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Contrived coziness is the hallmark of this regulation Christmas story about a little old woman living in Germany long ago, in the regulation one-room cottage ""at the edge of a thick fir forest."" That she is a nice old woman is established at the start, with the information that the little cottage ""suited [her] for there was room enough within its walls for her to keep a canary for singing, a cat for purring, and a dog to doze beside the fire."" Now, as she does once a year, the old woman announces that it's ""Time to clean for Christmas,"" and she sweeps the cobwebs from the ceiling. Then it's ""Time to fetch Christmas."" (She goes off to chop down a tree, which bobs a curtsey to her in the breeze, a sign to her that it ""wants to come."") Next come ""Time to make Christmas"" (cookies and other goodies for everyone, including the mice--but not the spiders), ""Time to share Christmas"" (with the village children and then the animals--all but the spiders), and finally ""Time to wait for Christmas."" (She longs for ""some Christmas magic that was not of her own making."") And this year as she dozes by her tree the miracle occurs: Christkringle opens her cottage door and the exiled spiders return. They swam round the tree, leaving webs, which he then turns to strands of gold and silver--the prototype, we're told, of today's tinsel. The story is about as genuine as Christmas-tree tinsel.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1982
Publisher: T.Y. Crowell