He Quit Before Christmas by Holly Geely – Day 24 Advent 2017, 4th Sunday of Advent

He Quit Before Christmas by Holly Geely

Day 24 Advent 2017, 4th Sunday of Advent

“Your contract requires two weeks’ notice. You can’t leave tonight,” Santa said.

“I can, and I will,” Donner said.

“It’s Christmas Eve. We need you here.”

“My flight is booked.”

“We don’t have an airport.”

“Yeah, I booked myself. I’m done with this job. I’m done with you.”

“How can you say that?”

“As if you don’t know! I’ve stayed through some rotten curveballs. You promoted Rudolph over me, even though I have the most seniority. Fine, I can handle that. You cut out Christmas bonuses so you could afford to install that hot tub. The others complained, but I never said a word. I literally worked my tail off for you – my butt’s never going to look the same – and you’ve never once thanked me.”

“Donner – ”

“You’ve changed my name from Dunder to Donner and back again so many times I can’t even keep track. You consistently eat all the carrots the kids put out for me. Everyone else gets their carrots, but you come out of those houses and you go, oh sorry donner there’s only eight carrots. Guess there’s none for you!”

“I never…”

“I’ve had enough.”

“Where will you go? You’re a talking and flying reindeer. You don’t blend in.”

“That’s another thing I hate about working for you. You’re so tactless.”

“Think of the sad little children with no gifts on Christmas day.”

“You used an eight-deer team before Rudolph came along. You can do it again.”

“It won’t be the same without you, Donner. Is there some way I can convince you to stay?”

“Nothing comes to mind.”

“Money? A promotion? I’ll do anything, Donner.”

“Anything?”

“Anything.”

 

“And that’s why I’m hitched to the sleigh and Donner’s inside delivering your presents,” Santa said.

“Wow,” said little Billy. He had climbed onto the roof when he heard a loud thump. At six, he was familiar with the poem, and had expected a clatter.

“Now run along back to your room, son, before your parents find you up here and sue me for child endangerment,” Santa said.

“Okay.”

“And tell Donner this has gone on long enough. He’s being ridiculous.”

“You deserve it,” said little Billy. He tossed a snowball at Santa’s head and retreated back to his room.

The reindeer laughed.

 

“Well, what do you know? There were only eight carrots. I guess there were no carrots for you,” Donner said.

“We’ve been to eighty thousand homes. Is that ever going to get old?” Santa said.

“Nope,” Donner said.

 

And they heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight,

“Your employees hold grudges, so you’d best treat ‘em right!”


This is Holly’s second post in this year’s advent calendar, find her poem “Midwinter” here.

Holly Geely likes Christmas so much she dedicated her right arm to it (in the form of a tattoo). You can find her ramblings, short stories, and links to other works at hollygeely.com.

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Christmas Hassles -Day 23 Advent 2017

Christmas Hassles

Day 23 Advent 2017

It happens that we don’t open our advent Calendars on the right day, that we are a day late or so. I am sure that even the most devoted of readers of this year’s calendar are sometimes a day late in reading. Who am I to blame you? It’s the advent season and we all have so many things to do. As things happened I had no participant for a few days, one of them being the 20th. Unexpectedly, I spend my day moving about, picking up Christmas presents from the printers and when I wanted to go home, I found out that two days before I had not picked up all of the exams that I have to mark… so I went to pick those up and had to hurry home to arrive there after my student) he was 15 minutes early). All in all it lead to no post on my sister’s birthday. Did you notice the lack of a post?The Christmas preparations always come with a few hassles. Planning out the festivities, buying a tree on time, making sure that all presents are in order, mail is sent out… can make an already busy life a little more stressful. Oftentimes someone in the family will come down with a crippling flu or other unpleasant things (especially when children are involved). How comforting can a cup of got chocolate be? Finding some calm with Christmas music, Christmas cookies and some warming candle light.

The Magic and Curse of Christmas by Angela Guidolin – Day 21 Advent 2017

The Magic and Curse of Christmas by Angela Guidolin

Day 21 Advent 2017

When I was a child in the ’70, my parents had just started their own ice-cream business. To me, it meant not seeing much of them, having a few toys to play with (that sometimes my mum was forced to give as a present to other children if we were invited to social events like their First Communion for example), and clothes handed down from older cousins.

Christmas Day was a rare occasion to celebrate, and the anticipation for the family reunion and the chance to play with my cousins filled me with joy. Not to mention the expectations for the gifts I would find under the Christmas tree at my granny’s! However, delusion would quickly set in as my presents came always with the caveat, “For today and for your birthday but it’s so big!”

Yes, I am one of the lucky people who was born on 31st December. To add insult to injury, usually there would be just a birthday cake for me, but no party, because my guests’ parents would be too busy getting ready for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Growing up, I’d celebrate my birthday with my friends in mid-December or on the 31st, but eventually I stopped altogether because I’m always 28, you see.

I’m sorry I’ve digressed. Let’s go back to Christmas. During the festivities we used to enjoy visiting the various Nativities displayed in nearby churches, farms and schools. Some would be small and made with simple materials, others elaborate and covering a huge surface.

Another family tradition used to take place at the Sunday market, where we loved to drink the hot chocolate (or the mulled wine when I was much older), sold for a small price by a local charity, near a gigantic Christmas tree, listening to the Christmas carols spread all over the town centre via loudspeakers.

The magic of Christmas disappeared for me when at 18 I walked out of the Catholic Church and became an atheist. That was a revolutionary act in a small Italian village 30 years ago.

Many years later, I was living in France and pregnant with my only daughter. She was due on the 26th December. Yes, 26th December! No, I couldn’t let that happen her to her too. The curse of half presents for Christmas and half for birthday had to be lifted. So in my meditations and talks to her I often urged her to be born either in the beginning of December or in January. I must have been persuasive because she was born on the 4th December, the first day she could be born safely.

And with my daughter the magic of Christmas has come back into my life. I’m not merely talking about the photos taken with Santa Claus, and the plates filled with carrots for Rudolf and cookies for Santa, left by the window in the sitting room when she was little. I’m talking about the hope for a better future, the hope that whatever is in store for humanity, we will unite and rise to the challenge. For our children’s sake.

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Angela Guidolin is a science fiction author and lives in Folkestone (UK) with her child. She has recently released the science fiction romance novella Across Spacetime. She blogs at www.angelaguidolinauthor.co.uk

Christmas Fun, circa 1968; an argument and having a gas by Geoff Le Pard – 3rd Sunday of Advent, Day 17 Advent 2017

Christmas Fun, circa 1968; an argument and having a gas by Geoff Le Pard

3rd Sunday of Advent, Day 17 Advent 2017

Maybe it’s a childhood thing but my memory of Christmas is of a happy day enjoyed by all. They were never spoilt by arguments or friction. They might be boring, they could be wacky, or hilarious, and sometimes eye opening but never was a voice raised in anger.

Apart that is, than the year my Gran, my mum’s mum, got a bit squiffy on the port and lemons, eat heartily, fell asleep during the Queen’s speech and woke up in a bit of a state.

To set the scene properly I should perhaps explain, for those reading this who gave up on the British Empire as a bad job 200 plus years ago and those others on whom the benefits of British dominion was never endowed, that this means listening to Queen Liz’s Christmas message to her subjects at 3 pm every Christmas Day. This was as much a Christmas ritual in our house, as was Mum up with the lark ‘to put the bird in’ (inserting a huge turkey in the oven at stupid o’clock so it might be ready before Christmas ended), satsumas in my Christmas stocking and Dad saying grace at Christmas dinner.

And there’s another quirk of Christmas. In our house, resolutely middle class and Southern, the meal in the middle of the day was lunch, unlike in working class households, or those north of an imaginary line between Bristol in the West and the Wash in the East where the middle of the day meal was dinner. Yet, at Christmas we passed on lunch and had Christmas dinner. I’ve never understood this other than as some sort of inverted snobbery on the part of my parents.

Where was I? Oh yes, Gran. She ate a hearty dinner, fell asleep and woke at 5 demanding food. She would only believe she’d had her turkey when she saw the destroyed carcass but swore we’d not been given her Christmas pudding…

Christmas pudding, if you’ve not enjoyed this most British of desserts is not so much prepared as evolves over several months. The ingredients, which oddly include beef suet, are mixed for the first time in about July. Over the following months the concoction is stirred – stirring is accompanied by wishes – and copious alcohol is added. On the day the pudding is steamed for hours until the outside would do Pirelli proud and the inside tastes of a pudding made over months that includes beef fat and alcohol and has been steamed for hours. It is served with rum custard and brandy butter which may explain its popularity.

On this particular day there was none left and the pudding plate had been washed so there was no evidence to show her that she had, indeed, eaten a significant portion. She was angry at what she saw as her daughter’s duplicity. She seethed and she scolded for what appeared to be hours, until my father refreshed her glass and she dozed until nearer midnight.

While Gran slept my uncle aunt and cousins came round for tea, sandwiches and games. Mostly charades. This was the time Mum and I were teamed for this ridiculous miming extravaganza but a problem was brewing. I was rather full of gas after the turkey feast and had bravely held it in check in front of my gorgeous cousins for a good hour. But there is only so much self-control a young man can be expected to maintain. As soon as we left the room to plot our team mime my muscles gave way to the seismic forces within. Mum was half a sentence into her plan when the guttering, choking bit of Wilfred Owen’s WW1 poem about Gas! Gas! got to her. She stopped, went pale and staggered back into the sitting room collapsing on the floor into a dead faint. When she had been dragged upright she pointed at me and said, ‘How can any human body convert good food to silage so quickly?’ I suppose the only thing that saved my shame was that, at that time, my cousins didn’t know what silage was.

And to cap my misery, we were disqualified as mum had spoken during our turn.

The archaeologist and me, forced to look happy…

Anyway, Christmases were and are and, I hope, will remain happy, pleasant if not often especially memorable family occasions. However Charli insists we take a different stance and this foreign air I’m imbibing has once again triggered two ideas.

First there is Mary. Here’s the link to her back story

Hanging the decorations

‘Let’s do the decorations today, mum.’ Penny rubbed her hands. She loved the tradition of dressing the tree.

While Mary fetched the box and Paul put the tree in the stand, Penny disappeared to her room. ‘Look,’ she said, ‘Uncle Rupert gave it to me. He got it from Grandpa.’

Mary googled at the hand carved Santa hanging from red string. Didn’t her half-brother realise how this much would hurt?

‘Let me,’ she said.

While Paul fixed the star and Penny the tinsel, Mary coiled the string into a noose, hiding the loop in a groove. ‘All done.’

And here’s an alternative

The stuffing

‘Reindeer? But we always have turkey.’

‘It’ll be a change.’ Patrick grinned. ‘Special offer.’

Marcie swallowed her anger. Always doing things on the cheap. ‘Patrick, it’s Christmas. Can’t we forget the cost…’

Patrick’s smug grin was almost too much to bear. ‘I know you hate waste so we’ll just have to go with it.’

Patrick was pleased when, later, Marcie began hunting for a recipe. ‘The stuffing,’ she said. ‘It has to be perfect.’

Patrick carved. Inside there was a roasting bag. ‘For you Patrick.’

He held the divorce papers in sticky fingers.

‘It won’t be cheap,’ she said.


Geoff was already a guest to this year’s calendar with “The Fourth Plinth

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

My father and other liars final for kindle 6 JulyMy Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.

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Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.

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Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015

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Salisbury SquareSalisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves.

This is available here

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Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?

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Solveig’s review

Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages Amazon.co.uk Amazon.com Smashwords

Of Memories Of Christmas Past by Beaton – Day 14 Advent 2017

Of Memories Of Christmas Past by Beaton

Day 14 Advent 2017

Christmas is the one holiday I look forward to all year round. I see some shops have started advertising Christmas Specials, so it’s not too early to talk about the festive season………

You know it’s almost Christmas when you walk into a shop and they are playing carols and of course a Santa Claus Station where you get your photo taken, sitting on s red suited guy’s lap. This is mostly kids’ stuff. I don’t think have had my photo taken with Father Christmas since I was in kindergarten. It used to be such a big deal and you would get a gift box too, I don’t remember if our parents paid for it, if they did they never said and we never thanked them for it.

Note to myself: This year I am definitely having my photo taken with Santa or I just might be Santa my beard is practically all white I could pull off the look.

Its weird how we grow up and things that seemed to be super important when we were toddlers suddenly have less significance. All the thoughts we lose on our way to becoming adults. I can remember past Christmas holidays from my childhood as if they happened just yesterday but I can hardly remember my last Christmas.

Growing every Christmas we got new clothes, new shoes and then a gift probably a toy or board game. You would wake up on Christmas morning and you could practically smell Christmas. Christmas smells like my mum’s baking, a multi coloured cake we called The Rainbow cake. I thought it looked a touch hideous but my grandmother loved it to so every Christmas it showed up it was tradition.

I remember grandma telling me the story of how a saviour was born in a stable and lay in manger and how we must not forget the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas, if it was not true why do all the cows and goats wake up facing east, to watch the sunrise; to honour a king. I never saw them actually do this and grandma used to laugh when I asked and told me I was not waking up early enough…. I haven’t seen them do it but I tell the story anyway….

What’s Christmas without a tree

What’s a Christmas tree without decorations

What’s Christmas breakfast without bread and jam and cake

What’s Christmas without memories like these

Christmas seems like an affair for children but don’t be fooled, the older generation are moved beyond words at a chance to see their children with their children’s children and possibly their children’s children’s children since it now seems we only ever gather like this at funerals….

Writing this post has put me in the festive spirit and this Christmas I will definitely put in the effort, I’ll even buy cards and post them, I’ll dress up in a red jump suit and give gifts, I will tell stories and create timeless memories……

Stay festive

~B

This post was originally published on Beaton’s blog on the 25th of September 2017, check it out for some pictures.


Bio

IMG_20171211_182541

I am an analogue man in a digital world….. Evolved to tell tales and start fires, my spirit an

 

imal is a dragon, and I am mastering digital storytelling…

You can read me on my blog
http://www.BecomingTheMuse.wordpress.com

Facebook www. facebook.com/BecomingTheMuse

Or find me tweeting my life away 280 characters at a time on twitter @beatonm5

~B

Midwinter by Holly Geely – Day 12 Advent 2017

Midwinter by Holly Geely

Day 12 Advent 2017

 

Midwinter

 

‘Tis early on midwinter’s day

And Nature is in all her glory

Never was a day more perfect

Not in any rhyme, or story.

 

Her beauty is beyond compare.

 

O see. the sparkling winter morn

With blanket white upon the ground!

Fresh footprints trail across the lawn,

And I, well…I’m still laying down.

 

It’s really freakin’ cold out there.

Celebrating the Yuletide Season at Castle Vexstein by Jemima Pett – Day 10 Advent 2017, 2nd Sunday of Advent

Celebrating the Yuletide Season at Castle Vexstein by Jemima Pett

Day 10 Advent 2017, 2nd Sunday of Advent

Jemima Pett offers Solveig’s readers a glimpse into the society of her Princelings of the East series this Advent.  The books feature two princelings who leave their home castle, Castle Marsh, to have many mysterious adventures, mostly involving time travel, pirates, and new inventions.

All seven books in the series are on sale during the December-January period, leading up to the publication of book 8 on 30th January. For details see the series on the Princelings website.

The first piece (2nd December) is by Queen Kira, who plays a major part in books 2 and 3 of the series. George and Fred are the original Princelings of the East.  Fred is now King, and George is an engineer, flying ace, and inventor of new machines.

The second piece (10th December) is by Sir Pogo, who lives in a very different castle, Castle Vexstein.  Their main industry is brewing the drink Vex, which has a monopoly in brewed drinks throughout the country. It’s a complete contrast from Castle Marsh, the focus of the Princelings series, and increasingly the source of most of the troubles that are brewing.

Celebrating the Yuletide Season at Castle Vexstein,by Sir Pogo

Castle Vexstein.jpegThe Yuletide season is one of relaxation and happiness for all who belong to Vexstein, from the lowliest to the highest, currently my uncle, Baron Smallweed, who succeeded a few years ago following the death of my other uncle, the late Baron Darcy.

The relaxation stems in part to the fact that we close down production at the brewery for the ten day holiday.  This allows everyone to have a good break and for all the equipment to be thoroughly cleaned and overhauled.   So Solstice really starts with the end of the last shift, and to mark that, we have a firework display over the brewery, and a street market with vendors selling hot drinks and snacks, playing music and dancing, on the streets outside the castle walls.

The next morning we have our formal ceremony to mark Solstice, with the elders of the family processing in their correct order through the streets of the second level to the Great Hall.  We invite our best workers to the event and also, to be democratic about it, hold a lottery for the rest of the tickets among the castle inhabitants.  I have heard that these tickets are sold to others wanting to attend, but we encourage free enterprise so do nothing to spoil our citizens’ enjoyment.  It’s good to know that people are willing to pay to attend, but I dissuaded Lord Smallweed from making it a pay-to-attend event some years back.

We have a formal dinner in the evening of Solstice with Family and any visiting dignitaries, together with the Marshals of the Castle.  Marshals are the order of people who deal with the day to day running of the castle, under Lord Smallweed’s direction, of course.  It is our main way of thanking the Marshals for their hard work during the year.

Over the next few days we have a number of family get-togethers, usually involving food and wine, and some entertainments, often encouraging talent from our citizens to show their skills.  We also have a narrating competition that is held somewhere in the first or second level for the citizens who wish to attend.  I gather it’s quite popular. Actually, it is very popular, or at least it was when I slipped away from my family duties to watch it when I was much younger.  But I don’t know that officially, you understand.

When the cleaning of the brewery is finished, we inspect it and congratulate the workers with a special party for them and an extra pack of Vex to take home to their families.  Oh, I forgot to mention the children’s party we arrange for the families of all the citizens on one of the days between Solstice and Green Willow Day.

Finally we get to Green Willow Day.  We walk the circuit of every level of the castle accompanied by all those who live on it, and those above, until we have the entire castle population walking round the lowest level. Well, not the slums outside the castle but inside the walls, obviously. I’d like to clear those out and get everyone decent accommodation, but my uncle says it’s a waste of time. The walk around the castle levels is fun, though. We finish with an open air fire and hot drinks and some food, and speeches to remind people of their duty in the new year, and everyone renews their oath to serve the Baron.  Then we go back upstairs for our formal meal and a ball, and I believe the citizens have a party too.  Then we start up production at 6 am on new year’s day and get back to normal.

Celebrating Gratefulness during the holiday season by D.E. Haggerty – Day 8 Advent 2017

Celebrating Gratefulness during the holiday season by D.E. Haggerty

Day 8 Advent 2017

 

I had an entire blog post planned out in my head about Christmas traditions and how my husband and I had developed our own as he’s often in foreign lands far away from either one of our families during the Christmas holidays. But then I went to a BusinessBoost event and heard a talk from Mo Gawdat. This evening was supposed to be about entrepreneurship and risk-taking. Mr. Gawdat is the Chief Business Officer of the futuristic dream factory Google X. I expected him to talk about Google and taking risks in the IT industry. That is definitely not what I got.

Instead, Gawdat talked about his novel, Solve for Happy, and his happiness formula. I haven’t read the book, and Gawdat only had twenty-five minutes to portray his ideas to us, but this is what I got out of his talk. Career success does not equal happiness. We need to stop seeing success as a monetary goal. Mr. Gawdat wants us to try and achieve happiness instead. How do we do that? We need to stop being individualistic and materialistic. We need to appreciate what we have.

What Mr. Gawdat said is not revolutionary. It’s one of the life lessons/affirmations we hear all the time – appreciate what you have and all that. One thing he did say resonated with me, however. The Netherlands has one of the happiest populations in the world yet the Dutch claim they have a ‘klacht cultuur’ – a complaining culture. Mr. Gawdat responded with the wise words What are you complaining about? This reminded me of a Christmas with my family two years back.

My husband hasn’t celebrated Christmas with my family in this millennium. It’s impossible. He’s a pilot, and planes keep on flying on Christmas. Mostly, airliners are sympathetic and offer pilots the opportunity to have either Christmas or New Year’s off. My husband never asks for Christmas off as we don’t have children, and we only feel it’s fair those with children get the holiday off.

So, it wasn’t unusual that I was celebrating Christmas with my family in Wisconsin while my husband was flying in Istanbul. I hadn’t seen my nieces and nephews for a few years and I was not only surprised by how tall they’d grown – when did that happen? – but by how whiney they’d become. Now, I know all teenagers can whine like champions, but it was Christmas! What was there to complain about?

My patience – always in short supply – snapped. While I was partaking in an abundance of Christmas wine and opening presents with my family, a mortar attack happened at the airport where my husband is based and two cleaning personnel were killed. Fortunately, the attack happened after the passengers had disembarked. Then, during my Christmas call to the husband, I learned he was flying to the Syrian border to transport military troops.

I lost my ever-loving mind and decided it was time to bring a little perspective to my whiney nieces and nephews. I asked them if they had the first clue where their uncle was while they were sitting around opening presents and complaining about them? No? I told them in a voice laced with fear and language liberally sprinkled with profanities exactly what he was enduring and the danger he was in while they were safe and warm with their families.

What’s the purpose of me telling you this story? Except to prove that I can be a big ‘ol meanie when I want to be and am therefore not the most favorite aunt in the world (although I’m totally the coolest, right?). It’s exactly what Mr. Gawdat was trying to tell the audience about being happy. What are you complaining about? Is it that you haven’t got clean water to drink? Or a toilet in your house and you’ve got to walk in the dark to a communal toilet during which time the chance of being raped is frighteningly high? No? Then, maybe you should be grateful for all you have. And what better time of the year is there to be grateful than at Christmas.

I will be celebrating an Orphan Christmas this year on Christmas Eve with several friends who are also away from their families while my husband flies wherever it is he’s flying. But I’m still grateful that I have those friends and in-laws with whom to celebrate. Besides, I’ll see the hubby on New Year’s Eve and who knows what trouble I can get into then?


D.E. Haggerty (aka Dena) grew-up reading everything she could get her grubby little hands on, from her mom’s Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When she wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, she was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing her of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion she did manage to sneak a book into her rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, she went back to school and got her law degree. She jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into her legal career, she was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. She quit her job and sat down to write a manuscript, which she promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t her thing, so she quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t her thing either. She polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where she decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from her adopted home. She packed up again and moved to The Hague where she’s currently working on her next book. She hopes she’ll always be working on her next book. Her twelfth book, Searching for Gertrude, will be hitting (virtual) bookshelves on January 22nd.
Author links:
Website: http://dehaggerty.wordpress.com
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The Small Dog’s Christmas by Sue Vincent – Day 7 Advent 2017

The Small Dog’s Christmas by Sue Vincent

Day 7 Advent 2017

Ani 2 (1).jpg

 

The Small Dog’s Christmas

If the dog had more turkey that Christmas than me
Then that, she informs me, is how it should be;
While I can have chocolate, mince pies and cake,
(And any more naughtiness that I can bake)
She’s not allowed half the best of the stuff,
Which, as a deal, she considers quite tough.

“I, O great writer,” I heard the dog quote,
(As she choked on the sarcasm stuck in her throat)
“Am also omnivorous, rather like you,
It is only fair I have something to chew.”
And she sucked in her cheeks, looking all starved and thin,
Knowing only too well that I always give in.

She turned up her nose at a nice Brussels sprout,
(Though she licked off the gravy and pushed it about)
But she seemed to approve of the crisp Yorkshire pud,
‘Cause it went down so fast that it had to be good.
But it wasn’t the grail at the end of her quest,
“Get with it, O writer, and serve up the rest.”

She watched every sliver and morsel I carved
Determined the portions should fairly be halved,
Though her maths are not good and in her mind at least
Means a quarter for me and the rest for the beast.
“I’ll have some of that bacon, a sausage or two,
That should be me sorted… now how about you?”

I turn from the counter to get out my plate…
Realise my mistake… but by then it’s too late,
She’s wolfed down her own and my Boxing Day dinner
Was neatly disposed of and vanished within her!
She is licking her lips as she heads for the table
And dives underneath just as fast as she’s able.

It doesn’t take long though before she comes out
To investigate what the laughter’s about;
Fearing no retribution, she prances with cheek
Having eaten my meals for the rest of the week.
I still had the last of the nice Christmas pud…
“Are you making custard?” says she. “Custard’s good….”

“Now small dog, I ask you, is this really wise?
You won’t be so small in a heavier size.
I have not overeaten this Christmas at all
And I’ve worked off the cake playing fetch with the ball,
You’re not allowed raisins, the custard is mine.”
The small dog just laughed and said, “Have some more wine.”

“Now let me explain,” she said, “O writer dear;
It’s all about sharing at this time of year.
We’ve just shared the turkey,” (I said not a word),
“And given a good resting place to the bird.
If you don’t share custard, I’ll really be hurt,”
She grinned and continued, “Call it ‘just dessert’.”

And so we had custard the small dog and I,
And she had the top off the final mince pie
Then she made puppy eyes, and I answered her pleas
To finish her meal with a morsel of cheese.
And then I got cuddles, so how can I moan?
It’s better to share than be dining alone.

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