“Special Delivery” by Susan Page Davis

Steam Train

Benjy traveled on a steam train.

Hello from Susan Page Davis! I love Christmas and Christmas stories, and it’s a special honor to have a story in A Cup of Christmas Cheer again this year. I’ll take you back once more to New England, a hundred years ago.

The setting:
“Special Delivery” takes place in Maine, in December 1913.

Benjy’s aunt and uncle can’t afford to buy a ticket at a window like this.

The story:
Benjy’s aunt and uncle can’t afford a train ticket to send him to Bangor to spend Christmas with his grandparents and sisters. But Benjy sees a sign for the new Parcel Post service and asks why he can’t ride for the lower rate. His weight is low enough, but the railroad postman is uneasy. What will his boss say if he sees Benjy in the mail car with stamps stuck to his jacket?

The inspiration:
My grandfather was a rural mail carrier. In his younger days, he spent some time working on a railroad post office car, much like the one I describe in “Special Delivery.” I didn’t trust my memory on the details of things Grandpa told me, so I had to research the railroad post office cars, to see how they worked. If you’d like, you can watch a video of a mail hook snatching a full pouch of letters by clicking this link.

Benjy rides in a mail car similar to this one.

The takeaway:
I hope readers will catch the Christmas spirit from reading this story. For everyone who has longed to be home for the holidays or helped someone else have a better Christmas, this story is for you.

Christmas traditions:
My family used to have a Cheap Skate Award. When we five children married and began to gather each year at my parents’ home with our children along, we had quite a crowd. No one could afford to buy gifts for everyone. My generation—the ten of us, counting spouses—had a gifting competition. We drew names. Whoever could buy best gift for the least amount of money won the prize. The judge was my father, who also created the trophy: an antique ice skate (the kind that clamped onto the bottom of a boot) adorned with festive greenery. This was the Cheap Skate. The winner got to keep and display it for the next year.

Your turn:
Have you ever been a cheapskate in your gifting? What’s the best gift you were able to give someone for a small outlay of cash?

My giveaway!

Virgin & Child StampChristmas Cheer Volume 3

So that you can send more Christmas Cheer this year,
I’m giving away a book of 20 Virgin & Child Christmas stamps and a copy of
A Cup of Christmas Cheer, Volume Three: Heartwarming Tales of Christmas Past,
containing my story, “Special Delivery.”

Click this link to be taken to the Rafflecopter drawing.
Once there, follow the directions to enter.

The drawing for this giveaway will be held Nov. 17.

Congratulations to Vera G., winner of the giveaway.

For your protection, do not include personal information in a comment.

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Check out our Giveaways page to learn about our other fun giveaways.

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Susan Page DavisThe storyteller:

Susan Page Davis is the author of more than 50 novels and novellas in the historical romance, mystery, and suspense genres. She is the mother of six and grandmother of nine. A Maine native, she now lives in western Kentucky with her husband, Jim. Visit her website at: www.susanpagedavis.com

Click on train images to go to the source files in Wikimedia Commons.