December 23 – Only for one night…

Author’s note: Prompt is the opening line. All my writing is becoming Christmas-y lately. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😀 I was actually hoping it would end up a little longer and deeper, but not to worry.

It was only for one night. Darren supposed he could manage that. Maybe earn some karma points. His girlfriend, Erin, had volunteered them both to help out at the local soup kitchen on Christmas Eve. She hadn’t consulted him, but how do you back out of something like that?

When they arrivead, they were each presented with a Santa hat and loud wished for a Merry Christmas. Since neither of them had been there before, they were introduced to the regular organisers, before being led around into the kitchen area, where three Bain-maries were full of various seasonal foods. Darren and Erin were put on stations there, along with two others.

It wasn’t very long before the recipients of the food began arriving. Those who volunteered regularly greeted several of the guests by name. Darren flinched at a couple of them. Their clothes were tatty, some had holes where you didn’t really want holes to be, and some of them really did smell like they hadn’t showered in a week. But he found that the other volunteers seemed to be able to ignore all that, and that once he got chatting, so could he.

Once the food had been dished out, the volunteers sat down with their guests. Toasts were made, grace was said, and then they all tucked in together. Darren was sitting next to a man who was trying to find a job so he could begin supporting his kids again. As they talked, Darren found himself thinking about how he might really help this guy out. He would certainly have wanted some sort of support if it were him in the situation.

When they got back in the car at the end of the night, Erin turned to Darren. “That wasn’t bad, was it?”

“Actually, it was kind of awesome,” Darren admitted.

“And who was grumbling all the way here?”

“All right, you win. Maybe we should come back in the New Year. Do this more often.”

“I like the sound of that.”

December 14 – White Christmas

Author’s note: I didn’t like any of the prompts I generated today, so I just came up with something on my own. Another Christmas story, Yay! Sorry for any typos and such things, I wrote this on my tablet on the bus and I’m posting using shopping centre wifi before I head to a rehearsal for a Christmas play I’m helping out with next week.

“Pete! Pete! Wake up, wake up, wake up!”

Megan bounced onto the bed and shook her boyfriend. He groaned and pulled the duvet over his head. Megan immediately pulled it back again.

“Pete, it’s Christmas and it’s snowing! You told me I wouldn’t get to see snow on Christmas!”

Slowly, Pete opened his eyes halfway and stared out at Megan. “What?” he said when his brain finally managed to communicate with his mouth.

“Snowing!” Megan exclaimed again. “Come on, get your coat!”

Megan was already half dressed, and only needed to pull on another couple of top layers and her coat before she was ready. While Pete dragged himself out of bed and began getting dressed, she pulled her hair up into a ponytail that she then stuffed into a beanie.

A few minutes later, Peter found Megan by their front door, bouncing from foot to foot in anticipation.

“Haven’t you seen snow before, woman?” he asked, nodding towards the door to indicate he was ready and that they could go out.

“Where I come from, we start complaining about the cold when it hits ten degrees. Celsius.”

“Bloody Australians.”

The snow wasn’t very deep, but it was enough that Megan could mold snowballs in her hands and peg them at Pete. He was much adept at ducking them than she was, and she ended up with a few wet patches on her jumper where he managed to hit her. Other families, mostly children, were appearing in the their own front yards and joyful squeals abounded up and down the street.

Soon the cold was starting to seep through Megan’s several layers of clothing and her teeth were chattering. She squatted down long enough to make make a tiny snowman (his body was only four handfuls of snow) and stuck a twig in his head for a nose, then she and Pete headed back inside to begin getting ready for the rest of the day.

“Well, you got your snow, then,” Pete said, turning the heater on the crossing to the kettle to fill it up. “Do you actually need any other presents now?”

Megan grinned. “Not really,” she said. She moved closer to him and kissed him on the nose. “Merry Christmas.”

December 6 (sort of) – A First Christmas

Author’s note: Another “opening line as prompt” story, using the prompt I received yesterday. I have played catch-up with the writing of these little pieces, but I will catch up on posting a bit more slowly, so that your feeds aren’t full of A keyboard and an Open Mind. 🙂

She knelt on the carpet of her new house, carefully unwrapping ornaments. There had never been so much as a Christmas tree in the orphanage at this time of year, but Katie had always watched with fascination as decorations had appeared all over the city. Snow would catch on the tree in the middle of the main square and the baubles would frost over, making it seem like something out of one of the fairy stories the older kids would tell after lights out.

Now Katie had received a Christmas present far greater than anything she could have come up with if she had been given the chance to sit on Father Christmas’ knee. A lovely couple named William and Barbara had decided to adopt her. She had packed up her things, such as they were,  put on her coat, and then rode in William’s car back to their house. Her house, now.

It was only a week until Christmas, but knowing they would have a little girl living with them soon, Barbara had refrained from putting up the tree until they could do it together. Finally the last of the baubles were hung and there was only one thing left.

Barbara put her arms around Katie’s middle and hoisted her up so she could reach the top of the tree.
Katie placed the angel on the top branch, and then Barbara set her down again and they surveyed their work.

“Very well done, Katie,” Barbara said. “It looks as though you’ve been doing this for years.” She smiled and took Katie’s hand, giving it a squeeze.

“I’ve always wanted to,” said Katie, beaming.

“And so you shall,” Barbara replied, “every year from now on.”