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圣诞节的早晨

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小编摘要:12月25日,是基督教徒纪念耶稣诞生的日子,称为圣诞节。从12月24日于翌年1月6日为圣诞节节期。节日期间,各国基督教徒都举行隆重的纪念仪式。

 Christmas Morning






A light drizzle was falling as my sister Jill and I ran out of the Methodist Church, eager to get home and play with the presents that Santa had left for us and our baby sister, Sharon. Across the street from the church was a Pan American gas station where the Greyhound bus stopped. It was closed for Christmas, but I noticed a family standing outside the locked door, huddled under the narrow overhang in an attempt to keep dry. I wondered briefly why they were there but then forgot about them as I raced to keep up with Jill.

Once we got home, there was barely time to enjoy our presents. We had to go off to our grandparents’ house for our annual Christmas dinner. As we drove down the highway through town, I noticed that the family was still there, standing outside the closed gas station.

My father was driving very slowly down the highway. The closer we got to the turnoff for my grandparents’ house, the slower the car went. Suddenly, my father U-turned in the middle of the road and said, “I can’t stand it!”

“What?” asked my mother.

“It's those people back there at the Pan Am, standing in the rain. They've got children. It's Christmas. I can’t stand it.”

When my father pulled into the service station, I saw that there were five of them: the parents and three children — two girls and a small boy.

My father rolled down his window. “Merry Christmas,” he said.

“Howdy,” the man replied. He was very tall and had to stoop slightly to peer into the car.

Jill, Sharon, and I stared at the children, and they stared back at us.

“You waiting on the bus?” my father asked.

The man said that they were. They were going to Birmingham, where he had a brother and prospects of a job.

“Well, that bus isn’t going to come along for several hours, and you’re getting wet standing here. Winborn’s just a couple miles up the road. They’ve got a shed with a cover there, and some benches,” my father said. “Why don't y’all get in the car and I’ll run you up there.”

The man thought about it for a moment, and then he beckoned to his family. They climbed into the car. They had no luggage, only the clothes they were wearing.

Once they settled in, my father looked back over his shoulder and asked the children if Santa had found them yet. Three glum faces mutely gave him his answer.

“Well, I didn’t think so,” my father said, winking at my mother, “because when I saw Santa this morning, he told me that he was having trouble finding all, and he asked me if he could leave your toys at my house. We'll just go get them before I take you to the bus stop.”

All at once, the three children's faces lit up, and they began to bounce around in the back seat, laughing and chattering.

When we got out of the car at our house, the three children ran through the front door and straight to the toys that were spread out under our Christmas tree. One of the girls spied Jill’s doll and immediately hugged it to her breast. I remember that the little boy grabbed Sharon’s ball. And the other girl picked up something of mine. All this happened a long time ago, but the memory of it remains clear. That was the Christmas when my sisters and I learned the joy of making others happy.

My mother noticed that the middle child was wearing a short-sleeved dress, so she gave the girl Jill’s only sweater to wear.

My father invited them to join us at our grandparents’ for Christmas dinner, but the parents refused. Even when we all tried to talk them into coming, they were firm in their decision.

Back in the car, on the way to Winborn, my father asked the man if he had money for bus fare.

His brother had sent tickets, the man said.

My father reached into his pocket and pulled out two dollars, which was all he had left until his next payday. He pressed the money into the man’s hand. The man tried to give it back, but my father insisted. “It’ll be late when you get to Birmingham, and these children will be hungry before then. Take it. I’ve been broke before, and I know what it’s like when you can’t feed your family.”

We left them there at the bus stop in Winborn. As we drove away, I watched out the window as long as I could, looking back at the little gihugging her new doll.

圣诞节的早晨

吉尔和我跑出基督教卫理教堂的时候,天上下起了蒙蒙细雨。我们急于回家去玩耍圣诞老人留给我们的礼品和陪伴我们的小妹妹。从教堂穿过街道有一个泛美加油站,最近的汽车站就在那里。圣诞节里汽车停运了,然而我注意到加油站锁上门的外面还有一个家庭,挤在狭小的屋檐下面,他们想要不被雨所淋湿。我短暂地想知道他们为什么会留在那里,然而在我赶上与吉尔一起回家的时候,却把他们给忘记了。

一到家里,我们没有时间去欣赏圣诞老人送给我们的礼品。我们要到爷爷奶奶家里去参加一年一度的圣诞晚餐。当我们驾车驶下通过城镇的公路时,我注意到这个家庭依然留在那里,站在没有开门营业加油站的外面。

爸爸很慢地驾驶着汽车从公路上下来。当汽车愈加接近爷爷奶奶住宅的岔道时,爸爸就把车子开得愈慢。突然,爸爸在路中间把汽车掉头,说了一声,“我无法忍受!”

妈妈问“为什么?”

“后面在泛美加油站的门口还有人,他们站在雨里,还带着孩子。今天是圣诞节,我不能忍受!”

当爸爸把汽车开进了服务站,我看到站在泛美加油站的门口有5个人,父母和3个孩子——2个女孩和一个小男孩。

爸爸摇下了车窗。对他们说, “圣诞快乐。”

“你好,”那人回答。他长得很高,稍微弯腰才能看到车里。

吉尔、莎伦和我盯着这些孩子,而他们也反过来盯着我们。

爸爸问道,“你们是在等公共汽车吗?”

那人回答说是的。他们打算到伯明翰去,在那里他有一个兄弟,有望得到一份工作。

“嗯,在好几个小时里,这里恐怕不会出现公共汽车,而你们站在这里会弄湿的。公路上的温伯恩离这里只是几英里,那里的车站,有盖,有棚,有椅子,” 爸爸说。 “你们为什么不都上我的车,让我来送你们到那里。”

那人想了一会儿,然后招呼了他的家人。他们登上了我们汽车。他们没有行李,只有在身上穿着的衣服。

一旦他们在汽车里安顿了下来,爸爸转过头来问那几个孩子,圣诞老人是否找到了他们。三张忧郁的脸孔沉默无言地似乎作了回答。

“嗯,我可不这样认为,” 爸爸说,他对我妈妈使了个眼色。“因为当我在早上遇到圣诞老人时,他老人家告诉我,他有困难去发现所有要解决的问题。他要求我,是否可以把留给你们的玩具放在我的家里。在我把你带到公共汽车站之前,我们就去找到这些礼物。”

突然,那三个孩子的脸孔都明亮了起来,他们开始在汽车的后座左右弹跳,笑着和瞎谈着。

当我们在自己的住宅前下了车,那三个孩子就穿过前门直奔他们认为圣诞老人放在圣诞树下的礼物。其中一个小女孩发现了吉尔的礼物—洋娃娃,马上把它抱入怀中。我还记得那个小男孩抓走了莎伦的皮球。而另外一个女孩拿起了我的一些东西。这一切发生在很久以前,但现在回忆起来还是那么清晰。这是在圣诞节,我和我的姐妹领会到让别人快乐所能取得的喜悦。

妈妈看到他们家的老二穿着短袖衣服,所以她就把吉尔的仅有的毛衣送给了他。

爸爸邀请他们一起去爷爷奶奶家里吃圣诞大餐,但被这对父母拒绝了。即使我们多次试图说服他们一起去,可是他们坚持了他们所作的决定。

回到车里,走上了去温伯恩的路,爸爸问那男人有没有钱买车票。那人说。他的兄弟已经送给他们车票。

爸爸把手伸进口袋,掏出了仅有的两美元。这是他的在下一个发薪日之前所留下来的钱。他把这些钱塞到了那个男人手里。这个男子试图把钱推回来,但我的父亲却坚持着。 “当你们到达伯明翰时已经很晚了,在此以前,这些孩子会很饥饿的。拿去吧,我以前也破产过,我知道当一个人不能养活家人时是什么滋味。”

我们把他们留在温伯恩的汽车站上。在我们驾车离开的时候,我从车窗久久地望着他们,凝望着那个小女孩,在她怀中还抱着新娃娃。


标签:美文欣赏
2
2011-09-01 23:41 编辑:pliny
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