On the Seventh Day...


Making Christmas last!!!



Welcome to the #12DaysofTwitter blog series! Have you seen some of your writer friends sporting funny Christmas-y names? Well, what began as a simple name change from one twitter writer snowballed, and is now a chance for twenty-four awesome writers to share memories and stories of what Christmas means to us. Click this link for the complete link list of all twelve days.

Both of these writers (again, independent of each other) gave me stories that are part memory, part truth. Both are touching in a bittersweet way, and I'm so grateful they've shared them with us. Thanks to Corrie Shatto and Rachel O'Laughlin for these beautiful stories.


Seven Corries Caroling

Everyone Says 

It’s cold outside and it’s never cold outside. Maybe it will snow. I’ve never seen snow fall from the sky before. Sometimes it piles up in hard stumps of ice along the side of the freeway while we sleep. Everyone says Christmas is supposed to have snow but I wouldn’t know.

All the boxes are opened and Mom is cleaning up the trash from the wrapping paper and George is curled up on my bed. I stare at him for about an hour. Maybe it isn’t really an hour. But it feels like it. I sit up and look straight into his big green eyes. I challenge him with my stare. Make a face like I’ll get up any second and chase him. He doesn’t do much at first but then he opens his furry mouth and shows off his bright sharp teeth in a long yawn. I yawn too. I’m not sure who’s more bored. Can cats be bored?

Today Mom got me a Holy Bible for Kids. Only it doesn’t seem so holy to me. At least not the way I understand the word because it’s got bright, colored pages and pictures everywhere. Even lines after questions, so I can write in my Holy Bible if I want. I filled in all the answers at the beginning already.

One of them asks:
What do you want to be when you grow up?

I think:
An archeologist.
An architect.
The first lady President.

I look at George. I have time for all that, right?

I write it down anyway. It’s my Holy Bible even if it does have blue and green pages and everyone says things that are holy aren’t supposed to have blue and green pages. Everyone also said Mom wouldn’t make it to another Christmas and she’s still here. So obviously everyone can be wrong.


Seven Rachels Ringing

We always had the Little House in the Big Woods version of Christmas — at Grandma’s house, and her house is practically a mansion.

The north end was full of warm antique lamps and Persian rugs, the smell of pie baking, trays of truffles, and moms arguing about child-rearing. The south end always had a game on the TV and the dads drinking wine and eating crackers and cheese. Later on it would be the westerns channel: “Christmas With The Duke” all night. Back then, we weren’t just family. My cousins and I were attached at the hip, like multiple sets of twins. If we went a week without seeing each other, our lives were miserable.

That was before they moved a thousand miles south and we moved a hundred miles north and completely lost touch. Before sets of parents became single. Before we entered puberty and got awkward and strange. Before Christmas just completely ceased to be a thing for us at all.

Now Abbie has two weeks college break. She and I are the only ones who manage to make it to Grandma’s. We sit on the guest room beds and watch a football game we are far too invested in. When it’s over, we end up with Love Actually interspersed with seven hours of commercial breaks. We text our boyfriends and repeat the interesting bits to each other, listen to Feist and Norah Jones. In between, we slowly assess each other across the room, wondering if too much time has passed, if we can still relate even a little.

There’s always an ice storm on Christmas Eve. The Internet fails and we both swear at the same time. No more music streaming. The silence is thick.

Abbie finally says something. “Remember when we used to come in here and jump on the beds until we got in trouble?”

“Ugh. Our sleepover even got canceled.”

“It was all your little brother’s fault. We told him to jump quieter.” She reaches behind a nightstand and pulls out something.

A bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate.

“It’s tradition.”

***

Since today is New Years Eve, I'd like y'all to share with us something that you want to change this coming year. It doesn't have to be anything big, but some goal you'd like to set. We all have rough patches in our lives, but now is the time to set our sights high and reach for the stars.

What do you want this year?

-DC

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