Violet had just finished tying a decorative bow around the last gift she needed to wrap when she heard a car door slam just outside her window.
“Goodness, that can't be Sophie back so soon,” she muttered as she placed the small package under the Christmas tree with all the others and went to see whose footfalls she heard crunching up the gravel path. Before she reached the front door, it flung open.
“Merry Christmas, Mom!”
“Kenny!” she gasped.
“That's me!” he said, closing the door on the frigid blast behind him. “Your long lost baby boy is finally home. Still love me?”
She laughed and rushed to him. “What do you think, you silly boy?” she said. “I've missed you so much, Kenny.”
He scooped her up in a bone crushing embrace. “I've missed you, too, Mom,” he said. “Mom, are you getting smaller or am I getting bigger?”
She laughed and kissed him. “Probably both. Oh, Kenny, it's so good to see you.”
“Good to be back home.”
“Let me look at you,” she said, stepping back slightly. “Still thin as a rail, and what is it about beards all of a sudden? Must everyone look like Grizzly Adams now?”
“Who?” he said, shrugging out of his coat.