They did this every year. Waited till the last minute. Then bickered the entire time they made the list and got everything checked off. Instead of working together and having fun, they worked in separate rooms and shouted at each other. Till he had a headache and she was in tears. Miserably sniffing them away in the corner.
And of course, the decorations box always seemed to be hidden. And the lights for the tree were in a twisted mess. Because they’d been in such a hurry to put them away and get rid of the holiday for another year.
And this year was worse. with his father in the hospital. And worrying if he would survive another year…. The pressure was on.
Of course this was the year they had to replace some of the bulbs on the lights. Which meant a last minute dash to the store. Fighting the crowds and higher prices. Because of course the store charged extra for desperation.
And finally Christmas eve arrived. They opened a gift and realized that they had both gotten something the other had been gasping to have and practically begging for. So they had listened after all….
They kissed and held hands. And went to bed happy. Ready for the big day finally. And finally in the right spirit for the day.
No of course it wasn’t about the gift. That was pretty much inconsequential. It was that they had been heard, when they thought the other was too wrapped up in tradition and moods to notice.
They should have trusted each other. Because on Christmas eve, this was always how the struggle ended. In each others’ arms. Happy and together. Again.