Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Thursday, December 25, 2003 Home for Christmas
So, last Christmas I said something about a Christmas story for this year. I say a lot of things that I never follow up on. This isn't one of them, however.
See, every other year I write a Christmas-related short story for my wife. They have varied widely in quality, but they're always Christmas-themed. Here's this year's.
* * *
"Home for Christmas"
It was already dark by the time Jennifer got home. Not unusual at this time of night, this time of year. What was unusual was the house as she approached it; the dazzling array of lights illuminated the front yard and made the rest of the houses on the block almost literally invisible by comparison.
Bemused, she let herself in, her shoulder brushing against the wreath hanging from the front door. She dropped her bag at her feet.
Bing Crosby's voice flowed like honey from the stereo speakers: "I'll be home for Christmas...You can plan on me..."
Even without that perfectly-timed lyric, Jennifer would have smiled upon seeing the inside of the house. More strings of lights hung from the ceiling, and fragrant candles filled the space with the aromas of pumpkin pie, eggnog, nutmeg, cinnamon, and Douglas fir. Or perhaps that last one was coming from the actual Douglas fir standing in the corner. The tree was perfectly shaped, beautifully trimmed, and an ideal illustration of why people say things are lit up like a Christmas tree. Underneath it was a pile of colorfully wrapped presents. About half of them were ones that Jennifer had wrapped herself. Looking at them, she was glad she hadn't waited until the last minute.
Dave appeared out of the kitchen and kissed her. He kissed her a long time.
"You're home early," he finally said.
"Not exactly," she answered.
"You know what I mean."
He was still holding her.
"So would you like eggnog, hot cider, mulled wine? They're all ready."
She laughed. "Eggnog, please."
"Coming right up." He reluctantly released her and scurried into the kitchen. She wandered over to where their stockings were hanging. Both were stuffed full, although hers had been all but empty when she'd left. Apparently he'd made good use of her absence. She picked up all the snow globes and shook them, one by one, and watched them all settle at the same time. The Bing Crosby song drew to an end.
"I'll be home for Christmas...if only in my dreams."
Dave reappeared with a tray holding half a dozen steaming mugs. "I didn't want to leave again when you wanted something else to drink," he confessed. He set the tray on the coffee table, then got them each a cup of eggnog. The sat on the couch and clinked glasses.
"Merry Christmas," Jennifer said.
"Welcome home," Dave said.
"I can't believe the way the house looks," Jennifer said.
"It looks like Christmas Eve," Dave said. "It looks like the night you had to go."
"Dave, that was eight months ago."
"But you kept everything out."
"And no way is that the same tree."
"No, it dried out. I had to buy a new one and decorate it again."
"How many times?"
"About once a month. They kept turning yellow on me and I didn't know when you might be getting your leave."
"How did you hang all the ornaments back up without me here to keep you from clumping them all together?"
"I took pictures."
Jennifer looked around in amazement. All the light in the room was coming from either candles or tiny Christmas bulbs, but she could still see the tears in his eyes.
"Christmas doesn't happen without you," he said.
"It's good to be home," she said.
"Merry Christmas," he said, and she kissed him.
When she was done, he said, "Let's open our presents. Then we can do your birthday."
* * *
"I'll Be Home for Christmas" music by Walter Kent, lyrics by Kim Gannon and Buck Ram. All lyrics are the property and copyright of their respective owners. All lyrics are provided for educational purposes and personal use only. posted by M. Giant 9:41 AM 0 comments