For today’s Solstice Blog Hop post, I thought I would share a holiday story I wrote a couple of years ago. I hope you enjoy! 🙂 Don’t forget to check out the other awesome bloggers participating in the hop at the image below. And don’t forget to enter my giveaway in celebration of the hop! There are lots of chances to win! 🙂 One prize each will be awarded!
The holidays were always a chaotic time for the Phillips family–there were parties to attend and host all across their little section of New York. Add in all the shopping and cooking and Sarah had begun to see it as more of a chore than anything else. It became even worse once the kids started making their own plans. Sarah and her husband saw no reason to stop them–they were both almost out of High School and would be leaving to attend college soon anyway.
Sarah was an interior designer who lived for her work. She decorated the house for the season with a large tree full of lights, garland and colorful ornaments. Around the living room, she set out their Christmas pictures in the special holiday-themed frames. On one table, she created an elaborate winter scene with different ceramic figurines. She also set out some diffusers with pine and other holiday scents in it. It was beautiful, but she hadn’t done so to enjoy the vibe they created. She just wanted to take pictures so her clients could see what she could do.
Lucky for her she married Robert, a business man equally obsessed with advancing career-wise. Together they had raised two over-achieving kids who also managed to join every club humanly possible at school. Christmas morning, the whole family was up at the crack of dawn to prepare for the big day. Robert was going to spend the morning at the office while Sarah would be meeting with a client before picking up a quick dinner on the way home. The kids, meanwhile, had been invited to some Christmas parties and they raced through the house in the haste to get going.
The youngest, Kathy, opened her bedroom curtain to see a huge blanket of white outside with more coming down with no end in sight and her expression turned sour . “Ugh!” She never did like snow much, especially when it could end up interfering with her plans. Kathy ran downstairs to turn on the TV and see what the weather report had to say about it. By the time she got there, the rest of her family was already gathered around the set with annoyed expressions. Her brother, Sam, was already complaining about not being able to go to his party. “Is it that bad?”
Her father looked up from the TV, nodding. “No one’s going anywhere today. And I really wanted to get those contracts nailed down.”
“I better call my client to reschedule our meeting… this is going to throw the whole project off schedule,” Sarah complained as she picked up her cell phone. “Kids, why don’t you go into the kitchen and see what we’re going to have for dinner later?” They were going to have to come up with something now that her take out idea was a no-go as well.
“All right, Mom.” Sam and Kathy hurried into the kitchen. They spent the next 20 minutes arguing over whether they were going to eat the frozen pizza like Sam wanted or the lasagna like Kathy wanted.
“What’s going on in here?” Mr. Phillips opened the door, wanting to see what the fuss was about.
“He won’t let me co–,“ Kathy began
“We had lasagna a week ago, I want–,“ Sam interrupted.
“ENOUGH!” Mr. Phillips rubbed his temple and closed his eyes. The arguments between the children got worse each year. “Ok, I’m going to break the tie and I vote for Pizza, okay? End of discussion.”
As he turned to walk out the door, Sam shot a gloating look Kathy’s way. She glared at him, but she didn’t dare say a word. Not with her dad in earshot anyway–that could lead to lectures and lost computers. She’d just have to get Sam back later.
The group returned to the living room where Mrs. Phillips was hanging up the phone, having rescheduled her meeting. “So what did we decide?”
“Pizza,” Robert replied. The look on his face warned them not to even think about opening up a debate again.
With that all settled, Kathy took her cell phone out to text a friend and Sam signed on the computer to check his fantasy teams. Mrs. Phillips went upstairs to find her sample book while Mr. Phillips retreated to his office to go over a few documents. Within minutes the house was plunged into darkness.
“Awe, man! I almost had my team set! I’m so going to lose this week!” Sam’s disappointed cry carried through the house.
“Too bad,” Kathy teased, “my phone’s working fine.”
Suddenly, Sam jumped up and tried to grab it from her hands. She just barely dodged him, almost bumping into her father in the process.
“What now?” Mr. Phillips mentally cursed the meteorologist again for their current situation, even though he knew it was ridiculous to do so.
“Sam tried to steal my phone!”
“Did not, I just wanted to borrow it a second to fix my roster!” Sam’s eyes flashed, his arms crossed.
“What is all that racket?” Mrs. Phillips walked into the room with some candles in tow. She handed them to her husband, raising an eyebrow at the kids while waiting for them to explain themselves.
“Never mind,” they mumbled, both sitting down on opposite ends of the couch.
“That’s better.” Mrs. Phillips sat down in a chair across from them while her husband lit the candles and put them on the table.
The whole family sat there in awkward silence for several minutes. They almost didn’t know what to do with themselves if they weren’t rushing around to get ready to go somewhere. Finally, Sarah couldn’t stand the silence anymore and suggested they play one of the old games that were tucked away in the closet. The kids groaned at the suggestion.
“Why not?” Mr. Phillips got up, taking one of the candles with him to light his way to the closet. “Sam, would you come help me carry them please?”
“All right, Dad.” He made a face as he followed his father, but kept his mouth shut. Mr. Phillips handed the candle to his son while he pulled a few games down from the shelf. They both returned to the living room and set the games down on the floor. After several minutes of debate, they decided to start with Monopoly because the game would last longer than the others. The tokens led to another pretty lengthy argument where both kids wanted to take the car. Once everyone’s tokens were selected, the dice rolls began. Kathy smiled smugly at her brother when she ended up winning the right to go first.
A couple hours later, they were all laughing as they started talking about past Christmases for lack of much else to talk about. “Remember that time we snuck downstairs to get a peek at some of the presents and we heard that noise?”
“Do I! You practically jumped a foot in the air before you almost knocked me over trying to get upstairs!” It’d actually been their old dog trying to get into the trash can; Kathy’s cheeks reddened from the memory.
“So that’s what you two were up to when I caught you sneaking back into bed. I thought you might’ve, but nothing had been touched.” Mrs. Phillips shook her head as a smile tugged at her features.
“How about that Christmas pageant a few years ago? They were great… why don’t you two do shows like that anymore?”
“Dad, we’re too old for that stuff” complained Sam. “Those costumes were so embarrassing!”
“It was kind of fun, though,” Kathy mused. “You were just upset you didn’t get the lead part!”
“Well, I was better but the costumes were terrible. The guys didn’t let me hear the end of it!” Sam crossed his arms and nodded.
Finally, just as they were about to start their second game of Uno the power came back on, the sound of a show they all hated filled the room. Mr. Phillips reached for the remote, considering changing the channel. He looked over at Mrs. Phillips a moment before shutting the TV off all together. Instead of getting up and leaving, the kids stayed put. Kathy suggested some hot chocloate.
“That sounds good,” Mr. Phillips agreed. “How about making some extra?”
“All right.” She looked over at Sam. “Would you like some too?”
“Hey Mom, can we make some of those cookies you used to make every year?” Kathy licked her lips at the mention of gingerbread men her mother was a master of.
“Why not?” They both headed into the kitchen while Mr. Phillips and Sam blew out the candles and started putting away a few of the games. On the way back to the living room, Mr. Phillips took an old Christmas record out on impulse and put it on. ‘Twas the season….