Welcome to day 11 of the Advent Event! Please share this event with your friends. The more anthologies we can sell, the more money we can raise for the National Down Syndrome Society.
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Here’s a look at the next two stories:
"Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" by Jennifer Ricks
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” Cameron boomed. His lips formed an “O” to give his voice maximum resonance. It was hard to sound like an old fat guy when you were fat, but not old.
“I want a big candy cane!” the eight-year-old on his lap whined. “That thing’s puny!”
“Well, I’m afraid I left my large candy canes at the North pole, little man,” Cameron said, trying to make his chest sound as hollow as possible. What was wrong with kids these days? Had Cameron also been so demanding when he was this age?
“And what do you want for Christmas?” Cameron leaned down to a little girl, probably about four years old. Ruining the precious moment, his flowing white beard dangled into her face and the girl started screaming as if he had cut off her right arm.
“We got the photo,” Stacy said loudly over the girl’s noise. “Move it along.”
Cameron’s palms itched beneath the thick leather mittens he was wearing. In fact, he itched everywhere. What did Santa do to stop the chaffing? This red wool racket was intolerable. There were regulations for guys in character suits at theme parks—what about for Santa Clauses?
So far, the idea of getting a seasonal job at the mall during the holidays had come right back to bite. Work with children, make some smiles, spread some Christmas cheer, he had thought. What a joke. It was nearly Christmas, the four-week Santa Claus gig nearly over, and Cameron hadn’t yet met a kid who wasn’t whining, kicking, screaming, or, worst of all, biting. Ouch.
“And what have we here?” Cameron said in the most endearing, grandfatherly way he could muster, letting the vowels rumble in his throat.
“I want this list of video games,” the boy shoved a full page list into Cameron’s gloved hand, “and a new MP3 player, and a new laptop, and, if you really want to surprise me, a remote-control helicopter.”
“Slow down there, tiger!” Cameron’s Santa-voice said. “Have you been good this year?” He held up a leather mitten to accentuate the question.
“Oh, whatever.” The boy shrugged, sliding off Cameron’s lap. “I texted the list to my dad.”
“Hey, Stace!” Cameron hissed when the boy was gone.
“What?” Stacy snapped. “Can’t imagine your workshop filling so many video game orders this year, or aren’t the elves up on the latest computer models? I thought you were crazy about RPGs.”
"Hazel and Margaret" by Susan Corpany
Hazel responded to the knock on her door. “It’s not locked. Come in.”
Margaret leaned her cane against the wall and opened the door with her free hand. She deposited the plate of raisin and date-filled cookies—her aunt Sophie’s recipe—on the small table in the entry. “Merry Christmas and joy to the world. I thought I’d bring these by a little early this year.” Her hands now free, she retrieved her cane from its resting place, closing the door tightly against the cold.
“Sorry, I thought you were the Meals on Wheels people,” Hazel said.
Margaret smiled cheerily, waving her cane, careful not to lose her balance as she made her way to the small sofa opposite Hazel’s easy chair. “No wheels yet, thank the good Lord. No meal, either. Just dessert.”
“I guess I’m getting my just desserts,” Hazel said wearily, looking up. Margaret noticed then that her lifelong friend had been crying. She might have detected the note of sadness in her friend’s voice, but truth be told Hazel had never been overly cheerful. They had been friends since they had moved next door to each other as newlyweds, sharing the experiences of life—dented fenders, dreams that came true and those that didn’t, overdue babies and overdue bills. In fact, they had become related in a way when Hazel’s son Daniel had married Margaret’s daughter, Ramona, the girl next door.
They had doted over their common grandchildren who got to see two grandmas in one visit. Most recently, they had shared the common bond of widowhood. Hazel had laid her beloved Matthew to rest several years prior, and it had been two years since Margaret had bid her Charles goodbye. Both clung fiercely to their independence and to the small homes they had lived in for the better part of their lives.
And here a look of one of the prizes:
A PDF copy of "Sing We Now of Christmas"
a Rafflecopter giveaway