The Miracle at the Christmas Inn

                                                                Suzanne Marsh


               “Eva, ve are in trouble, dos books say ve haft no money left. Ve will have to close the Inn right after Christmas. Ve haf one reservation and ninety rooms. Dis is not goot.” Eva, her long brown hair streaked with gray, took Johann’s hand in hers:

               “Johann, I haf known for weeks now that the Inn vas in trouble. Dis is nothing new,

                This happens every vinter. Come, please don’t vorry, ve vill be fine, we must have


Johann, took Eva’s hand and attempted to smile reassuringly but he wasn’t reassured. The Christmas Inn located high in the White Face Mountains, of New Hampshire spewing with old world charm. Johann and Eva settled there and bought the Christmas Inn fifteen years before. Now the Great Depression had taken their last hope of making the Inn work. They had come from Betzenstein. Bavaria Germany, where they owned a small Inn. 

               Johann, hated to be a realist but with Eva he had to be, even pessimistic filled the bill at this point. Eva was his sunshine in a very dark and gloomy mind. He wanted to make the Christmas Inn work. He tramped out into the brisk cold snow and began hauling in fire wood. The lobby of the Christmas Inn had a huge brick fireplace, they heated most of the downstairs room with it. Johann decided a good fire would warm them both. 

               Johann began to think of their son Werner, he wondered where he would be this Christmas. He hoped he would be home but somehow the United States Marine Corp always managed to send him somewhere else. He longed to see his son, their only child. Johann also worried about the war that seemed to be looming in Germany. He thought of his sister and brother and prayed that this Hitler did not make things worse for Germany. He had listened to several of Hitler’s speeches, the man scared him. If the United States became involved in the war, there was no doubt that Werner would be shipped over to Germany to fight his relatives. None of this boded well, on that cold December 24th, 1940.

               Late that night, the phone rang in the lobby of the Christmas Inn:

               “Hello, may I please speak to Johann von Albrecht?”

Johann was stunned to hear anyone use his complete and correct name:

               “Ja, dis ess Johann vant can I do for you?”

The voice on the other end replied:

               “We are planning maneuvers in the mountains and need at least eighty rooms. Can

                You accommodate us?”

Johann felt the color draining from his face. The upstairs rooms did not have much heat, the furnace was in bad shape, but if things worked out; they would have the money to repair the furnace and bring in more business. 

               “Yes, sir ve can accommodate you. Vhen can ve expect you?”

The baritone voice replied:

               “Late tonight. Please leave the lights off, we are going to be on maneuvers and would prefer

                No on know we are there.”

Johann, now attempting to keep from sounding giddy:

               “It vill be as you vish. Thank you, sir, for allowing us to be of service.”

Johann hung up the phone and began yelling for Eva to come. He explained that there were going to be military guests for the Christmas week. The need for speed in preparing eighty rooms seemed insurmountable. Eva questioned him on what branch of service, he told her he got so excited he forgot to ask.

               Later that evening just after dusk, they heard rumbling it felt as if the entire Inn would shake free of its foundation. Johann, grasped Eva’s hand as they ran toward the front door of the Inn, there in moonlight, they saw several tanks, followed by an entire company of United States Marines. Then one marine broke rank and ran to his parents, Johann’s silent prayer had been answered.

               “Papa, I have permission from the Colonel to stay here along with most of the rest of the

                Company. Papa, we are preparing for war with Germany. I, know this is not what you

                Want to hear but it is coming.”

               Werner clasped his father to him as his mother stood waiting for her embrace. Shortly afterward, Colonel Mark McCoy arrived. He smiled as he arrived. Werner, saluted:

               “Colonel Mc Coy these are my parents Johann and Eva. Momma, Papa this is Colonel


Colonel James McCoy shook Johann’s hand and thanked him for accommodating most of his company for several nights. Johann and Eva led the way into the lovely Christmas Inn. Steins lined the fire place mantel. The Colonel admire them as he walked through the lobby. Werner, Johann learned was the Colonel’s aide. The Colonel conferred with Werner who informed his Papa that he was a Captain in the Marine Corp. This news stunned Johann but it also pleased him to know that his son was doing well, even thought Werner was not much of a letter writer.

               Johann watched the next morning as they left for maneuvers. The White Face Mountains, were glorious this time of the year, snow was in abundance and hiking up the mountains was a slow process. The men had snow shoes that most were learning to use for the first time. Johann worried that so many of those young men would lose their lives if Hitler invaded France or the war with Great Britain escalated. 

               The money that the men had collected for their stay paid for a new furnace. More importantly it gave Johann and Eva the opportunity to maintain the Christmas Inn. The Christmas of 1946 peace was finally attained. That was the first year the Christmas roses bloomed on the cold frozen ground, Werner thought it was a good omen, finally after retiring from the Marine Corp, Werner took over the Christmas Inn. The motto of the Inn: Peace on earth.

December 27, 2019 20:04

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