Christmas Rush

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Review Chain

Before Christmas can start properly, a lot of things need to be done.

The streets were covered in snow so white,

And on every street corner shone a colorful light.

From time to time, you could hear people sing,

A cheerful tune, a festive swing.

 

Amidst all these others smiling wide,

One man went, and in quite the stride,

For he still had to finish the big holiday list,

Of which all of us should get the gist:

 

  • A big Ham for the family dinner (Plus other groceries, you know how it is.)
  • A Toy for his niece (His brother had invited himself, much to Marc’s dismay.)

 

But don’t think it ends quite there,

For wrapping these gifts is also still there.

 

So, we join this hurried soul on a cold winter morning,

Watch him do his tasks,

And see just how problem free these last-minute Christmas shopping tours are.

 

The souls name in question is a man named Marc, and he is much closer to being sixty than he’d like to admit. So, it really doesn’t surprise, that the short walk to the store was enough to get Marc out of breath.

Admittedly, he was hurrying quite a bit. The store had a special offer on a Ham that he wanted to cook for the big Christmas dinner, but as with most things this year, he waited until the last minute to go and get it.

Why he waited until the very last day of the offer to get it is a mystery that even eludes Marc himself but hurrying to get it right now certainly felt like he was taking this matter very seriously, contrary to what his wife had told him for the past two weeks.

 

Unfortunately, it was this hurry that led him to overlook a patch of especially icy sidewalk, which promptly caused him to slip and land on his backside.

Using only the finest selection of swear words at his disposal he tried to get up, but to no avail. That’s when a voice behind him asked if he needed help. Looking around he saw an older lady, maybe in her late 40s, extend her hand to help him up.

Initially, he refused. He didn’t need anyone’s help.

After a few minutes though, he was thoroughly out of breath and reluctantly accepted to woman’s hand. Grumbling a thank you under his breath, he went on his way, and soon stood in front of the meat counter, where a young man told him that, sadly, they were all out of ham.

It was a disaster, and not only because he now had to endure his wife telling him that she was right. (He hated it when she was right.) What would he do now?!

Noticing his distress, the young man behind the counter offered a large turkey that someone had pre-ordered but failed to pick up. Grumbling about the differences between making a ham and a turkey, he eventually relented and bought it.

 

Half an hour later he was back home, and the groceries were all neatly sorted into their correct spots. Now to get the toy he wanted for his niece. The toy store was considerably farther away than the store, so he decided to use the car.

Unfortunately, disaster would strike Marc yet again, as the toy store didn’t have the teddy bear he wanted anymore. The cashier offered a slue of alternatives, but he ignored her and ultimately went with a stuffed elephant.

Leaving the store without another word, he drove back home in quite the sour mood. The first thing he noticed upon entering the apartment were the extra pairs of jackets and boots, and sure enough his wife, brother and his daughter would greet him in the living room.

Marc joined them more out of courtesy than anything, since he really wasn’t in the mood for cake and coffee right now. Besides, he still had to wrap the presents and prepare dinner.

 

Excusing himself, he went to their bedroom and retrieved a large, weathered briefcase from below the bed. Double-checking that no one was trying to sneak a peek, he opened the case and retrieved:

  • A new watch for his wife (The old one was so old it was literally impossible to find parts for it.) and
  • a book she let him know she wanted in a not-very-subtle way.

For his brother he got:

  • a one-hundred-year-old whiskey from Russia (Don’t ask how.)

Finally, for his niece he got:

  • the stuffed elephant and
  • a popular board game.

 

Now onto wrapping them all, which quickly proved to be a lot harder than his wife had made it seem over all these years. He got through the Whiskey and the book fairly easily, but the rest just didn’t pan out like he’d hoped.

That’s when he noticed his brother who somehow managed to sneak in. He quickly cut Marc off before he had a chance to throw him out with the offer to help him wrap the remaining presents.

As with so many things today, Marc initially declined. When his brother just started wrapping presents anyway, any initial protest quickly faded away. Instead, he just resorted to the true and tested method of glaring silently at his brother.

 

Dinner was finally shaping up to be a turning point in the day when it turned out the contrary to what Marc might’ve grumbled about in the store, making a turkey proved no more challenging than the ham would’ve.

Similarly, dinner itself turned out to be nice and quiet. Friendly banter was filling the room as the candles illuminated everyone’s faces.

 

Then, the big moment finally came. Everyone sat down around the tree that, Marc had to admit, looked beautiful with the boatload of decoration on it.

Watching everyone unpacking their presents, seeing them happy and content, he reflected on his day. With hindsight, the lady that helped him up from the ice really just meant well.

The clerks at the supermarket and the toy store also only meant well. And his damn brother had also been nothing but nice to him today.

So, now, especially with his niece’s eyes glowing after unwrapping the toy elephant, and it starting to snow outside, for the first time in a while day Marc felt genuinely happy and content.

 

Maybe this was that “holiday spirit” every always talked about. Maybe it was the fact that his niece reminded him of when he was young.

Whatever it was, he wouldn’t be getting tired of it anytime soon. In fact, as morning came and everything was silent once more, he already looked forward to next Christmas.

 

This is where we leave Marc and his wife alone for now, but before we, too, depart, dear reader, let me wish you a very, merry Christmas.

 

-

 

Merry Christmas, indeed! And of course, a very… well, I think we can agree that this year has been a bit too intense, so I wish you all a very, very boring 2021!

Stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll be seeing you next year!

(Also, I'll never try to rhyme in a story again, oh my god.)

What else? Oh yeah, new year’s resolutions!

Here’s my very thought-out list:

  • Win one of those damn contests, god dammit :D 
  • Start writing a novel (Yep, I’m putting it on the list.)


Submitted: December 19, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Arcturus. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Archia

What a sweet Christmas story. Christmas can be such a hectic rush we don't always notice the nice things people do around us. I love that Marc was able to see that after his day. I know Christmas is over, but Merry Christmas and good luck with your resolutions!

Fri, January 8th, 2021 10:57pm

Author
Reply

Aw, thanks ^^ Yeah, it really felt like the holidays were on fast forward. I mean, I still did all the usual things I normally do, but... it's kinda hard to describe.
Well, a belated Merry Christmas to you, too! And equal good luck with your own resolutions!

Fri, January 8th, 2021 7:03pm

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