When it gets cold, Francie enrolls in sewing and ballroom dancing classes. Meanwhile, Mary Rommely, who is eighty-five, prepares for her death. As Christmas approaches, Katie has the idea of pooling their money to buy a roast chicken, a big bakery cake, and a pound of good coffee instead of gifts. When Francie protests because they have enough money to buy food and gifts, Katie says that she wants to give their Christmas money to the Tynmores, who are struggling. Francie agrees, though not enthusiastically.
Katie hasn’t forgotten the great favor that Lizzie Tynmore did for her family by exposing her children to music for a fraction of the cost that she could have charged. To repay the Tynmores’ kindness, and the invaluable lessons that Lizzie provides, she wants to provide them with funds in return. Francie looks forward to a bountiful Christmas and doesn’t yet have the maturity to think beyond her own needs.