~*~*~ Advent Calendar ~*~*~
* Day 24 *
Summary: In preparing for Christmas, being naughty or nice is all a matter of perception.
Word Count: 1,990
Naughty or Nice
Snow was falling all around, the impressively large tree would soon be decorated , Christmas cookies would be backed and all the presents would be wrapped and hidden under beds. It was early on morning and my father and I were enjoying a second cup of coffee while Hop Sing was clearing the table. My brothers Hoss and Joe had already left home for school. The last days before hollidays were too long for them.
« Hop Sing, please, can you stop for a while, I’d like to tell you something. »
Hop Sing stopped and came back to the table.
« Let me share with you wonderful news. Something special is about to be celebrated at the Ponderosa ranch. There will be a Christmas Wedding ».
-Oh, Mistel Caltwlight, what a wondelful idea, Decembel is the most wondelful time of the yeal. That will be a wondelful celeblation. Hop Sing is so happy, and conglatulation ».
I was amused by Hop Sing’s reaction, the little chinese man was ecstatic.
I lifted my right hand, protected by gloves and waved my father goodbye.
« I go to town, right now, I want to bring the invitation».
I had harnessed two horses and I was about to sit in the sleigh, I cuddled myself under warm blankets and I left the ranch. The horses were trotting shoulder to shoulder through the snow. I loved so much the white, snowy landscape in its idyllic and calm beauty.
*****A few hours letter, all the citizen in Virginia City had been given the same card with words written on it :
«Let celebrate the magic of Christmas at the Ponderosa Ranch. No representation. You’re cordialy invited to celebrate the Winter Wedding of Chrish Norman and Adam Cartwright». My warm-hearted and festive message had been a very pleasant surprise for everybody in town and they all had answered, they would be there, they would share our new happiness at the Ponderosa Ranch. Our Cartwright parties were famous and for sure this one would be a very special one, this year an unique romantic atmosphere would warm the winter night.
« My father and Hop Sing will welcome you with a warming glass of Winter Mulled Wine and if you need assistance, just ask, Joe or Hoss will be pleased to drive you to the ranch. Now please, excuse me, I go back to the ranch, there’s so much to be done. And Hop Sing is waiting for the last little things I’ve bought in town today », I told them with a big smile on my face. Then I wrapped my scarf around my neck and buttoned my warm winter coat before leaving the house of Ned Patterson, the last citizen I had visited.
*****On Christmas Day at the ranch.
« One of my hidden dreams has always been a Christmas-time wedding. I’ve always loved Christmas and its magic, since childhood in my family it has never gone away, and now this is our day, my day of “YES I DO” with Nature in its winter dress, it doubles-up the charm ». There were the words pronounced by my lovely bride as she appeared. As we were in the ranch, the people were expecting to see the bride coming down the stairs in a stunning wedding dress. It was almost like that, it did happen a little bit differently as I caught her from a flying trapeze, she was sitting on. I gently caressed the veil, touching the delicate white flowers and the winter foliage captivated in her dark hair, then I tenderly put my two hands on her tiny waist and lifted her from the wooden plank. I placed her on the ground and I gently kissed her hand, before kissing her lips. Now that was a very special arrival.
***** Chrish and I were a little bit nervous as we heard the preacher words, welcoming us and our family and friends. He was talking about the union of our love sublimated by the message of that holly night and the birth of Jesus. Next to me there was my brother Hoss, uncomfortable in his suit and tie. For sure he would be the first to take it off, as soon as the celebration would be over. Now it was time for us to be asked to repeat the marriage vows.
“Yes! Yes I do! I like Christmas! I love you, Chris, I love Christmas!”
Hearts of people were warmed by my enthousiastic declaration. Mistletoe had never been so romantic at this time of year. I kissed and rekissed the bride several time ; I was so happy and so much in love.
*****a few months later. We were in our small livingroom of our new home.
« well, that’s not easy ».
« you bet, it’s not », I said, totaly amazed by what I was seeing. Let me tell you that the situation was silly.
« what are you doing ?
My sweet honey wife was surprising me each day and I had already seen a lot of fantasy from her. But what she was doing right now, in front of me was beyond comprehension. My best friends had told me, that I wouldn’t have a normal bothering life with Chrish Norman, as she was an amazing young talented lady. She was in front of me, but for the very first time, I couldn’t kiss her. I was petrified, totally petrified. I couldn’t kiss her lips, just because her lips were not reachable. She was standing in front of me upside down. She was walking on her hands, foot up in the air. I just could kiss her toes.
« Adam honey, I just don’t like walking barefoot on the cold pavement of the kitchen.
« So you went down those three stairs on your hands, because you didn’t find your slippers. Slippers which are under our bed. You remember the way you threw them yesterday evening ? Honey, I should be angry at you. You could have broken your neck. » I scolded her, trying to sound severe, knowing, I wouldn’t be able to resist to her charming smile.
« Adam, you know perfectly, that it’s my job, since I was a little girl, I was walking on my hands, as my parents taught me. I’m a circle little girl, don’t you know ? »
I was puzzled but unable to resist to that.
« May we have breakfast now, honey ? » she asked with a laugh.
I nodded and I asked her to come back to a more normal position, which she did without complaining.
« Now I can kiss you good morning. »
I lifted my agile young wife, and while I was holding her up in the air, I kissed the top of her nose. Then I put her in the settee and wrapped her in a warm blanket.
« I bring you one hot chocolate, honey », I said before disapearing into the kitchen.
« thank you Adam, I love you ».
I was loving her too, oh yes, I loved her so much.
***** December had come back, one year after our so special wedding. We were gathered around in a circle with friends and family, and Joe was about to tell Christmas stories.
« Pa, Hoss, Adam, Chris, friends, laughter is the best gift anyone can give. These are my favorites. These funny Christmas stories will warm your heart and may even make your stomach hurt from laughing. »
Too late, I saw our father clearing his voice and giving my baby brother a light severe look :
« Joseph, let me remind you that your sister-in-law is expecting a child, we don’t want her to have stomach aches, do we ? »
« Don’t worry, Pa, I’ll be fine, just let Joe tell his story », Chrish replied.
« I will be a little lenient, but not very ; Joseph ; so be careful when you chose your story »
«Yes Sir, I promise », my 16 year old brother answered before standing up. He started. « Myra was going to the Christmas office party but needed a new party dress. In the clothing store she asked, ‘May I try on that dress in the window, please?’ ‘Certainly not, madam,’ responded the salesgirl, ‘You’ll have to use the fitting room like everyone else. »
Joe eyed our father as he finished his story and was happy to see that even Pa had burst into laughter. Chrish had her hands on her belly and was laughing too. Everything was fine.
« A good one, Joseph ! » our pa replied.
« My turn, now », I said. « A true one, now a Cartwright Christmas story, our favorite Christmas story. It was coming up to Christmas and do you remember ; Hoss, you asked Ma if you could have a new sleigh.
« Oh yeah, I remember. She told me that the best idea would be to write to Santa Claus. But I, having just played a vital role in the school nativity play, said I would prefer to write to the baby Jesus. » Hoss continued before I added the next part of the story.
« So, Hoss went to his room and tried to write his letter ».’Dear Jesus, I have been a very good boy and would like to have a beautiful sleigh for Christmas.’ and I… » I couldn’t finish my sentence as Hoss interrupted me.
« But I wasn’t very happy when I read it over. So I decided to try again and this time I wrote ‘Dear Jesus, I’m a good boy most of the time and would like a beautiful sleigh for Christmas.’
« Most of the time, that was the truth », our Pa added with a funny smile on his face, which made my brother Hoss blush.
Hoss continued :
« With Adam’s help, I tried another version : ‘Dear Jesus, I could be a good boy if I tried hard and especially if I had a new sleigh’
«Hey guys, stop with all the effects in your narration, I can’t wait to hear the next part. Ben, please, can you tell me the end of the story ? », she asked Ben with excitment. If you keep doing that, I’ll be delivered with my child, and I won’t know about the end of the story ». So my father decided to conclude the story :
« After a short time my two sons passed a house with a small statue of the Virgin Mary in the front garden, they crept in, your dear husband stuffed the statue under his coat, hurried home and hid it under the bed. Then they wrote this letter. ‘Dear Jesus, If you want to see your mother again, you’d better send me a new sleigh.’ »
I saw my wife putting her fingers on her mouth, she was shocked, she couldn’t believe, what she was hearing.
« No, Adam, Hoss, you didn’t do that ? That was naughty. Ben, you let them do that ? » she asked indignantly.
«Pa knew nothing about it. It was a private joke between us, Honey. And now, it’s our favorite Christmas story ».
« It’s the truth, my sweet Chrish, Adam and Hoss just told me about this joke a few years before. I didn’t know about it. »
« Don’t we call it a lie by omission? ». I heard Joe’s asking suddenly.
«yeah, and for good reasons », my brother and I both exclaimed.
« But Joe, let me remind you, that it was common at that time, Pa had told us about people doing that, he had shown us papers in Roy’s office. », Hoss added.
« But you’re right, for sure we would have been in big big trouble if Pa had known about it earlier. »
Then I opened my mouth and began to laugh full out ; joined by Hoss.
« Now brother, you’re gonna make your stomach hurt from laughing », Joe added seriously.
*****This sweet moment was concluded by one marshmallow-topped hot chocolate, brought by Hop Sing, which kept us warm before we went to bed.
Three months later I was given a wonderful spring present, as my sweet acrobat wife was delivered. And I was given a little girl.
Author’s note: (two Christmas jokes reused for this story)
Other Stories by this Author
- So This is Christmas (by Mumu74)
- A Christmas Without Her (by mumu74)
- Hovering Hawks (by mumu74)
- She’ll always be there , like the stars… (by mumu74)
- Baby from the Forrest, Baby from the Heart (by mumu74)