The first Christmas they had away from Miss Minchin's was like a dream come true. Becky had never seen such a spread before. It was more extravagant than any of the imaginary feasts they'd had while they were living in the attic. She could see roast chicken, roast duck, smoked ham, crispy bacon, a big bowl of potatoes dripping with butter and spices, winter greens, roast pumpkin, peas, and gravy. "Miss!" Becky exclaimed as she clutched at Sara's arm. "Is this all for us?"
Sara laughed gently. "I also invited over some friends." She reached over and poured a cup of tea. "Milk?"
Becky's mouth fell open. "But miss, I should be serving you."
"It's Christmas, Becky. There are no masters and servants at Christmas." A dreamy look appeared in Sara's eyes. "So would you like some milk in your tea?"
"Yes, please." Becky clasped her hands together. She wanted to pinch herself to make sure that she wasn't dreaming, but that wasn't particularly becoming of a servant. Then again, Sara said that she wasn't one, not at Christmas. "And," she hesitated, "maybe a little bit of sugar?" Becky ducked her head and hoped that she wasn't too impertinent.
There was the little clink of the sugar cube against the cup. "One cup of tea, with a dash of milk and a cube of sugar," Sara announced as she handed the cup to Becky.
Gingerly, Becky cradled the cup and sipped the tea. It tasted wonderful. It was so much like a dream that she pinched herself to make sure that she was still awake. "Oh miss, this is wonderful," she breathed out.
Sara nodded. "It is wonderful, Becky."
"To think, miss, that last year..." Becky trailed off.
Sara laid a soft hand on her arm. "Try not to think about that. Think about this, the beautiful decorations, the wonderful food." She inhaled deeply.
Becky giggled. "You look almost like you're drinking it all in."
Sara smiled. "I am."