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Once upon a Christmas Story

03.12.01 @ 14:21
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December Lip Service

For most of us, the holidays are coming up. Although this is supposed to be a jolly time, we all know it can also be a stressful one. What about the holidays are you looking forward to? What parts do you wish you could skip? ~Contributed by CrankyDragon

Once upon a time there was a little girl who really loved Christmas. She loved the trees and the presents and most of all she looked forward to leaving treats for Santa and his Reindeer who always managed to come just after she would fall asleep no matter how much she tried to wait up. This little girl was so eager for Christmas, she was ready to put the tree up as soon as Thanksgiving dinner was over, but her parents always made her wait. While she was at school, they would put up the tree, and when she came home she would do all the decorations, later she had help from her younger brother. Christmas was a time of extra shopping, of baking, of treats in school and teachers being relaxed. It was a time when she could show others just how much she loved them, and when she felt especially loved.

Some of this little girls favorite Christmas memories included baking and more importantly decoating cookies in the kitchen with her mom while listening to Christmas carols or watching some sappy Christmas special on TV. She especially enjoyed Christmas vaction when there would be lots of time for sledding and snow fort building and most importantly no school.

But slowly these warm fuzzy memories began to disapear as other more darker memories took their place. The first time this happened the little girl was only three years old. This little girl up until now, had the wonderful honor of being not only the only child, but of also being almost the only grandchild, as her cousins all lived very far away. One day the little girl noticed her parents were very upset, and she didn't know why. Christmas was comming soon and everyone should be happy. She heard the grownups talking about what they were going to do with Gramma and about making arrangements. She didn't understand any of this. Wasnt' Grandpa going to come home and take care of Gramma and play with her like always. A few days later, she remembers lots of grownup comming and lots of food and many trips to Gramma and Grampas house except Grampa was not their anymore and this puzzled the little girl. Gramma was no longer fun playtime Gramma and everyone looked very grumpy. Then after all the grownups had left again the little girl had lots of questions but no one seemed to want to answer her. "Go play" they would tell her. Or "Grampas in Heavan now" she would hear. That Christmas the little girl pretended to have a good time, just like Mommy and Daddy did..

A few months later the little girl became a big sister. But something was wrong again. Little brother couldnt' come home from the hospital. There was talk with lots of big funny words like Jaundice and incubator, and neurological somethings or other, but none of this made any sense. Soon the Little brother did come home, but now Mommy and Daddy always seemed to be in bad moods, and Mommy never wanted to play anymore. Grandpa always seemed to have time to play, but now the little girl never got to see Grampa anymore. There were still trips to visit Gramma but Grammas wasn't fun playful Gramma anymore. Gramma lived in a icky tiny place, that smelled funny and didn't like loud little kids.

Time went on and the little girl and her little brother got older. Christmas had fun times again. Especially going to Midnite Mass as it was the only night of the year the little girl and her Little Brother got to stay up late, and there were always lots of pretty Christmas Decorations. Christmas had become a fun and happy holiday again. Then one year when the little girl was 10, another dark memory intruded. Gramma had started being very sick around Thanksgiving. By December Gramma was in the hospital and the little girl didnt' even get to see her anymore at all. The little girl still loved her Gramma even though by now Gramma no longer knew who she was , or a lot of times it seemed even what year it was. Then one day about a week before Christmas, Daddy came home from visting Gramma and looked very upset. He and Mommy talked a long time in the kitchen. Then Mommy called the little girl in to the kitchen. "You know about death don't you?" Was the only thing Mommy said. And the little girl knew that Gramma had gone to join Grampa. Christmas that year was not too bad, but it wasn't as fun. There wasn't the cookie decorating and the Midnite Mass. Santa still came,but it wasnt' the same. The little girl was sad inside but she hid it well, but playing tag and hide and seek with her cousin at the funeral reception .

Time like it always does continued to march on forward. The little girl eventually grew up. There were many Christmases and most of them were actually good Christmases. There were presents and decoration and baking and Midnite Mass. Christmas vacation became a time of snowmobiliing and trips to the mall for shopping. The little girl had grown up enough to start making her own money to buy presents and such. Christmas shopping became on of her favorite activities again, along with baking cookies and decorating. And every Christmas Eve Midnite Mass was still a family tradition.

The little girl continued to grow up. Eventually she met someone she thought would make her happy. Then the little girl became a Mommy. Then one December day the little girl was on the phone with her mom and she got more bad news. Daddy's best friend whom she had known since as long as she could remember, went to bed one night and never woke up. The girl who was no longer little could feel dark spaces filling up again. Daddy's friend was only 55 years old.

Then another December the girl got another sad call from her mother. Her cousin, the first born son of her Daddy's oldest sister was in the hospital.. He was not even 40 years old yet, but he had been having many medical problems since a very bad car wreck almost 15 years before. A few days later, and right before Christmas the girl got the sad news that cousin was dead. More dark spaces took over.

Things with the girl and the man she thought would make her happy were not very well at all. In fact often times things were down right ugly. There was much fighting and many mean things happened. The girl was not very happy at all. She tried to make believe and pretend Christmas was fun, for the sake of Son. But inside she really hated it. More often than not, holidays just meant more fights and name calling and worse things. These things were bad enough during the year, but on holidays they often seemed to be worse.

Then came the worst Christmas of the girls life. That Sunday she had been talking to Daddy on his 65th Birthday. For some reason she couldn't explain something didnt' seem right. The girl had no idea what or why. The little girl told her Daddy she loved him for the first time in a long long time. Two days later, when the girl was on her wat to work, she started crying for no reason she could explain. Later a couple hours after she got to work she recieved phone call she will never forget. It was the only time the girl had ever heard Mom cry. The girl couldnt' understand, and wouldn't understand what was happening.. All Mom kept saying was "he's gone, we've lost him.". The girl knew, but she wanted to not know. That night the girl left on a train for her moms house. The girl almsot however didnt make the train, as the man she thought would make her happy had been drinking heavily all day. The girl and her son made it to the train just in the nick of time. The next day the man she thought would make her happy called and appologized, but she didnt' care. Nothing mattered anymore. The girl no longer cared about Christmas. December was the bad month. Because of son, everyone pretended ot have a nice Christmas, but there was no heart in it.

The next year, a coule months after Christmas the girl left the man she thought would make her happy and moved into a shelter with lots of women, some like her. Then she and son moved out and had their own place. But shortly there after the girl believed the man she though would make her happy and they tried again. But things soon started spiraling downward again. Soon things were just like they had been before.

The next December the girl learned that her uncle, (who was her uncle becasue he was married to Dad's sister). Had been gettting out of the car, and on the way to the house, his foot hit a particularly slippery patch of ice, he slipped and feel flat on his back, striking his head. Aunt was an RN and knew what to do, but Uncle never woke up.

Eventually the girl got rid of the man she thought would make her happy, because he never did. She used the money she had from Dad to move into her own house. She lives there now with Son and two cats. The bills are forever on her head, and life while having a few good things, is generally very dark around the time of December. They still put up the decorations, and now son decorates the tree. He still looks forward to Christmas even though he long ago stopped believing in Santa Claus. They still bake cookies and exchange gifts. But every year the girl feels a sense of dark dread when December comes around. The happy times are still remembered, but the dark memories have taken power. She smiles and makes nice and eats a candy cane, biding her time until the December has passed. And no one lived happily ever after.


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~*~Have you read these~*~

~ Ode to a child who is no more ~
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In every neighborhood there is at least one house that all the neighbors gossip about. This is a diary from the woman who lives in that house. I am a single mother in her mid thirties. I live in North Dakota with my son, Warren.

I tend to be a bit of a slob, and am the opposite of a girly-girl. I am geek girl, who loves Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Buffy, Angel, action movies, science fiction, action adventure, Dr. Who, and so on and so on.

I love to write and while I don't post much fiction online anymore I would love to be a writer someday. I am also overweight, bipolar and suffer from allergy induced asthma.