The final chords of a Bing Crosby Christmas tune could be heard
coming from the record player in the living room. The vinyl record
skipped as it came to the end. The whole house smelled on
gingerbread, vanilla, and pine. Bright red CANDLES burned on the
fireplace mantle. Shiny ornaments hang on the tree, while fresh pine
NEEDLES had fallen on the brightly wrapped packages, which lay
A small boy sat on a sofa, staring outside the window, watching
snowflakes fall to the ground. He sat there watching, waiting. He
sighed heavily as he sank back further into the sofa, feeling a dull
ache in the pit of his stomach.
He could hear his grandmother on the telephone in the kitchen. "I
wish I know what to do for the boy. He seems so sad—"
The boy turned to his attention back to watching the snowfall, no
longer interested in his grandmother's conversation. Outside the
weather was getting colder and he shivered.
Marie had just finished making EGG NOG, then putting a pumpkin pie
into the oven; she pulled off her festive patterned apron with
winterberries, holly and MISTLETOE, hanging it on the hook behind the
kitchen door. Leaving the kitchen, she saw her grandson sitting in
the sofa in front of the window watching the snow falling. She went
over and sat next to him, patting him on the knee.
"Lee, what's wrong?" she asked trying to hand him a CANDY CANE. She
soon gave up, putting it back into her pocket. Lee seemed not to hear
or see her. He was too engrossed in the falling snow. She turned
her attention to the winter scene outside the window, too. The
moonlight reflected off the now SNOW covered streets. Everything was
quiet—maybe too quiet.
"It's beautiful outside," she whispered several minutes later,
looking over at him.
He nodded his head. "Yes," he finally replied, breaking his silence.
Lee continued staring out the window watching, as the flakes got
"It's Christmas Eve. Any idea which present you're going to UNWRAP
first?" she asked him.
He looked up at her and shook his head.
"Me either," she replied. She then unfolded a blanket from the back
of the sofa, and covered them both. He snuggled up to her. "Lee, I
know you're lonely, but things will get better, you'll see." She
paused for a moment before continuing, "How about you come into the
kitchen and help me make some COOKIES?"
Lee reached up, taking his grandmother's hand and after they both
stood up, she led him into the kitchen.
He sat on his knees on a chair at the kitchen table, mixing a bowl of
cookie dough. His grandmother opened a bag of CHOCOLATE chips and he
poured them into the mix, continuing to stir the dough. Then his
grandmother lay a cookie sheet down in front of him. "Now only a
spoon full—will do it." He scoped up a spoon full of dough placing it
on the sheet. "That a boy, Lee. Keep doing it like that," she said,
then going to the oven she checked on the pie.
A gust of wind blew through the kitchen as the front door
opened. "Daddy's home," Lee heard as he turned around to see his mom
and dad enter the living room. He hoped off the chair and ran over to
his dad, who tossed him into the air.
His grandmother came into the living room, taking Jennie's coat,
brushing off the snow. "I'm so glad; you were able to make it home
for Christmas. Lee has been pretty lonely without you."
"I missed you daddy," Lee said putting his arms around his dad's
"I missed you; too, buddy and I hope we're never separated on
"I sincerely hope you mean that, Matt," Marie told him. "I think it's
time you and Jennie think of retiring—for Lee's sake. He misses you
two when you are gone."
"Mother, that's emotional BLACKMAIL." She gave him a stern
look. "We'll talk about it, okay?"
"That's all I ask." She patted his cheek, then heading off towards
the dining room she asked, "Now who's ready for dinner?"
Matt still carrying Lee, smiled as he put his arm around Jennie's
shoulder and they all followed grandmother into the dining room for
Christmas Eve dinner.
The Challenge: To write a holiday, festive or seasonal story using at LEAST TEN of the following: MISTLETOE, ORNAMENT, UNWRAP, ELVES, COOKIES, EGG NOG, BAH HUMBUG, CHOCOLATE, SLEIGH, TEDDY, BOXERS, CANDLES, NEEDLES, BLACKMAIL, GLITTER, SNOW, RIDE, POLE, RUM PUNCH, CANDY CANE.