Note: This fiction contains two songs. The first, "Come On Christmastime", we sang at church as part of our Christmas Cantata this year. The second, "The Christmas Shoes" by Newsong, touched my heart this year and inspired this fiction.

Added Note: Songs didn't line up in the saved document the way I wanted them to. So this will have to due.

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THE CHRISTMAS SHOES

December 23: League Christmas Party; Watchtower

It's time for yummy food, it's time for family fun. It's time for singing Christmas songs with everyone. Come on Christmastime, I just can't wait. You know I'm ready to celebrate Come on Christmastime I'm waiting just to see my presents. Stacked up under the tree waiting for me

Shayera can't help but laugh as Flash sings his ridiculous song into the karaokemicrophone. She could always count on him to make her laugh. She needed to laugh after hearing John (reluctantly) sing "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Vixon, after she had been pushing him for a half hour to do so. After her laugh wares down, Shayera stares at her cup of eggnog and a sorrowful look returns to her eyes. She's really not in the Christmas mood, especially with John spending the holidays with Mari in Paris. Shayera had been invited to go along, but she turned them down. She didn't want to intrude on the couple's Christmas getaway in presumably the most romantic city on the planet. Besides, seeing the man she loves with another woman, her friend or not, would only add to the sorrow she's already feeling.

"Having fun?" Shayera is startled. She hadn't noticed Flash zip next to her.

Shayera forces a smiles, "Uh, yea. Great party."

Flash wasn't convinced. He's been watching his friend all evening and she seemed sad. He knew the reason too.

"So, Shayera," asks Flash, "Any plans for Christmas?"

Shayera looks at him strangely. She really hadn't thought about it. Not being from Earth, Christmas never has been very special to her. Especially now since it was Christmas Eve two years ago that she and John had their first real 'date' at that alien bar in space. Now John has somebody else, so what's the point of being cheerful and celebrating.

"Not really," she answers, "Probably just go to an Earth bar and get smashed and get in a fight or two."

Shayera really doesn't enjoy that as much as she used too, but it's what she knows and she's comfortable doing it. Besides, what better way to drown her sorrows then with some good beer, even if it's not the beer from her old hang out.

Flash raises his eyes. That's no way to spend Christmas, especially alone. Then a light bulb goes off inside his head. He has a brilliant idea.

"Hey Shayera. I have an idea. Why don't you spend Christmas with me? I have lots to do tomorrow. You can go to the orphanage with me and help decorate for the Christmas play, bake cookies and candy, sing carols, and go shopping with me. Maybe we'll even sneak in a holiday movie. What do you say?"

Doesn't really sound like much fun to Shayera. Not that she doesn't care for children, just not the activities.

"I don't know."

"Ah come on Hawkgirl," urges Flash, "What do you have to lose?"

Shayera almost lashes out at Flash. She hates being called by her former alias. However, Flash is right. What does she have to lose?

Shayera sighs, "Alright. What time?"

"Pick ya up at 9:00 in the morning?"

"Fine."

December 24: 9:30 am; Central City Orphanage

It's time to hang the lights, it's time to trim the tree. It's time to decorate the house with red and green. Come on Christmastime, I just can't wait You know. I'm ready to celebrate. Come on Christmastime I waiting just to see my presents. Stacked up under the tree waiting for me

Shayera looks down at the Christmas sweatshirt she's wearing that Flash gave her. It has a large picture of a reindeer head with a large, shining red nose and ornaments hanging from it's antlers. It was kind of cute, in it's own way.

Shayera and Flash are at the Central City Orphanage helping to decorate the main hall and stage for the pageant and party tonight. Shayera is mostly decorating the ceiling since she can fly.

"Lower that evergreen just an inch Hawkgirl," shouts a supervising volunteer. Shayera does so. "PERFECT!" shouts the supervisor. Shayera flies down. "That's just perfect Hawkgirl. We really appreciate your helping. It's tough and dangerous going up and down those tall, unstable ladders hanging those things. Good thing Flash brought you."

Shayera smiles. She's happy to hear that her help is appreciated, but she doesn't get way this evergreen and lights and everything else needs to go up in the first place. She looks around the main hall. Everyone is smiling, singing, and just in a festival mood. She also overhears people talking about how they haven't finished their Christmas shopping and complaining about the large crowds, long lines, all the good gifts being gone, how disappointed the kids and this and that person will be, trying to prepare for Christmas parties, and complaining about a zillion other things to do. Just this morning on they're way to the Orphanage, Shayera saw many of those hustle and bustle people with a million things to do and last minute shopping. She also saw crowds of people standing outside dozens of store demanding and complaining, and more then enough for sale signs and Christmas advertisements then she'd care to see. She even saw people just ignoring the homeless on the streets, too wrapped up in their troubles to pay attention. If Christmas is really suppose to be about selfless compassion, brotherhood, and peace, why then is everybody so selfish and not satisfied with what they have.

Shayera knows the story behind Christmas and it's one of her favorite stories. Yet, she doesn't how all the presents, parties, decorations, trees, lights, completions, making money, and all the crazy hustle and bustle tie in with son of God being born in a manger.

Shayera hears a loud "CRASH". She looks over and sees Flash on the floor next to a fallen tree tangled up in Christmas lights. The whole hall, including Shayera, burst out in laughter. After Flash gets untangled and back on his feet, Shayera asked him what happened.

Flash grins sheepishly, "I was moving at super speed and tripped over some lights and crashed into the tree."

Shayera laughs, "Even here you're clumsy."

11:30 AM: Wally's Mother's House

It's time for yummy food, it's time for family fun. It's time for singing Christmas songs with everyone. Come on Christmastime, I just can't wait. You know I'm ready to celebrate. Come on Christmastime I'm waiting just to see my presents. Stacked up under the tree waiting for me

Shayera and Wally are helping Mary West, Charlotte West, and Iris Allen bake cookies for gift baskets. Or that is, Shayera is helping. Flash 'helps' by testing the ingredients, licking the batter, and the finished cookies themselves. For every cookie they manage to get into a basket, five go into Wally's mouth.

Flash is 'testing' yet another bag of chocolate chips. His mother sneaks up on him and snatching the bag away from him. Flash responds by trying to grab it back. Both mother and son grasp the bag playing tug-a-war.

"Mom. I need to test the chips to make sure they're fresh enough."

"I believe testing the first half of the bag is enough," Mary tickles Wally in the stomach. The ticklish speedster can't help but let go. "Besides," adds Mary, "You've tested the first ten bags and I believe they're fresh enough. You test anymore I won't make you your own triple batch tonight."

Flash reluctantly stops 'testing' the ingredients, thought he still gets his hands on some of the finished cookies and is still aloud to lick the batter.

Shayera laughs. Aside from Flash's antics, however, she's really not enjoying this as much as she hoped. Her two batches of cookies were a mess, burnt, and inedible. Even Flash wouldn't eat them. Now she's just helping to package them, the ones that Flash doesn't manage to 'test' that is. Shayera's really trying to enjoy herself, but she's still a bit sorrowful and just can't get into the festival mood.

4:30 PM

School is out time for fun, Christmas season's just begun. Make your wishes check you list, waiting for the twenty-fifth. Wrapping presents and hanging stocking and...

Shayera and Flash finish wrapping the last of the orphan and Kid's Ya'll Love gifts. Wrapping presents was a lot harder then Shayera thought it would be, and turned out to be a real pain in the butt. Shayera didn't do very well. As a matter of fact, neither did Flash. Flash's slow wrapping wasn't great, but he's super speed wrapping was really a mess.

"Aw don't worry about it," assures Flash, "The kids don't care how neat it's wrapped. They just care about what's inside it."

Just then, Wally's eight-year-old cousin Inez comes in and looks at the packages. A distraught look appears on her face, "Who wrapped these?"

Flash answers nervously, "It's what's inside that counts."

"You wrapped them," responds Inez.

Shayera gives Flash a stern looks. Flash smiles sheepishly.

A few minutes later, Flash ask Shayera if she'd like to run up to the department store with him, "I need to pick up a new PC for the orphans and I need to get some family gifts as well."

Shayera gives him an odd look, "You're not done with your Christmas shopping yet?"

"Uh no," replies Flash, "I've been, uh, so busy that I haven't had time to go shopping."

"You've just been lazy," smirks Shayera.

...just one more day...of shopping!

Come on Christmas come on in let the fun and games begin.

6:00 P.M.-Department Store

Yea, this really is a lot of fun, thought Shayera. Shayera stands near the check out registers while Flash zips around doing last minute shopping. Shayera already gave all her gifts at the party last night, including a singing Spongebob Sqaurepants to Flash. This shopping crowd is more like an angry mob. There are so many angry people in the store and the employees are frustrated and noticeably tired. People are walking all over each other that five costumers and two employees have already been taken out on stretchers.

Shayera hangs her head in misery. She doesn't know why she even came. Was this the way humans really acted on Christmas? Was this all there was? Shayera's certain that no one is thinking about that little baby born to a poor woman in a cold, lonely stable more then 2000 years ago.

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line. Tryin' to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood

Shayera leans on a spot next to a cash register. She wishes Flash would just hurry up so they can get out of there. Shayera then notices standing next to her in the line, a small boy of about seven or eight.

Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously. Pacing 'round like little boys do. And in his hands he held a pair of shoes. His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe

Shayera is captivate by this sight. The boy was dressed in old, worn clothes and dirty from head to toe. He was all alone and holding a pair of shiny silver shoes with gold trim. What could this seemly poor, little boy want with a pair of women's shoes? New department store shoes at that.

The little boy approached the cash register with a smile, yet his eyes were filled with sorrow yet hope. The boy put the shoes on top of the register and Shayera inched closer to hear. What Shayera heard next she never in a billion universes expected and just couldn't believe.

And when it came his time to pay' I couldn't believe what I heard him say

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please. It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size. Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time. You see she's been sick for quite a while. And I know these shoes would make her smile. And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

Shayera's marveled at what she just heard. She watched as the little boy poured a sock full of pennies on the register and started counting them.

He counted pennies for what seemed like years. Then the cashier said, "Son, there's not enough here"

The little boy looked sad and frantically searched his pockets. Filled with compassion, Shayera felt compelled to help this little boy and moved closer to him. He noticed her and she gave him a warm smile.

He searched his pockets frantically. Then he turned and he looked at me. He said Mama made Christmas good at our house. Though most years she just did without. Tell me Ma'ma, what am I going to do, Somehow I've got to buy her these Christmas shoes

Shayera's heart melt. This little poor boy wasn't thinking of himself. He was thinking of his ill Mama, a Mama who had given her all for him. This little boy, dirty from head to toe, clothes torn and worn who's mother might be dying, believes in Jesus. He only wants to make his Mama smile.

I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please. It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size. Could you hurry, please, Daddy says there's not much time. You see she's been sick for quite a while. And I know these shoes would make her smile. And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

Shayera can feel tears filling up her eyes. Her heart feels warm. She has to help this little boy. She has to buy him those shoes so her can give them to an ever deserving mother who might be dying. Shayera takes out her wallet and has barely enough to pay for the shoes.

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out. I'll never forget the look on his face when he said Mama's gonna look so great

Shayera can't remember the last time she saw so much joy on a person's face. The cashier gives Shayera the receipt and the bag containing the shoes. She gives them back to the little boy.

A beaming smile appears on boys face. "Thank you so much miss. I wish I could give you something." The boy seems to notice something, "Wait. I can give you something."

The boy runs over to a Santa's helper giving away free candy canes. He gets one and gives it to Shayera. Shayera is touched. The boy didn't have to do that.

"Can I give you one more thing?" The boy uses his finger urging Shayera to come closer. She kneels down and he gives her a kiss on the cheek. Shayera is especially surprised. "Thank you so much Miss. Mama will look great tonight, thanks to you. I'll say a prayer for you if you say a prayer for Mama, and for Daddy too."

Shayera fights back tears, "I'll say a prayer for your Mama, your Daddy, and for you."

The little boy gives her one last smile, then leaves and disappears into the crowd. Tears are now falling down Shayera's face. She can feel in her heart that this boy was sincere. Doing what she's only done a few times before, she bows her head and prays.

"Thank you God of heaven, for sending this little boy to me to remind what selfless love is. Like the love you..."

Suddenly, it hit Shayera. She remembered the story, the story of love. God had sent His son into the world to save all who would come to Him because He loves them. Jesus was God's give to creation. Jesus came because of love.

I knew I'd caught a glimpse of heaven's love' As he thanked me and ran out. I knew that God had sent that little boy to remind me just what Christmas is all about

This is what Christmas is all about. Christmas is about love. The ultimate kind of love. Selfless, unconditional love.

Shayera then notices Flash in another check out line, about to pay. Shayera reliezes that she hasn't thank Flash for inviting her today and trying to help her enjoy herself. She was too lost in her own sorrows that she hadn't been to open to the love of friendship Wally has been trying to give her. Flash always tries to be her friend and bring joy to her life, unfortunately, she didn't always appreciate it.

"Wally didn't deserve that from me," thought Shayera, "How can I make it up to him."

Even thought Shayera already gave Flash a present at the party last night, it was more of a gag gift and she really wants to give him something to say thank you. She knows she doesn't have to, but she wants to. A hug or even a kiss on the cheek might due, but Shayera really wants to show Wally. She doesn't have much money left after paying for the shoes. Even though she knows love isn't expressed through money, she still wants to buy Flash a little something of friendship and gratitude.

She then notices a little sign for Christmas cakes on display. She goes up and find one small cake left. The cake has white and red icing and the words "Happy Birthday Jesus" written on it. Shayera grabs it and has just enough money left to get it. It says on the label that it's a mix yellow and chocolate cake. Flash will love this. Just a small Christmas token of friendship and application.

Shayera pays for the cake in the express lane and by the time she gets back up front, Flash is waiting for her holding some bags.

"Where were you?" he asks.

"Getting a gift," she answers, "Ready to go."

"Yea, lets blow this joint."

7:30 PM-Central City Orphanage

Back at the orphanage, Shayera is enjoying herself for the first time. It's actually bringing her joy to see the smiles on the children's faces as they open and play with their new gifts. These children really don't have much and are happy and grateful for any little thing they get. Shayera can't believe she didn't see this before.

Flash even notices the difference in Shayera. Later, he pulls her aside and hands her a gift bag. Flash had already given her the reindeer sweatshirt last night.

"Wally," says Shayera surprisedly, "You already gave me a gift."

"I know Shayera," replies Flash, "but I felt like getting you something else to cheer you up."

Shayera opens the bag and finds a gift basket with a coffee cup, her favorite tea, peppermints, and some shampoo and body lotion. Shayera had expected something goofy from Flash, she greatly surprised.

"Wally," says Shayera gratefully, "Thank you."

"You're welcome," smiles Flash.

They were about to hug when Shayera pulls away, "Oh. Stay for here a sec Wally."

Shayera exits the room to a private parlor. Flash is puzzled. Shayera returns with a box.

"Wally, this is for you."

Flash's eyes beam with joy when he sees the cake. He is speechless.

"Shayera, I...thank you."

"You're welcome," answers Shayera, "I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for you inviting me today, and for being a friend when I needed one the most."

"Thanks so such much Shayera," smiles Flash, "I'll share a piece with you if you'd like."

"Sure."

"You know what?" says Flash, "I've noticed a change in you since we left the store. This might be a stupid question, but what made you start, enjoying yourself."

Shayera smiles, "Let's just say, I've discovered the true meaning of Christmas."

As the two friends reenter the party, Shayera thoughts go back to one little boy, and the words he said that pierced her heart.

I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please. It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size. Could you hurry, please, Daddy says there's not much time. You see she's been sick for quite a while. And I know these shoes would make her smile. And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

Merry Christmas everybody! May the love of our Savior touch each and everyone of you this Christmas season.

P.S. Be sure to check out my other Christmas fiction; "Christmastime".