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Home for Christmas
Charlotte sat at the bus stop wondering whether she would make the naughty or nice list this year. Last year she had rescued a stray kitten and therefore considered herself most definitely “nice”. This year she had broken Daniel’s heart into a million tiny pieces, so “naughty” seemed to be the only answer. There’d be no Santa Claus coming down her chimney anytime soon. – Georgia Beyers
Chapter One - Christmas Sucks!
My eyes are rolling now and I close the magazine up. I should have guessed this week’s fiction feast would be another lame Christmas story.
It’s Christmas Eve Eve and I am so sick of the sleigh bells ring-a-linging and Rudolph’s very shiny nose and I would happily stamp all over the Little Saint Nick. What I want to know is, who decided the whole of December should be sugar-coated, sickly sweet and drizzled in tinsel?
My mom for one. The woman who was born wearing an apron and pays homage to Nigella Lawson. Thanks to my mom there’s always packets of stuff I don’t understand in our kitchen. Foreign nuts, damsons (?!), royal icing (as if the Queen of England has actually commissioned it), essence of wild boar… OK, that one might not be strictly true. But there are cherries that have had every natural flavor removed from them and are so glazed I can use them like a mirror.
I’m watching her now, in between reading lame stories and pretending to do homework. Homework in the holidays sucks particularly when it’s math. I understand math a whole lot less than I understand damsons.
Mom’s humming freaking Nat King Cole while she sashays around the kitchen in her ‘Queen of the Grill’ apron. Dad bought it for her last birthday. Most moms would have thrown it back at him and demanded to know where the diamond necklace was. Not my mom. She squealed like she was sixteen, threw her arms around him and said it was the best present she’d ever been given. That’s the last time I buy her really really expensive tickets to the theatre with all my allowance… and every cent I could find down the back of the couch.
‘You won’t finish that math by looking at me, Darla.’
Darn. Note to self: When reliving family memories stare down at homework book not into space.
I drop my head before she can suggest I get all sugar-coated with her.
‘Why don’t you come help me bake?’ Uh oh. Note to self: Drop head back into book a whole lot faster next time or do homework in your bedroom.
Copyright © Mandy Baggot
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