“Oh, Mom, I love it! Thank you,” Sophie said, hugging her mother.
“Wasn’t sure you’d like it,” Violet said. “You seemed to be getting rather attached to my own coat.”
Sophie giggled and tried the new coat on over her PJs. “This one fits me much better,” she said.
“As should the dress,” Violet said. “My dress was too lose and too short on you.”
“I dunno about that, Violet. Sophie’s boyfriends seemed to like what she wore yesterday just fine,” Janice said, pulling on the knit tunic Violet made for her over her night gown “I love this! It’ll even fit when my baby bump gets bigger.”
“Don’t start that boyfriend stuff again,” Sophie warned, stuffing her feet into the new boots she got from her Aunt Laurie and Uncle Freddy.
“What do you know about this rich kid Sophie’s hanging with, Mom?” Kenny asked, as he opened drawer after drawer of his shiny, new tool chest which, as big as it is, he still couldn’t see how his mother had hidden it from him until Christmas day. “If he’s anything like the Romanoff boys…”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sophie snapped. “What is it with you and them? Thought that feud died with your interest in little league.”
“That’s my point. They haven’t changed much since then,” Kenny retorted. “Simon’s still as superior as ever and Ron…well, he seems nice enough, but he’s flighty and from what I could see he has no direction in life.”
“Now who sounds like pompous Simon?” Sophie muttered, angrily.
“How is that any different from most millennials, Kenny?” Janice asked. “Hardly any of them know what they want to do…besides play video games in their parent’s basement.”
“Ronnie doesn’t play video games!” Sophie said, although she wasn’t certain of that.
“I expect better from someone dating my sister,” he said.
“Geeze, I’m not dating Ronnie. I’m not dating anybody!” Sophie said.
“What about Rance?” Janice said. “He’s nice and very good looking and besides that he’s filthy rich. You could do worse.”
“You sure did,” Sophie muttered, derisively.
“Hey!” Kenny said, tossing an empty box at her.
Violet shook her head. “You kids never change,” she said. “We should get ready for church, if you’re coming with me.”
“Of course we are,” Kenny said. “You never let us stay behind before this and anyway, we have that festive Christmas brunch to look forward to and I’m already hungry!”
“Can’t miss that…since you’re always hungry,” Janice said, gathering all her presents before heading back upstairs.
“Well, we can drive separately then, because I don’t really want to go to it,” Violet said, folding boxes and wrapping paper to save for next year.
“Whaddaya kidding me?” Kenny said. “Everybody else will be there and you’ll be all alone at home? I don’t think so, Mom! You are coming with us.”
Violet grumbled to herself as the others went off to shower and get dressed. “I hate this,” she said, just as Calendula appeared from around the Christmas tree and meowed at her. “Oh, yeah? Well what do you know about it? You have no idea how frustrating it was not to have two minutes together to speak to Victor.”
Calendula meowed again.
“I suppose you think I ought to go anyway, so you can have the house to yourself.”
“Merrrow,” Calendula said, with a bit of attitude.
“True, you have the house to yourself most times and you seem happy enough when I get home, although I suppose that’s because you expect me to clean your litter box and feed you.” Violet said.
“Roowr,” said Calendula.
“True, it couldn’t possibly be worse than last night,” Violet said.
“True, it couldn’t possibly be worse than last night,” Violet said.
“Meorrrr,” Calendula retorted.
“I know, I know,” Violet said. “It wasn’t bad at all. I just wish…what I really want to do today, what I’ve been wanting for so long now. I wish I could see my mom today. I have done so every year and…I miss talking to her…even if she can’t hear me and can’t talk back. I could still imagine what advice she’d give me. She always said the right thing...I imagine she would, anyway and…That’s what I really want for Christmas.”
“Meeeow,” Calendula said, sympathetically rubbing her head on Violet’s knee. “Meeeorw.”
“You’re right, Calendula, I need to have a serious chat with Freddy today and find out where the heck he stashed her away! He’s not getting away with this any longer!”
“Mmmrrar,” Calendula said, sounding rather impressed with this new found feisty attitude.
“You think it might be okay then…going to Victor’s house today?” Violet asked.
The cat purred her response as Violet gave her a little scratch behind the ears.
“Well, I’ll take that as a promise that everything will be okay and I will hold you to it!” Violet said, getting up to finish with the cleaning.
Calendula narrowed her eyes and turned her bushy ginger tail at her human. Apparently, she didn’t like the idea of being blamed for something which was so out of her control!
No less than fifteen people came up to Violet after church service to remind her about the Christmas brunch, but the only one which mattered was Victor himself.
“You disappeared last night before saying good night,” he said.
“You were so busy with your guests and it was getting very late, so…” Violet explained.
“But you left before I told you about Christmas brunch. Marty made me promise to tell you all about it. She will have my head on a silver platter if I don’t get you to come over. And you know she’ll do it!” he said, in mock fright.
She laughed. “I have no choice in the matter. My kids are starved and you’re offering them food, so we will be there,” she said. “Is there anything I can bring?”
“Just you and your kids. I really like Kenny, by the way,” Victor said, lowering his voice. “He reminds me of Richard. I can clearly see why you are so proud of him.”
Violet stared up at him, stunned that he would say that. “Thank you, Victor,” she whispered. “It means so much to hear you say that.”
“And I should congratulate you. Gramma Violet…can’t believe it. Pity Richard isn’t around to see his first grandchild,” Victor said. “But who would ever believe you two are old enough to be grandparents? You’re practically a baby yourself.”
“Let’s not get carried away, Victor,” Violet said.
“I know some women much older than you who are only now starting to think about having kids. Crazy world, huh?”
“Crazy indeed,” she said just as Ronnie came up to them.
“Merry Christmas, Violet!” Ronnie said, as usual hugging her right off her feet. “I got a present for you, but it’s at home, so come on!”
“Yes, Ronnie, I know, but I can’t go before the host gets there,” Violet said.
“Pffft! You actually think Dad has anything to do with arranging this thing?” Ronnie said. “Gramma will tell you. He’s just another guest…even at his own house!”
“Tolja!” Victor said.
“Yes, you did,” Violet replied with a laugh.
“See you there, Violet,” Victor said. “And if you need more enticement, the kids and I have presents for you, too.”
Victor certainly had not been kidding about the presents! Violet was unwrapping presents for a solid hour.
Just when she was knee deep in wrapping paper, ribbons and gifts, big and small, Laurie came in followed by the kids.
“We were wondering if you’d ever show up!” Kenny said. “We’re starving over here!”
“Yes, yes, I know,” Laurie breathlessly said, handing her baby to Georgiana so she could remove her coat.
“Where’s Freddy, and why are you so late?” Violet asked. “We all left church at the same time.”
“Oh, you know… we had things to do,” Laurie said mysteriously.
“We had to get your very special Christmas present, Aunt Viowet” Molly said, literally jumping with excitement.
“If I have to unwrap one more gift…” Violet said, wearily.
“Nope, don’t gotta unwrap this one,” Jimmy said.
“Come stand right here, Aunt Violet,” Valerie said, holding onto her arm, almost painfully.
Laurie said, “You’re gonna love this!”
“Don’t spoil it for her, Mom!” Nick said, standing on Violet’s other side. “Ya ready, Aunt Violet?”
“Goodness, what is all this?” Violet said.
Jimmy slowly opened the front door allowing Freddy, wearing an anxious sort of smile, to walk in first and right behind him Violet saw a short and stout, though elegantly dressed man in his late fifties gently guiding in a frail looking woman seemingly of similar age though the auburn colored hair surrounding her thin face was flecked with a lot of gray.
©2017 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved