Merry Christmas, Marmee! Many of them! Thank you for our books. We read some, and mean to every day, they all cried in chorus.
Merry Christmas, little daughters! I'm glad you began at once, and hope you will keep on. But I want to say one word before we sit down. Not far away from here lies a poor woman with a little newborn baby. Six children are huddled into one bed to keep from freezing, for they have no fire. There is nothing to eat over there, and the oldest boy came to tell me they were suffering hunger and cold. My girls, will you give them your breakfasts a Christmas present?
They were all unusually hungry, having waited nearly an hour, and for a minute no one spoke, only a minute, for Jo exclaimed impetuously, I'm so glad you came before we began!
May I go and help carry the things to the poor little children? asked Beth eagerly.
I shall take the cream and the muffins, added Amy, heroically giving up the article she most liked.
Meg was already covering the buckwheat's, and piling the bread into one big plate.
I thought you'd do it, said Mrs. March, smiling as if satisfied. You shall all go and help me, and when we come back we will have bread and milk for breakfast, and make it up at dinnertime.
--Louisa May Alcott, Little Women