This is a little late I am sorry. For the last 6 years i have written a Christmas story trying to see if i could write a story about Christmas with a slightly different twist. I hope this one will be my best one yet. It was a story I very much enjoyed writing.
Arnold and Edna were sitting at their dining room table discussing the Christmas Holidays. This was to be their first Christmas in thirty-eight years that they hadn’t celebrated it with at least one child. Arnold and Edna were deep in a discussion of what to do in a holiday that they usually both loved as it was usually a holiday that they were surrounded by their children and grandchildren. Their children were so important to them. They loved and respected them. Whenever they were together there was love and laughter. They had five children. Two are boys or rather men now. They are the oldest of their children. Their three daughters always stress how that they are younger than their brothers. Their oldest son is thirty-seven years old and his brother is thirty-five. Their sisters are thirty-three, thirty-one and twenty five. Their youngest a daughter was a bit of a surprise when she made her presence known but she was a good surprise but a surprise none the less. She is just twenty-five years old. She is a girl who was born with enough energy for two girls and as an adult she always seems to be moving.
Thirty-eight Christmases thirty-eight years that was a lot of Christmases Edna thought. The years have just flown by. Where did the years go? Edna and Arnold have been madly in love for forty years. When they got married Arnold was twenty-three and she was just nineteen. When did she go from being young to old? Why had the years gone by so fast? It seemed like yesterday that they were newlyweds with their future so far ahead. Now they are in their golden years and they hardly feel ready for them. As they talked Arnold kept staring at his ever more beautiful wife and thought; how is it possible that I have grown so old while Edna still looks young and vibrant. I look old enough to be her father but man does Edna look good especially at fifty-nine years old. Her hair had become gray and she now had some lines on her face that she called her laugh lines but that made her more attractive to Arnold somehow. She was a bit heavier than when they first were married but actually Edna looked better with a few more pounds.
As they visited Edna looked back and thought that Arnold had a perfect and handsome head. Years ago when more and more of his hair disappeared he found it easier to shave the rest of it off and man did that make him look distinguished to Edna. Arnold took care of himself so well. He exercised four days per week, running in warmer weather and Nordic skiing when it was cold enough for snow to be on the ground. Edna thought he looked extraordinarily handsome for a man of sixty-two. Sure he had put on a few pounds since their wedding but that was because he had bulked up since their wedding. Edna loved to remind him that she thought that he was the handsomest man she had ever known. He was in such good shape that he had decided to postpone selling his plumbing business for five or six more years.
Arnold and Edna had a close family. Their children called, emailed and sometimes skyped their parents at least twice per week. Unfortunately none of their children live close to them. None of them had lived at home since high school. The two boys had learned the plumbing business from their father as little boys. By the time their second son had completed high school they both had their contractor’s license. They both liked to snow ski so they moved fifteen hundred miles west to where the skiing was legendary and opened a thriving plumbing/building business together. The girls all went to the same college. Their oldest daughter fell in love and married a man who lived two hundred miles from their parents’ home. Their next daughter also fell in love while in college and married the man she fell in love with a month after she graduated. They made their home in the town the college was in. This town was six hundred miles from where their daughter grew up. Their youngest daughter was still single with a high paying jet setting job. In just three years since she graduated from college she lived in three high energy cities, New York, London and Paris.
A week before Christmas Arnold got a call from his second son who told him that he and his brother were taking their families on a ski vacation in Switzerland for Christmas. When his son told Arnold the cost of the two week vacation Arnold told him that he couldn’t pass up that kind of a deal. The ski trip would be a once in a life time experience. When Arnold told Edna about their boys’ plans she was understandably unhappy. She wondered why they had to go during Christmas time, why couldn’t they go in January or February, after all Christmas was family time. Arnold told her that on a deal like that you had to take it when it became available. “I know but Christmas time is family time for me,” Edna said. Arnold held her close.
A week after Christmas Their youngest daughter called Edna and said, “Mama I have had such a wonderful year again. Guess what? I have been invited to spend Christmas with Arab royalty in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emerits. Mama you are OK with that aren’t you? Edna sighed……………… Her daughter said,” Oh mama I simply can't pass this up. It's an opportunity of a life time.” Edna sighed again and said, “I know honey but its Christmas and we have always been together at Christmas time.” Edna sighed again. Her daughter said, “Mama I promise I will make it up to you.” Edna said, “ I know you will. Have a good time but be careful.” Edna told her husband about her daughter’s plans and Arnold said, “But it’s Christmas time, she is my baby girl and we are always together for Christmas.” Edna held him close.
Two days later their second daughter called Edna and said, “We just found out that my husband will be away on a business trip until December 27th. We won’t be able to come home until the twenty-eight. I am just too afraid to drive very far in the winter since I totaled my car on black ice last year. We can’t come home until the 28th.” Edna said, “Can’t Daddy and I come and bring you home?” Her daughter said, “My husband has been away so much this year that I would rather wait for him. I really want to be here for him when he comes home . Edna sighed and said, “Your family has to come first but it’s just that it’s Christmas time and we are always together for Christmas.” She sighed again. Her daughter said, “To make up for not being there for Christmas we will stay till after New Years. We will make it up to you I promise.” Edna said, “I know you will dear. As Edna got off of the telephone Arnold said, “Let me guess Daughter number two won’t be home for Christmas?”Edna sighed and said, it’s not Christmas without our children.” “I know,” Arnold said and he held Edna close.”
That evening Arnold got a call from his oldest daughter. She said, “Daddy I have been asked to work over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the hospital.I will get triple time for twenty four hours of work. This will pay so many bills and help us really get on our feet. Daddy, should I work those hours? I mean it will mean that we can't be home for Christmas but it will help us out so much.“ Arnold sighed and said, “It seems to me you have no choice honey, you have to work those hours but it is going to be hard on Mama. Well it’s going to be hard on me too. Christmas is not Christmas without our family.” His daughter said, “I know I feel the same way daddy. This is really hard for me. That's why i called you to ask your advice." A little while later Arnold told Edna about the telephone call he had with their oldest daughter. He reached out to her and they both said, “Christmas is not Christmas without our children.
End Of Part I