In the spirit of the season, I thought I would share a little Chirstmas story I wrote. I hope you enjoy it! Merry Christmas! 🙂
Less than an hour ago, I thought Christmas was commercialized nonsense. It was just an excuse for parents to go into debt and kids to act like brats. Christmas wasn’t about peace and joy, but Xboxes and iPhones. Everyone was focused on out-getting or out-giving everyone else.
I distanced myself from the holiday was much as possible. The only reason I was inside the coffee shop on a Christmas Eve was because my driver side window didn’t roll down. I was forced into the little shop crowded with last minute shoppers getting a caffeine buzz to finish their frenzied search for merchandise.
I wouldn’t have stopped at all but I’d volunteered to work the night shift at the hospital and I needed the caffeine. The debts nursing school left me with needed to be paid, even if that meant working Christmas eve.
Miraculously, there was there was an empty table and I slid into the seat before anyone else could. As I waited for the barista to call my name, I watched the chaotic scene in front of me.
A young mother tried to keep her screaming baby quiet while her five-year-old made his three-year-old sister cry by telling her that Santa was bringing him a ton of presents, but she was only getting coal.
Two little boys argued over who was getting the most presents this year. A man talked loudly on his phone: something about looking everywhere, but none of the stores had it. Whoever was on the other end (probably his wife) didn’t believe him. I could hear her shrill voice coming out of the speaker.
Didn’t people have enough stress in their lives without Christmas? It wouldn’t bother me if the Holiday was canceled, well, I would miss the extra pay that came from working on Christmas Eve.
A middle-aged man with a scarf wrapped around his neck pulled out the chair across from mine. “Mind if I sit down? There aren’t any more seats left.”
I kind of did mind, but he wasn’t arguing on his cell phone or carrying an armload of kids, so I nodded my head.
“You look like you could use some Christmas cheer,” he said.
I frowned. Just because I let him sit here didn’t mean I wanted an evaluation.
“I could use a little less Christmas cheer,” I told him.
“You don’t like Christmas?”
“I don’t like what it does to people.”
He raised an eyebrow. “What does it do?”
“It brings out their worst. Suddenly the only thing on everyone’s mind is getting, getting, getting. Parents have to get more toys for their kids, because if they get less than last year, they’ll throw a fit. Kids want more toys even though half the toys they already own are unused. Everyone is rushing around trying to get everything on their list before stores run out. Heaven forbid you step outside your door on Black Friday.”
The old man nodded, making the white stubble on his chin brush his scarf. “Christmas may bring out some people’s bad side, but it can also bring out their good side.”
“I don’t think trampling people because big screen TVs are on sale is the nice side of people.”
He chuckled. “That wasn’t exactly what I was thinking about.” He leaned in. “I bet I know something that will change your mind about Christmas.”
“I’m pretty sure nothing will change my mind,” I said.
“I’ll right, it’s a bet.” He held out his hand for me to shake.
“You’re on.” He could talk all night and still not be able to pull the wool over my eyes. Christmas was a sham to get people to spend more money. There certainly wasn’t anything good about it.
As I clasped his hand, the small coffee shop began to swirl away. First the crying baby and mother scolding her son for making his sister cry. Then the boy and tearful small girl. The table between me and the old man vanished.
“What’s going on?” I asked, voice high with panic.
“You may want to stand up,” he said, getting out of his seat.
Just then his chair disappeared, and I jumped out of my seat to avoid falling on the floor when mine did the same.
Part two is coming next week!
*This story is all I’m posting for the month of December. Our regular posting schedule will continue in January.