Once upon a time in a cottage near the little woods, lived an elderly couple. They lived here alone, for many years, because they had no children. They had each other and were still very much in love. This was a hard year for the couple, because it was found out that she was gravely ill. She would soon be leaving him all alone. Her husband tended to her every need, treating her very gently. He had lost the twinkle in his eye...it had been replaced by a tear. Each morning, as she sat by the window, in her rocking chair...he would bring her a cup of tea in a favorite china cup. There she would sit, watching her special chickadees...flying to and fro, carrying sunflower seeds to the little woods. He would prepare the tastiest meals...hoping to coax her to eat. Day by day...she was getting weaker. Christmas was coming but this year was different. No shopping in the village, no gingerbread smells coming from the little kitchen, no candles burning, and no Christmas decorations in the house. The days went by one after the other..until finally it was Christmas Eve. She went to the bedroom to try to take a nap...she often did this in the afternoon. Today she was feeling sleepy but sleep wouldn't come. She could hear her husband rummaging around the kitchen. What was he up to? She was too weak to get out of bed and investigate. It was getting dark...her favorite time of the day. She called it twilight time. On days, when she felt strong, she would sit in her rocker by the window...and watch night fall. She loved nights when the stars would twinkle like the lights in her husband's eyes. Sleeping a little now, she heard a noise coming from the other room. What was that sound? Away in a Manger filled the room...she heard little voices singing that familiar Christmas carol. Her husband came into the room and said, "I have a wee surprise for you, sweetheart." He went to the bed and picked her up in his arms...wrapping her old worn quilt around her. He took her into the living room where she saw his wonderful surprise. Clear glass jars with strings of tiny white Christmas lights in them, were placed everywhere.. making the room twinkle like a Christmas tree. She had tears in her eyes. Her husband had been busy in the kitchen emptying the storage jars and filling them with lights. It was a simple Christmas treat for his love....a memory in the making for him. She heard tiny children's voices filling the room with Silent Night. He carried her to the door and there on the porch was the children's choir...from St. Mary's. Little children in warm clothes, woolen scarves and tousled hats, with bright apple cheeks...were singing their hearts out. The couple stayed by the door until they were finished with their songs. They invited the children into the warm house. They had no cookies to offer, but gave them each a shiny red apple. This was the last Christmas that they would be together. Now several years later, as he sat in her rocker by the window, he thought back on that night...the night he had lit up his wife's world and made her eyes twinkle.