Round Robin Blog Fest December 2018
Welcome to our Christmas edition of the Round Robin Blog Fest featuring Christmas Stories from all of our great writers!
Jackson stuck out his tongue and let ice cold sprinkles cover it before he swallowed them. The first snow of winter was his third favorite day of the year behind Christmas and his birthday. He forgot how much fun it was to catch the flakes in his mouth then make snow angels. Then again, he was only seven and had a hard time remembering to wash his hands when his mom asked.
“Come on, Jack.” His sister Ruby, two years older, wore a blue sparkly dress over her snow suit along with a tiara that had flashing lights. She claimed to be a snow queen. “Let’s go to a few more houses before it’s time to go home.”
“I don’t have enough candy yet.” He blinked the snowflakes off his eyelashes then pulled his Spiderman toque over his forehead.
They’d been out caroling for half an hour. Everyone gave them Christmas candy or oranges, so Jackson’s arms ached from carrying the pillowcase covered with snowmen. He’d wanted to carry the little pumpkin bucket his granny gave him which would be full by now. At least they could be home eating candy instead of freezing.
“Come on, Jack.” His mother put her hand on his back to steer him toward his best friend Connor’s house. Maybe they could get some hot chocolate and play.
At the door Ruby belted out Silent Night so loud that Jackson took a step back and gawked.
Mrs. Garcia opened the door as she hugged her thick sweater. “What are you guys up to?”
“We’re singing carols.” Ruby asked. “Do you like my dress? I even got jeweled shoes. Mom says I can wear them for Christmas since there’s so much snow tonight.”
“I’ll bet they’re very pretty,” she said. “Your mom makes a pretty nice princess too.”
“Thank you.” Jackson’s mom curtsied and straightened her flashing tiara.
“You should head home,” Mrs. Garcia said. “I saw on T.V. this storm’s coming in fast. We could get up to twenty centimeters tonight.”
Jackson’s mom nodded. “I heard that too. We’d better make our way home before we have to flag down a dog sled.”
Ruby huffed. “Mom.”
The wind picked up and swirled tiny snowflakes around them. Thanks to the rattling of plastic Santas and flickering Christmas lights, Jackson was convinced they were in a giant snow globe. Dry leaves got caught up in the excitement and flew in circles while he bowed his heads against the wind.
Jackson grimaced. “Don’t look now but I think it’s getting bad.”
His mother led them down the Garcia’s front steps past the burlap-covered cedars. “I think it’s time to go home, guys.”
“No way,” Ruby said. “We still haven’t gone to Emily’s house or Miranda’s house.”
“And I want more candy,” Jackson added.
“The weather is getting worse and we can barely see across the street.” Mom sighed. “Let’s go home and I’ll make you hot chocolate.”
Snow Queen Ruby stomped her feet, threw down her magic snowflake wand and became a royal pain. “I don’t want to go home yet!”
Jackson rolled his eyes, groaned, and watched their mother try to reason with his sister. He was distracted by a noise coming from the garage next door. It sounded like a witch cackling.
Inside the garage doorway, sat a woman with long stringy hair and a black satin dress. There was a round wooden table with a huge crystal ball on it in front of her. She looked up with dark eyes and a smile. “Would you like me to tell your fortune?”
“It’s Christmas, not Halloween. Is this a trick or a treat?” He stepped inside.
Her wild laugh made him jump back. “It’s whatever you make of it, my dear. Would you like me to see into your future?”
“Depends.” Jackson stepped out of the wind into the warmth of the garage. “Am I gonna have a Lamborghini?”
She waved her hand over the crystal ball and gazed into it for several seconds. A breeze of heat from the nearby heater swept her hair across her face, but she didn’t even flinch. “I see you walking with a man dressed in red. You’re lost, yet you know where you are. You just can’t find your way home.”
Jackson backed out onto the driveway. Snowflakes pelted him as they formed a white curtain between him and the fortune teller. “That’s weird. You’re not very good at this whole fortune telling thing. No one can be lost and know where they are.”
When he turned back to the street, his mom and Ruby were gone. They must have headed for home. He paused to look in both directions. When he left Connor’s house, he and Mom always turned right. He held up his fingers with his pointer fingers up and the thumbs sticking out. Right was the one that didn’t make an L.
A lot more snow covered the ground than when they started caroling. He kicked at it, just like he’d shuffled through the leaves earlier that day. A shiver shook him. Mom was right, it was getting cold out.
Where was she? His mom wouldn’t have left without him. Good thing he knew exactly where he was going. Dad was at home with the baby, so he’d be able to get inside the house.
Jackson stopped at the corner and looked both ways. Lots of dim Christmas lights and snow flakes, but no cars. He stuck out his arm just like his teachers taught and walked across the road.
“Hello, young man.” A tall man wrapped in a thick red coat knelt in front of him. “I didn’t realize you were old enough to be out here alone. Did your mom get lost?”
“Yes.” Jackson’s eyes grew wide. He knew not to talk to strangers, but this was Santa after all. “I think she forgot which way home is.”
Santa looked puzzled. “Oh, that’s not good. Don’t you think you should look for her?”
“Nah, she knows where we live,” he said. “Even if she is lost, Ruby knows the way. She knows everything. My dad calls her a know-it-all.”
Santa stood to look around them. “This storm is getting bad. I think you should tell me where you live so I can take you home. If I see your mom, then I can at least tell her where you are.”
Jackson frowned. Everyone warned him about good and bad strangers. “If you’re really Santa, you should know where I live.”
“You’re right to be concerned.” Santa laughed as Jackson adjusted his toque. “Jackson! I know you. You live a couple houses up from me. Come on, I’ll take you home then find your mom. She must be really worried about you.”
“Mr. Donovan? Is that you?” Jackson’s gasped. “Why are you dressed like Santa Clause?”
Mr. Donovan slid down the thick white beard. “Even grown-ups like to pretend sometimes. I dress like Santa every year to bring gifts to the kids at the hospital. What’s in the bag?”
Jackson raised the bag and grinned. “Candy from caroling. Did you know people give way better candy at Christmas than at Halloween?” He hesitated. “Do the kids at the hospital ever get to go caroling?”
“No, they don’t,” Mr. Donovan said. “They don’t get a lot of candy either.”
They walked toward Jackson’s house decorated with the large colorful ornaments he and Ruby spent the afternoon hanging in the tree out front. He tilted back his head again and stuck out his tongue.
“I was thinking.” Jackson handed the bag of candy to Mr. Donovan. “Maybe you should take this to the hospital tomorrow. I think those kids need it more than we do.”
“Jackson!” Footsteps ran up behind him and two hands turned him around as his mom pulled him into a warm hug. “Where have you been? I looked everywhere for you. Thank you for finding him, Santa. Where was he?”
“Wandering the streets and enjoying the snow,” Mr. Donovan said. “I hear you were lost so I planned to take him home and find you next.”
Jackson grinned. “When we were at Connor’s house, I heard a noise and saw a fortune teller. She said I’d walk around with someone dressed in red and be lost, but I’d know where I was. When I turned around, you and Ruby were gone then Mr. Donovan found me. Isn’t that weird that he’s dressed like Santa and wearing red?”
“Yes, it is. If we stay out here any longer, we’ll all be wearing snow white. We’ll just need coal eyes and corn cob pipes.” His mom frowned. “I thought you went inside to play with Conner so we went to look for you.”
“I thought you guys got lost,” Jackson said.
“Figures,” Ruby said. “I wanted to go caroling then you go and ruin the whole night. I’m glad you’re back. Where did you see the fortune teller? Did she give you any candy?”
“Nope. No candy.” He smiled up at Mr. Donovan. “Can we go home now? I’m tired.”
His mom nodded. “Let’s go have some hot chocolate and marshmallows and watch the snow fall from inside. Tomorrow, we can come out to play.”
“Okay,” Jackson said. “But this time I’m staying away from any fortune tellers.”
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1qI
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com