by Carolyn Irby
Little Carolyn lives in a world which may seem, by contemporary standards, lost to us. Her Pa and Ma, along with little brother Jimmy and Old Pa, her beloved but sickly grandpa, live together in their simple home, surrounded by little more than their devotion and affection for one another.
It is nearing Christmas, and Old Pa, fighting his troubling cough, goes to work for Mr. Tinsley, the penny-pinching, grumpy, old man who owns Tinsley’s Tree Market. Old Pa’s eye is set on a four-foot Christmas tree he wants to get for his darling granddaughter, Carolyn, who has never had a tree at Christmas.
After all of Old Pa’s work, however, mean Mr. Tinsley will give him only a little two-inch tree. But when Old Pa arrives home with the tiny tree in the trunk of his old, beat-up car, Carolyn dances with joy.
That night after the family is in bed, Carolyn tiptoes downstairs to admire her beautiful, little tree. She speaks gently to it, telling her delicate, little Christmas tree of her wishes for her family’s long life together, for Old Pa’s health, for a Christmas turkey with all the fixings. In the morning, the family rushes downstairs to the surprise and delight of a Christmas they have never yet known.
In The Magic Christmas Tree, Carolyn Irby captures the wonder of a young child’s faith, through which Christmas is reborn – for Carolyn and her family, for us all.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn Irby is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, where she is an active member of Big Sisters and Partners for Youth, an organization for disabled children. Carolyn is self-employed with Starbird Gift Items, practicing her skills in ceramics, dress designing, sketching, watercolors, oil and acrylic painting, doll making, musical pillows, and handmade music boxes. She is also an inventor and has six inventions of the internet.
In addition to her varied philanthropic efforts and business pursuits, Carolyn has worked in films ad theater. She also has performed as vocalist at the Boutwell Music Hall in Birmingham and with the Very Special Arts at the John F. Kennedy Center. She has received a second-place award in the Writer’s Digest horror story contest; and a first-place award for poetry and third-place award for oil painting with the Malden Artist’s Guild.
Her studies include the K.M. School of Acting, the John Robert Powers School, and the School of Museum Fine Arts, all in Boston, Massachusetts; and the Institute of Children’s Literature in West Redding, Connecticut. Ms. Irby also has completed a correspondence course in clothing design. In her spare time, she enjoys karaoke, playing the electric organ, boating and snow skiing.
(2000, paperback, 8 pages)