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A CHRISTMAS STORY 5 months 4 weeks ago #3119261

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A Christmas Story

On a quiet Christmas Eve in her small dark room she sat silently alone thinking of long distant memories of Christmas’s gone by shared with her family that she no longer saw. With only the sound of a ticking clock on a nearby shelf reminding her the evening was soon slipping by, she glanced at her still muted phone hoping for a call to brighten her long lonely life.

Drifting off into a restless sleep, she dreams of when she was a little girl running down the stairs on Christmas morning excited at the thought of the colourful wrapped presents awaiting her that Father Christmas had left. Of seeing her parents warm smiling faces as they glowed with glee as they watched her eyes open wide with wonder at the delights they had bought and laid out before her.

Within a fleeting moment she wakes realising her cold reality once more of the darkness around her with only the lamplight flickering through her curtain. Her eyes fill with sadness at the thought of all that once was before closing them again to re-live her happy memories.

An image surfaces of her darling husband when they first met in that crowded Christmas after work party fifty years ago, when he greeted her with a simple hello with a glint in his eyes as he gave her his hand to share a slow dance. She reminisces with much fondness the closeness she felt as she looked up at his smiling face as he held her in his arms making her feel safe and secure, and of the happiness from that moment on they shared together for so many years after.

Once more she opens her eyes as a tear begins to fall over her wrinkled cheek. The years have flown by and all has long since been lost. Not even her family stayed close, only sending Christmas cards that sat upright on her mantelpiece wishing her a “Merry Christmas” with apologies for not being able to be there to share Christmas with her.

Closing her eyes again to escape her longing, she thinks back to when her 3 grown up children were young when together with her long since deceased loving husband they had a large Christmas tree covered in baubles that sparkled between the chocolate novelties that her children tried to fight over as the presents laid strewn all around the trees base. She replays her stored images of her happy children’s faces as they tore the wrapping off their presents, impatient to discover what treasures lay beneath, and when all was uncovered, how they all sat together pulling their Christmas crackers, wearing their hats, talking and laughing over Christmas dinner.

But those days were so long ago. Her children were much older now and future Christmas’s were never the same once they’d all married and emigrated away to spend Christmas’s with their own children that they too spoiled every year without their lonely Mum and Gran so many miles away.
She opens her eyes and the tears start to flow as she takes hold of her tissue to wipe her softly grained and lined cheeks. How she wished her beloved husband was still with her. How she wished she could feel his arms wrapped around her once more as they kissed under the mistletoe as they once did when first together.

Then suddenly out of the blue, setting off a little trepidation and fear within her, she hears the front doorbell ring. She tries to dry her eyes as she gazes through her window to see who is disturbing her on this cold dark wintry night. She stares with amazement when she realises it’s her eldest son. But how? How could he be here when he was in Australia with his family?…or so she thought. She opens her front door with bewilderment as the snowflakes gently fall and settle on her sons shoulders. She still can’t believe he’s standing there, right in front of her. His smiling face, how happy she felt to see him.

He gives her his hand but she steps past it to give him the most affectionate hug that she could muster as he stood there smiling with shock written all over his face. He beckons her to a taxi that waits snow-covered by the roadside as together arm in arm they walk towards it. She doesn’t even ask where they’re going. She doesn’t care, she just feels so happy and elated to see her son after so many long lonely years. As the taxi drives off into the darkness through the snow laden roads and hedges, they talk of long distant memories they shared but still she dare not ask where he’s taking her as she still can’t believe that he is actually sitting there beside her.

Eventually after a long drive that felt so short, the taxi arrives at a hotel where she presumes he must be staying for a short visit. They step out of the taxi and walk to the lit entrance surrounded by Christmas lights that shine brightly through the falling snow. As her son takes her by her hand, together they walk into the foyer when suddenly a small child runs up to her shouting “Gran!” With astonishment she bends down to grab hold of her grandson and as she does so she looks up with tears in her eyes as she finds herself confronted by her whole family. Yes, her whole family who had all flown in from abroad with their children, with gifts in hand and so many hugs to give and share. She is now totally overcome and consumed with emotion as her tears flowed as streams like never before releasing so much stored hurt and pain in an instant beyond her wildest dreams.

It was the Happiest Christmas she could ever remember as they shared not only Christmas Day but the whole week together eating, drinking and laughing as she caught up on all their stories. For her, in that Christmas she would never forget, it wasn’t their presents they had bought for her that made her Christmas so special; it was simply being with all her family once more, absorbed in each others love after so long they once again shared.

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