With the clock ticking towards Christmas Day, I took the time to grab a few hours away from the hard work that I had been doing in the basement kitchen at 13 Piccadilly Terrace.
For having already prepared a delicious breakfast of Plover’s Eggs, freshly made bread and red currant jelly for Lord Byron’s household and leaving the making of yet another batch of mince pies for an hour or so I decided to make a quick visit to Nicole’s House.
Although I wanted to leave a special gift for Nicole, I had also wanted to spend a moment or two by the Christmas tree inspired by this wonderful lady and who had made similar gold bows by hand to decorate her last Christmas tree before her untimely death six months later.
It was only after I had bounded up the stairs and into the warm and festive loft – I discovered that I was not the only visitor on this Christmas Eve.
For perched upon one of the beautifully gifts piled up under the tree was none other than Murphy!
Determined not to intrude upon his thoughts as he gazed upon the portrait of Nicole from underneath the tree, I crept quietly away and left my gift in another corner of the room.
However as my presence had not gone unnoticed – I went over to see him but there was no sign of the usual playful glint in his large copper-coloured eyes.
“I keep thinking how lonely Christmas must be for Nicole’s family without her.” Murphy finally whispered.
“And all that her children have now are those memories of wonderful Christmases past.” He added sadly.
“I am sure that her loved ones miss her very much at Christmas.” I replied.
“And not just at this time of year, but Murphy you must remember that every time we think of a loved one who is no longer with us; we are keeping the spirit of that person very much alive and they remain with us even when we are not thinking of them.”
“For with every gift that we carefully select and wrap, with every shiny bauble that we hang on the tree and even when we have stuffed ourselves so full of food that we fall asleep; we are carrying our loved ones forward in our lives and in our hearts.”
“And Murphy, I believe that the true magic of this time of year are the gifts that we cannot find under the Christmas tree such as the gifts of love and kindness.”
However as Murphy was about to potter off on his next adventure, I reminded him that these special gifts can also be shared with others and that he might want to say sorry for being unkind to Minnie B earlier that day!