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  • Writer's pictureLaura Cooney

Christmas 1992: A Timeless Classic

Merry Christmas one and all. This is me singing off for a well deserved writing break and I just wanted to say thank you for your support this year.

Here is something I wrote that was on Short Story Today. An excellent podcast.

If you didn't get a chance to listen or just want to read. Here is the story. The kind of Christmas I hope comes to you all.

Christmas 1992: A Timeless Classic

There is a small train, jangling around the bottom of the tree which sits in the corner of the living room proudly adorned with trinketry of every kind, there is a star, not and angel on the top.

The train rattles round quickly and the children have spent a lot of the day trying to put the Sylvanian Family of mice into the carriages without knocking it off the tracks.

The scene in the sitting room is warm, grandpa is sleeping on the sofa, of course, and granny is playing on the floor with the children. She is carefully putting pieces of Lego together, the tip of her tongue protrudes delicately from her mouth as she concentrates. The children are also slowly working their way through a selection box. There is still the scent of wrapping paper and the sound of Slade in the air from earlier. If you could paint contentment, this, here, is what you’d have to recreate.

In the kitchen mum and dad share a moment. In the moment they have a quiet and somewhat sneaky after dinner Bailies, into which they tot some brandy, a Christmas tradition, better than any Egg Nog. The counters are covered, every inch, with crockery and pots. But there is a strange satisfaction to the mess, it’s nearly time for The Snowman and maybe they think, they should put some logs on the stove. This will still be here later.

Outside there is a sudden flurry of snow and the slushy pavements look like they are beginning to freeze over again, the streets have been almost silent all morning, bar the twins next door racing with their new scooters. The light is draining from the day and the bright white sky is darkening, but it does not look as cold as it should.

Grandpa has wakened with a new sense of purpose. A walk! They should all should go, into the snow. There is, at first, a rumbling of dissent from the children, until it dawns on them that hot chocolate will be forthcoming when they return as well as the remainder of the sweets.

In the flurry of excitement the dog catches his tail in the door, and though there is a yelp, even he seems unable to cause upset on this day and he simply sits down at the door and waits to leave.

In the street Jack Frost has made his Christmas Day appearance and each step is crisply crunchy.

Mum has linked arms with granny and they stop each other skittering on the now slippier slush. The men bravely walk side by side balancing by sheer will. Though it’s not long before they too are holding each other up and sniggering. The children and the dog seem unperturbed by ice and bounce slickly down the pavement gathering cold ice-balls which they try to put down each others necks.

And while this band of seven enjoy the last moments of this Christmas Day, the small train that jangles around the tree continues on its journey, the mice happily singing a chorus of Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow while they await the family’s return.

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