Today we have a sneak peek from the young adult holiday story by Jim Devitt: So This is Christmas.
The Anderson family loves Christmas. You could even call them Christmas junkies. After moving up north, Mark, Carla and their children Cindy and Tony, finally get their postcard Christmas of warm fires and snow.
As the big day approaches, it’s a joyous time for everyone, except for Tony. Adjusting to a new school can be hard on a nine-year old and he’s ruining Christmas for everyone. In this holiday story, the magic of Christmas comes to life in the most unusual of places.
For young and old alike, this magical tale of Christmas spirit is sure to become a new tradition.
Here is an excerpt from So This is Christmas…
The smell of leftover turkey wafted into the living room as the kids skidded to their knees.
“Get outta the way,” Tony screamed as he pushed his little sister to the carpet.
“Tony—enough! Why can’t you treat your sister better? It’s almost Christmas. Santa won’t bring you anything if you aren’t good.”
“She weaseled her way in front. It’s not fair, I was here first.”
The fire crackled behind the ruckus. The full smell of burning alder filled the room with a true sign that winter was on its way. Outside the window, the faint trace of fallen snow coated the deck railing. The kids had no clue that the first snowfall of the winter had commenced. The eight-foot tall Blue Spruce Christmas tree stood naked except for the thirty strings of white lights.
The Andersons were never ones to go easy on anything associated with the holiday—the more lights, the better. Decorations were working their way from the attic to every nook and cranny in the old house. Piles of boxes littered the big living room. Most of the decorations would come out over the next few weeks, but tonight was special.
The first Saturday after Thanksgiving served as the stepping-stone into the Christmas season for the Andersons. No one knows for sure how or when the tradition began. Carla and Mark Anderson met fifteen years ago and from the first moment, they knew they were soul mates. They were both Christmas freaks!
“Cindy, why don’t you look for the ornament hooks?” Mark asked as he slid a box in her direction.
She looked up with a pout and brushed her hair out of her eyes. At four years old, she felt like she owned the world, except for her long time nemesis, Tony. Her older brother by five years had transformed from loving big brother to a total pain over the past couple of months.
“Okay,” she said with a heavy sigh, “but I want to get the ornaments out, too.”
“Don’t worry,” Carla chimed in, “you’ll get to hang plenty of ornaments.”
“Yeah, beat it. I’m hanging the first ornament,” Tony said.
“Tony!” shouted Mark, a little louder than he should. He ripped open a cardboard box—leaving the others unsure if it was out of anger or just a stubborn box. “Listen, it’s Christmas, can’t you find it in you to treat your sister a little better?”
The recent change in Tony concerned his parents. He had been such a caring son throughout his life. In a matter of months, his demeanor had gone through a downhill transformation. Secretly, Carla wished that the holidays would bring back the old Tony.
The Christmas carols played in the background as all eyes bore into Tony. He shifted his lanky legs and plopped back onto his rear.
“Whatever,” he said as he crossed his arms.