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"I Saw Three Ships"

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! We at JABB hope you all have a safe and happy week. We hope you enjoy this year's Christmas story. You'll be hearing from us again in 2003!!

The three sat around the Christmas tree surveying the damage left by the party guests. Actually, it wasn't that bad. Dyelanders were very thoughtful guests. Just a few pieces of wrapping paper and ribbons needed attending to. That was quickly taken care of and then they retired to the living room.

Andrew started a fire as JenniAnn put on a kettle for hot chocolate while Audrey tried to find something Christmassy on TV.

"I don't really see anything." Audrey finally answered after surfing through every last channel.

"That's okay," answered JenniAnn "I have another idea. Let's just sit around the fire and tell about our favorite Christmases since we've met."

"Sounds great." Andrew said as he settled down in his favorite chair and JenniAnn handed him his hot chocolate.

"Fine by me, you start!" Audrey said as she also took her seat.

"Okay, it was last Christmas... Well, not the real Christmas but Christmas Observed since we couldn't meet on the real Christmas. No fallen angels wrecking our tree, no amnesia, no thieves, everything went perfectly, then came the gift exchange..."


"Andrew here's your gift! I hope you enjoy it, I didn't know what to get you but I heard you say you wanted this..." JenniAnn handed him a small box.

"I'm sure I'll love it!" Andrew smiled as he tore through the paper and opened the box. "Wow! This is wonderful! A new gold chain for my watch! My old one fell apart and I almost lost my pocket watch. Here, open you gift."

JenniAnn tore into her gift with excitement that equaled that of Andrew. "Wow... a ruby and an emerald and a sapphire... this is... great."

"Yeah, I thought you could finish off your crown you've been making."

"Right, well thank you so much!"

Audrey then approached and the two gave her their gifts while she gave them hers.

Andrew and JenniAnn received sets of beautiful gold pens. Audrey was equally enchanted with her gifts and said "Geez... How did everyone afford all this?"

"I, umm, melted down my pocket watch." Andrew admitted.

"And I melted down my crown." JenniAnn answered.

"Well, I melted down my scepter." Audrey said as everyone began to laugh and hugged.


As JenniAnn finished her memory, Audrey and Andrew looked at each other with raised eye brows. Finally Audrey spoke up.

"Uhh, JenniAnn? Are you sure you didn't maybe get confused? Like maybe you read 'The Gift of the Magi' a few too many times? I mean crowns and scepters? We never even had those. Kinda flashy for Dyeland."

JenniAnn began laughing as she realized she had told not a memory but a dream. "Well, fine, then it's my favorite Christmas dream. My real favorite memory is our first *real* Christmas here in Dyeland, 2000 I believe it was. Christmas the year before something had been missing. But 2000 was good."

"That's a hard act to follow but I'll try," Audrey said and then began her tale.


"It was the Christmas after we started JABB. I had failed to show up for a meeting and you two became worried. Andrew went over to my house to check on me but unfortunately someone had left the sprinkler in the middle of the sidewalk. He tripped, fell, and broke his leg. I begged my Mom to let him stay with us until he healed. I mean he could hardly even walk! But, of course, she didn't know who he was and who lets a strange man stay in their house? So, we put him in the barn. Finally, Mom got tired of it when Andrew got out of the barn and trashed the house. So she sold him to some guy who put up a sign reading "Actual angel of death" around the cage he'd put Andrew in and all these kids came to see him. Being a concerned friend, I tried to break him out but instead fell myself and hit my head. People were pretty freaked out. Somewhere in all the fuss over me Andrew got out. He just disappeared. Word got around that God had come to get him. Some days I still like to think he's out there flying around..."


Andrew was laughing pretty loudly at this point. He recognized the story as Audrey's attempt to rewrite the movie "Prancer."

JenniAnn also recognized one of her favorite Christmas movies and laughed but said "Come on now Aud, you didn't even try. You obviously knew that one was fake."

"Yeah, I did. Just couldn't resist, Miss Gift of the Magi. Actually my favorite memory was also our second Christmas in Dyeland, like JenniAnn said. I can't even remember why the first Christmas in Dyeland was so lackluster in our minds."

Andrew blushed and then said "I think I'll start my favorite memory now. A real one this time."


"It was two years ago. I hadn't made it to Dyeland at all for nearly a month. I knew I'd miss the Christmas party, the caroling, everything. I had been working in a prison. They sorta used the idea in the episode "An Angel on my Tree" but, like many episodes, that one was only loosely based on the actual event. I was assigned to an entire block not one prisoner in particular. Things were *not* going well. Anything I said seemed to go in one ear and out the other. I was exhausted which doesn't happen often for an angel. Finally, the 23rd came, the night I had hoped to be at the Dyeland party. Instead, I ended up passed out from exhaustion in the apartment I was renting. I seemed to fall immediately into a dream. I was at a party but no one seemed able to see me. Then I recognized it as the ballroom in Dyeland. You were all there and were signing a card. A really huge card. I heard so many people talking about me and wishing I was with them at the party. I wanted so much to tell them I was.

The next morning I woke up and found the huge card, Christmas cookies, and presents under a tree in my apartment. I always wondered how they got there... So, while I loved the second Christmas as you two do, I loved the first Christmas more. It made me realize that I was loved here. And that God cared because He let me see what I needed to see that night. The next morning I went back to the prison with a new sense of purpose. I have always wondered how those things got into my *locked* apartment though."


As Andrew finished he looked at both Audrey and JenniAnn hoping for some explanation.

Finally, Audrey simply said "We have our connections, too, you know."

Andrew realized that was the only explanation he could hope for and smiled.



Newsletter 105