She took a little vessel of holy water from the door-jamb and sprinkled everything in the room, especially her husband. He stared at her grumpily and refused to stir.

“He doesn’t even make the sign of the cross when he is sprinkled with holy water!”

She rushed to the kitchen, returned with a basin of glowing embers, sprinkled incense over it and carried it around, according to the old Christmas custom, close to the table, to the bed and, finally, to her husband, whose nostrils the incense attacked so vehemently that he began to curse and opened a window.

He opened the window just in time. From the road, over the whistling of the wind, came excited voices. The wind had done a good deal of damage in the village. The Widow Cenzi’s roof had been torn off….

A pious wife is horrified when her husband opts to fix a neighbor’s roof instead of going to church on Christmas Eve. Read the story.