pocket.
From an old blanket Ma cut bed shoes for Mary; Laura made one and Carrie made the other. And every morning while Carrie made her bed in the attic, Laura and Mary knitted as fast as they could a pair of gloves for her. Grace's present was the most beautiful and they all worked on it together. From a swan's skin Ma cut a little hood. She then sewed every stitch on the hood herself because of the delicate hide. Laura and Carrie pieced out the lining and Ma sewed it in its place. Then out of one of Ma's old woolen cloth dresses she cut a little coat. Laura and Carrie sewed the seams and Mary sewed it's hem. Ma then added soft swan's down to the bottom and to the cuff of each arm. The coat was as blue as Grace's eyes. They were anxiously waiting for tomorrow morning to come.
Pa had gone hunting earlier and brought home a big jack rabbit. It was now skinned and cleaned and hanging frozen in the lean-to. It would be roasted tomorrow for Christmas dinner. That evening snuggled in the warm house they settled in for a bowl of hot cornmeal mush.
At supper they talked about other Christmases. Tucked away upstairs was Charlotte from the Christmas in the Big Woods. The tin cups from Indian Territory were now gone, but the thought of them made them think of Mr. Edwards and they wondered where he had ended up. "Wherever he is let's hope he's as lucky as we are," Pa said. They then talked about the Christmas when Pa got lost in the blizzard for three days and nights. Only to find out he was no more then a hundred yards from the house. Mary's favorite Christmas was the Sunday school Christmas tree. They all decided this would be the best Christmas yet because Carrie was older and they now had Grace.
When supper was finished Pa went and got his fiddle. He played while everybody sang. Through the music and the roaring storm outside, Mary could hear the faint holler of a man's voice. Ma started up "Charles! Who on earth?"