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Christmas Wish

 
 
Reply Tue 22 Nov, 2005 02:33 pm
CHRISTMAS WISH

Jaimee picked up the plastic Santa ornament.
"I wish. I wish," she said as she looked for a place on the tree. Jaimee wished again for the one-millionth time as she fumbled with the clip. It was old and perhaps too tired to hold Santa again this year.
"You will bring back Daddy, won't you Santa?" (One million and one) Jaimee hoped that Santa wouldn't mind that she had also asked Jesus for the same Christmas gift - in her prayers - once or twice. The last year had been so sad, like an empty doll house, and Jaimee the doll who had done some bad thing to make every one go away. Mama said Dad's disappearance was not Jaimee's fault. Mama said Jaimee had been good all year. Still, Jaimee didn't know. She asked Santa and prayed to Jesus again.

"Jaimee, Dr. Seuss is on," Mama called. Jaimee curled up on the sofa in front of the TV. A grinch was going to steal Christmas. Jaimee really liked the Christmas shows, but tonight she had trouble paying attention. She remembered last year, when Dad came home from work on Christmas Eve.
"Dad! Dad! Daddy, Dad, Dad!" Jaimee bubbled as she flung open the front door.
"Merry Christmas, Princess Jaimee," said Dad as he scooped up his treasure and danced her around the room. Dad kissed Jaimee on the side of her neck. His face was cold from being outside and it tickled. He smelled of after shave and winter. She held on just as tight as she could, just as hard as she had wished.
The creatures in the little village were having their Christmas in spite of the grinch. Jaimee managed a smile.
"People do get good wishes at Christmas, Don't they, Santa?" Jaimee said as she turned toward the tree. Mama bent over and kissed Jaimee's cheek.
"Mama, will Daddy come for Christmas?"
"I don't know, Jaimee."
"Can't we call him and find out, Mama?"
"No we can't. We can't do that." Mama turned her face away. Jaimee sat silently; she didn't want Mama to be sad. There were a lot of Christmas shows on that night, Scrooges and Santas. Everybody got to be happy. It was late. Somehow Jaimee knew that tomorrow would be a wonderful Christmas. She snuggled into Dad's warm arms. Jaimee didn't remember Mama putting her in bed and tucking her in. A ray of cold sunlight tiptoed in through Jaimee's window and danced on her covers. "
Wake up big sister, and play with me," the spot of light seemed to say. "I'm lonely and the morning is cold." Jaimee had no time for the lonely little spot.
"Christmas!" she thought as she toddled into Mama's room and crawled under the covers. No Dad. Jaimee fell into the big hole Mama made in the mattress and began to think: about Dad, about Santa, about Jesus. Christmas had just started. There was plenty of time.

After what seemed like hours, Mama woke up and piggybacked Jaimee in to see the tree. The tree! The tree looked even more beautiful than it had the night before; and there were so many presents: a brand new bike, a Cabbage Patch, and lots of things she had never even told Santa. Jaimee loved her new things, but the more she loved them the more energy she put into her wishing and hoping.

Mama fixed breakfast; then they went to the church. There was a full sized manger scene. Mama said it was the Nativity. She looked at Joseph and saw Dad's face. "Baby Jesus must know," she thought. Baby Jesus must know. He has a mother and a father. Yes, Baby Jesus would want her to have her Dad, too. After church they went to Grandma's. Her tree was even bigger, and the lights were so pretty. Jaimee couldn't remember ever seeing a tree so big. And, there was a big Santa ornament. The tree Santa looked back at Jaimee and smiled. She put her face near the tree and sniffed. "Christmas!" This was Christmas.
When lunch was over, Grandma gave Jaimee a Barbie and a Skipper and some money. Aunt Amy gave her a scarf and some clothes for her Cabbage Patch. No Dad. Jaimee said "Thank you" to Grandma and "Thank you" to Aunt Amy, but she didn't play with her toys. She sat in a chair. Grandpa and Uncle Jim and the big boys were watching football. Jaimee tried to think of her wish. She wished hard; harder.

Suddenly, Uncle Jim got up from the TV and, seeing Jaimee, he scooped her up and gave her a big hug. "Why the long face, Princess Jaimee?" he said as he started to carry her around the room. Uncle Jim was drunk. He reeked of beer and tobacco; his breath smelled. Jaimee was frightened. "Put me down. Put me down." Jaimee was in tears. She was squirming and kicking. One of her kicks made Uncle Jim grunt, but he wouldn't put her down. Jaimee started screaming. She tried to scratch Uncle Jim's face. Finally, Mama and Grandma, and Aunt Amy intervened.
"It's all right, Jim," said Mama at last. "I'll handle it." Jim put Jaimee down and she ran to Mama, still crying. Jim staggered to the bathroom.
"Jaimee, whatever is the matter with you?" asked Mama. "You're embarrassing me."
"I'm sorry, Mama," said Jaimee, still sobbing.
"Did Uncle Jim do anything bad to you?"
"No." It was true. She knew she had been bad to Uncle Jim. She just didn't know why.
"Grandma and Aunt Amy think you don't like their presents." Mama said, or asked. She said it like a question. Jaimee shrugged. After a few minutes she had stopped crying and Mama left her alone.
"I think you should say you're sorry to Uncle Jim," Mama said as she left. Jaimee looked at the floor. She knew she wasn't going to apologize and she knew that made her bad. Still, she couldn't. She was sorry, but she couldn't. She walked back to Grandpa's study and climbed into a great big chair. "I'm sorry, Jesus," said Jaimee, fighting back tears. "I'm sorry, Santa." She stared at the walls. The men and big boys were making all sorts of noise watching the games, but in Grandpa's study she heard only the ticking of the clock. Then somebody was there. It was her cousin Jeremy.

"Why did you kick my Dad?" he asked. Jaimee shrugged. It wasn't anything Uncle Jim had done; she just wanted dad so much. The two children were quiet for a while. At last Jeremy spoke.
"I got a new bike for Christmas."
"Santa brought me one, too," said Jaimee.
"You still believe in Santa?"
"Well . . ."
"There's no such thing as Santa."
"But Mama says if you're good . . ."
"They just say that so you'll be good" said Jeremy. "Then they give you presents and say they're from Santa." Jaimee remembered all the times she had asked Santa. And what about Jesus? She thought. She was afraid to ask.
"I didn't ask Santa for anything, anyhow," she said. Another silence:
"Wanna play checkers?" Jeremy said at last.
"OK"

Jaimee and Jeremy spent the rest of the afternoon playing checkers and talking. Jaimee didn't like Zathura, but they both liked Chicken Little. Mostly, they talked about what Jeremy wanted to talk about. Jaimee couldn't seem to find an opportunity ask about what she wanted to know. One time when Uncle Jim came into the room, Jaimee ran out and hid in the bathroom. She waited a few minutes, then flushed the toilet and ran water in the sink. She looked around carefully before she went back to the checkers. When they went into the kitchen for supper, Uncle Jim patted Jaimee on the head and said he was sorry. Jaimee knew she was supposed to say she was sorry, too, but instead she hid behind Aunt Amy. She was glad when Grandma put her and Jeremy at the little table all to themselves.


"Do you think Baby Jesus listens when you pray to him?" Jaimee finally asked.
"I don't know, but he's not a baby."
"But in the manger . . ."
"Yeah, but that was a long time ago. He grew up. Then he died on the cross and God took him up to heaven. See!" Jeremy pointed to the crucifix on the wall.
"He grew up?"
"He grew up and he healed people and some other people didn't like him and they made him die on the cross."
"He grew up?"
"He was a man. Look. Didn't you know that?"
"I guess so," Jaimee answered.
The night wore on. Jaimee and Jeremy talked some more and played games and watched TV. Then it was time to go home.

Everybody was in the living room getting ready; Jaimee went over to the tree. Funny, it didn't smell the same. And the big plastic Santa: it looked different. It didn't smile; it didn't even seem to see Jaimee. Jaimee felt funny, too. Different: Older, maybe. Jaimee couldn't say for sure. Mama helped her into her coat. Jaimee was careful to avoid Uncle Jim. She gave hugs to Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Amy.
"Jaimee. Say goodbye to Uncle Jim," said Mama. Jaimee knew she had been trapped. She held her breath while Uncle Jim picked her up and hugged her. His whiskers scratched her face. She felt dirty. It was a relief to get outside. It had started to snow.

On the way home, Jaimee looked out the window from her car seat and thought: about Dad, about Santa, about Jesus. Christmas was almost over. Why hadn't she gotten what she had prayed for? She knew she'd been bad. But, she didn't think she'd been bad enough not to get her wish. She watched the Christmas lights go by and thought of all the happy Christmas stories. She felt herself riding in Dad's lap. She closed her eyes.

Jaimee woke up while Mama was unloading the car and tucking her in bed. She laid awake watching reflections from the streetlight dance on her ceiling.
"Play with us, Big Sister," the lights seemed to say. "We're lonely and you're lonely, too." Jaimee knew the lights couldn't talk. But, she stayed awake to watch them dance. She came to some conclusions: about Santa, he lied to her; about Jesus, the grownup Jesus might not listen, but she knew there was still a Baby Jesus; about Dad, he wanted Jaimee to be with him.

Jaimee had to find out for sure. She got dressed in her snowsuit and crept out of the house. There was a dusting of snow on the ground, sparkling snow, little sparkling lights that shone in the streetlights and danced and said "Play with us Big Sister." Jaimee found herself chasing after them. "I'd like to play, but I must be going," Jaimee said as she headed toward the church. The baby sister lights followed, sometimes hiding in the shadows, sometimes dancing under the mercury lamps.
The Nativity was brightly lit, and her sparkling playmates followed her all the way up to the Baby Jesus. "Baby Jesus," said Jaimee. "Baby Jesus, please help my Daddy find me." Jaimee looked around. She moved one of the lambs so he could see the Baby Jesus. She made sure all of the animals had enough to eat. Then Jaimee crawled into the manger and cuddled up in the straw.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,637 • Replies: 8
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lindatw
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 08:35 pm
Neologist : Just read your Christmas story ! Excellent writing! Will you continue,or finish it? Pleeeeease? Very Happy Very Happy
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 08:50 pm
Neologist: Well done. There is a typo in it, but the writing is good and the story true to life.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 10:51 pm
lindatw wrote:
Neologist : Just read your Christmas story ! Excellent writing! Will you continue,or finish it? Pleeeeease? Very Happy Very Happy
I know what you mean. I hate reading a story where an innocent suffers harm. A while back I toyed with a happy ending and couldn't make it work. So for now, lets' assume we couldn't have known about why Jaimee moved the lamb if she hadn't told us.
edgarblythe wrote:
Neologist: Well done. There is a typo in it, but the writing is good and the story true to life.
Thanks edgar - a plus from one of your talent.

Now I will have to search for the typo. I had a real job re-formatting after having written the original in MS Word. Then Spell check corrected me everytime it got to Jaimee, so I started pressing the ignore button.

Live and learn.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 10:58 pm
I said typo - actually, it is a missing word, in the paragraph that mentions Chicken Little.
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AngeliqueEast
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 09:26 am
Very nice!
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2005 08:44 pm
Neologist, I love happy endings but some stories just can't have happy endings and stay true to the message. Answers aren't always there, no matter how you yearn for one. That's one of the hardest lessons of life and one of the most important.

Thank you for your story. It was very good, although I'm no judge, but it made my heart contract in sympathy for Jaimee.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 12:52 pm
Christmas time's a comin'.
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 12:58 pm
@edgarblythe,
Hey Edgar...

haven't been here for an A2K Christmas... the last two Christmas's I'd sooner not remember.

Beginning to look forward to this Christmas whatever it may hold. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
 

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