Author's Notes: I wrote this on Christmas Eve while watching "A Christmas Carol" w/ George C. Scott. (The best version out there, IMO, aside from "A Muppet Christmas Carol, heehee.) It's just so cute, I had to share. The opening dialogue is between Scrooge's nephew Fred and Bob Cratchet.
"How's that fine family of yours, Lord Cratchet?"
"All very well, thank you sir."
"You shall give them my best, then."
"I shall, sir!"
Monica sat curled up in an afghan on her couch. A fire burned merrily in the fireplace. It was a contented feeling that settled in her heart.
She looked over at the tree. It was a tall fir decorated with various and sundry colored lights. An angel sat at the top, and a toy train chugged around the town at the base.
"Nicky, don't feed the dog popcorn," she said. The boy in question looked at her with wide, innocent blue eyes.
"You know it makes him sick."
Emily, his twin, nudged him from where she was stringing popcorn. "Told you."
Mia, the oldest, grinned as she was putting part of the long string on the tree. "Mama, when's Daddy getting home?"
"Soon, baby." Monica shifted, and felt something heavy in her arms. Then she remembered-Lillian had crawled into her lap towards the part where Jacob Marley had made his appearance. Not because she was scared of ghosts- of the Christmas variety or otherwise-but because Mommy might be scared. At the moment, Mommy's Great Protector was down for the count.
"It's really snowy outside, Mama," Emily said, concerned.
"It'll be okay, Em," Monica soothed.
"Daddy needs Rudolph!" Lily spoke up.
Monica laughed. "Yes, he does."
"He could have taken Pongo, but his nose doesn't glow," Nicky said, slipping the dog another kernel.
Lily hopped off Monica's lap and went to the window. "I'll keep watch."
Mia was stretching to reach a point above her head. "Mommy, can you put this there?"
"Sure." Monica stepped over to the tree to help her daughter.
"HE'S HERE! HE'S HERE! DADDY'S BACK!" Lily yelled, startling them all. She ran to the front door, followed closely by her siblings.
The door opened and a huge gust of icy air and snow blew in. The chorus of "Daddy Daddy Daddy!!" filled the house. A man stepped in, took one look at them all and started laughing.
"Didja bring us presents?" Nicky asked.
"Presents, presents!" Lily jumped up and down, holding his leg.
"Can't wait until tomorrow, can you?" John asked.
"No." they said in unison.
"Santa brings them, you know that." Monica said.
John looked at Monica over their heads. "There maybe one or two things hiding behind my chair in the living room....."
"YEAH!!!" The four of them ran to find the treasure.
Monica shook her head. "You're spoiling them rotten."
"Ah, Christmas is only once a year." He leaned in to kiss her.
And Monica woke up. A glance at the clock told her it was indeed Christmas day, if only a few minutes into it. She sat up and looked around. Here she was, in a dingy motel room on Christmas day, chasing God-knows-what with her partner.
Her partner. Who was asleep. In the other room. So what was that dream all about? A vision or a wish?
Monica crossed the room to her bag and pulled out the present she had picked up for John over Thanksgiving. She looked at it for a minute and decided to seize the moment.
"Monica?" John asked groggily when the light flipped on. He slept lightly, as a rule. "What's wrong? Did something happen?"
"No," she said calmly, sitting beside him. She handed him the present. It wouldn't bother her if he hadn't gotten her anything. It was Christmas, and they were together, and that was really all that mattered. "Merry Christmas, John."