Hi folks. Those of you who really don't like long stories should probably pass on this one. Remember when we were younger and all of the comicbooks did those double or triple suzed Christmas specials? Well that's what this is. My long corny and sometimes whimsical Christmas special. There are times when it will be very serious and other times when it will be very uhm ... Christmassy. Once again it is very long so be warned. And from The incredible Mikothebaby who edited this story while juggling her move and all of her Christmas shopping, but also from Kat and me, Merry Christmas to all of you.
Christmas has always been special to me. It's the one time of year where we can all just come together and celebrate something that's bigger than all of us. It's a time for getting together with old friends and new ones to lift a glass or just feel good about being alive. Families come together and exchange gifts and charities and the less fortunate make a large part of their yearly donations in one fell swoop.
People who would never ordinarily bother to look at that homeless man with the, "Will work for food," sign near the freeway off ramp actually roll down their windows and give him a few dollars instead of the finger.
This year, Christmas was especially great for me because of the weather. Normally here in Michigan, we start getting snow by the end of October or the middle of November at the latest. But things have changed some and for the past couple of years; Nada. If this is global warming, I'll take it.
Of course, I did have that pesky Mayan calendar thing looming over my head but shit, if the world ended, we'd all have a bad day.
Anyway, the coolest thing about the temperature shift was that I was able to drive my Mustang well into December, when normally I'd have put her up by the beginning of October. Not that I had anything against my Jeep, but my Mustang is, was and always will be my baby.
My name is Alan Taylor and I'm an investment broker. My wife, Elizabeth, is an office manager for a marketing firm. We're both twenty seven and have been married for five years. We have our lives planned out and are well on track to our goals. We both make very good money and live in a nice luxury condo.
Our life plan started out when we were in college. The plan called for me to get a job with a bank or an investment firm and for her to get a job where she could utilize her clerical and administrative skills. We'd both work until we hit our early thirties and then hopefully we'd be secure enough that we could make it on one income. Then we'd start issuing perfect children until we thought we had enough of them. After the perfect children were in college, I'd retire and we'd travel the world and see all kinds of exciting places for a few years and then come home to aid in the rearing of our nearly God-like grandchildren.
That was the way my parents did it, or at least they thought they did. And if it was good enough for them, it was good enough for me. Currently, my parents were living in their winter home in Florida. Yes, my parents, who'd always claimed that they loved Michigan because of its seasons, are among those most dreaded of creatures. My parents are snow birds.
My dad decided a few years ago that he'd seen enough Michigan winters. He was tired of ass deep snow and below zero temperatures. He no longer gave a flying fuck about the crunch of fresh snow or icicles glistening on the roof and trees. He and my mom decided to say goodbye to remote car starters and snow blowers, to say nothing of the possible heart attacks that stemmed from older people shoveling heavy, wet snow on a sometimes daily basis.
They bought a second home in inland Florida away from the hurricane belt that circled the coast but still warm enough that my dad could play golf in his shirt sleeves or a light jacket at the very worst.
We were all invited down every year for Christmas, but they never intended to spend another winter in the, "God forsaken," Midwest. My mom and dad spent roughly five months each year in sunny Florida and the rest of the year here in Michigan.
So Liz and I alternated our holidays. This year it was Christmas with Elizabeth's parents and family. Liz was decked out for the holidays in a tight red sweater that made even her moderate bust look good. She had on a matching tight red skirt that came just above her knees. Her stockings and belt were elf green and she had a Santa hat perched jauntily on top of her head. Her bright red lipstick set off her green eyes and she kept blowing me kisses all the way there.
Even among family, Liz attracted a lot of attention but she stayed firmly riveted to my side. I'd brought a few of our lesser Christmas gifts to open with her parents and siblings but most of our really nice gifts were still at home under our tree.
Besides the ones that we gave each other, we both had presents from our parents and families and a smattering of smaller and sometimes joke presents from friends and co-workers.
My biggie for Liz this year was going to knock her socks off. Her parents already knew about it. I had gotten Liz another wedding ring. The one I'd bought her when we first got married means a lot to her. But back then we were struggling college students and I'd wanted to buy her a ring without parental guidance or help. I'd done the best I could, but it wasn't the ring I thought she deserved.
So my intention this Christmas was to propose to her all over again in front of her parents and our families. We were going to renew our vows and take another honeymoon cruise. I'd bagged a few of the presents from non-family members that were under our tree and brought them with me. The last one I'd give her was the new ring and I'd kept that one in my pocket.
Right after the very early Christmas dinner, which was a tradition in Elizabeth's family, we started to open the presents. The kids got to open their presents first thing in the morning. We watched them rip through their presents and run around the house screaming at each new toy they unveiled. After Christmas dinner, with the kids tired out by all of the excitement and watching a movie, the adults opened their presents.
Elizabeth's mom got a seat on the couch right in front of the tree. I could tell she was excited, especially since she'd helped me pick out the ring. Elizabeth's dad had helped me to book the cruise and we made sure that all of our accommodations were first class. Their smiles were huge and everyone was buzzing with excitement.
Elizabeth's younger sister, Sarah, opened a couple of her presents first to start things out and then her brother took over opening his. To speed things along, Elizabeth's dad started opening presents for everyone. He'd pick a person and open one of their presents and read the cards telling them who the present was from.
I could tell he wanted to speed things up so he could get to Elizabeth. He'd go through a couple of her presents and then turn things over to me.
He finally went through everyone and got to Elizabeth. He started with one of the medium sized presents that she'd gotten. It was one of those, "not available in stores," items that were only sold on TV. The, "New Wave Oven," it was called. It was some kind of induction heating system that was used for quickly cooking food without needing to heat up your entire stove.
We all laughed because I think everyone there knew that Liz couldn't cook to save her ass. She was beautiful and brilliant, but domestic skills were simply not her strong point. Liz and I always said that she couldn't make a decent meal in the kitchen but she cooked in the bedroom.
After everyone had a laugh at the present, my father in law picked up another of Elizabeth's gifts. It was a very small box that had been delivered to the condo only yesterday. It had been delivered by Fed-Ex and I'd just thrown it under the tree. Several of Elizabeth's colleagues hadn't attended their Holiday party and had shipped her presents. Liz often said that they'd waited until the last minute and bought presents after seeing what everyone else gave.
I smiled expecting to see another ill-suited present but my smile turned to horror as my father in law opened the box and pulled out a lingerie set that had only a very tiny set of thong panties and a see through bra. Everyone looked at me and started oohing and aahing. That is until my father in law read the card.
"Can't wait to see you in this and out of it while we celebrate Christmas together," it was signed John. John was Elizabeth's boss. The asshole even had the gall to write. P.S. make sure you're alone when you open this one.
Elizabeth's dad's voice trailed off as he read the card. Her mother's mouth dropped open in surprise. Her sister wondered if it was some kind of joke. Her brother put his hands over the eyes of his kids. He looked at his sister with his mouth drawn and tight.
Liz started crying and everyone looked at me. After a pregnant pause, I stood up and excused myself. I told them that I needed to take a walk and that I'd be back in a few moments. I picked up my keys on the way out and got into my car and drove away.
I didn't know how long it would take them to realize that I wouldn't be back, but I was sure that they'd all understand.
I figured that I'd need about two hours to accomplish everything I needed to do in the short run. Knowing someone makes predicting their actions easy. I knew that Liz would be very embarrassed and not want to talk to anyone for a while. Her parents, while shocked, were still her parents. So it would take them the amount of time that Liz was too embarrassed to be around people, to decide that she needed their help to get through whatever she was going through.
.... There is more of this story ...