Friday, December 10, 2010

PERFECT CHRISTMAS (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

We've been doing it for the past 11 or so years.

Every Christmas Eve, Samantha and I would drive up North to the cabin and have ourselves a better Christmas than the one prior. They were perfect.

I decided to pick her up about noon when most of the office decided enough was enough. Watching my colleagues dart out the door, I couldn't help but wonder when Christmas Eve day became the holiday?

Anyway, Sam and I were on our way to cabin soon enough. The cabin... That's what I called it. But let's face it, it was more like a house on a lake that had more comforts than my own home. But yeah, we were cabin-bound and ready to "rough it" through another yuletide season.

We pulled into the snowy driveway and muddled our way inside. While I shoveled the walk, Sam made some hot chocolate and prepped a fire.

# # #

I scooped up the last of the melted marshmallows in my cocoa and suggested we slip off to a nearby tree farm and chop down our tree like we always do. The tree guy kept rambling on and on how Fraser Firs were the way to go and that they were the official Christmas tree of the White House for a reason.

We took the long drive back to see how the rest of the community of cabins decorated their cozy hideaways. The lights were glistening and as it began to snow again and man, if the town didn't look like Dickens postcard...

Our tree had a strong and glorious fragrance with a robust shape, strong limbs and soft needles. I told Sam that she picked out a good one and that this tree was much better than the disaster of a Douglas Fir I chose last silly season. With 'Ol Blue Eyes crooning us classics, I watched her decorate the tree as I tickled the fire some more.

It was present time. She wanted wine. I tipped some scotch. The night was so perfect that I could almost forgive that fact that we each thought we were being clever by purchasing the other iPads. Sam got a tad quiet and I thought it was probably the wine. She said she was just tired.

It was getting late and no cabin Christmas is complete without an annual viewing of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." I had set the DVR timer to tape it so we could watch it in bed and ease off into sleep as we wait for Santa.

But then it came...

No, not Saint Nick. But the commercial during 'Rudolph.' You know it. The one for the national chain that sells shitty jewelry in malls... The commercial that tries to guilt a schmuck like me into buying an engagement ring as an oh-so-clever stocking stuffer... The commercial every unmarried man hates.... Yeah, that one. I felt Sam slip towards the other side of the bed as I watched the rest of 'Rudolph' by myself.

Perfect Christmas, huh? ... I reached for the scotch bottle at the foot of the bed.

ART: Via Flickr j.lee43 and Gerad Coles


  1. Commercials that ruin a great Christmas! Fortunately for us it didn't ruin your great story, Anthony. Loved the scene you set in such a short piece. Nice work, Mate!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Excellent! Oh, some guys just don't get it! An iPad?? Doesn't he know that the very best things come in wee, wee packages? That was beautifully written and the ending a little bit heartbreaking. Poor woman. Poor guy for not waking up and smelling the coffee.

  3. Oh owch. But in a way I blame her. She could ask, too--& don't let it ruin a good night!

    Apparently I get too involved with your characters.

  4. I know a couple like this, together forever without any official commitment. The awkward moment came during the carol singing party and "five golden rings." You captured the mood and hints of dissatisfaction perfectly.


  5. Aw, the poor fella! Such a perfect Christmas and then BAM, stupid commercials have to spoil it. Don't turn on the TV says I!

    Fantastic story Ant, with your signature noir style, love it!

  6. Ah, great story as always, Ant. I enjoyed the picture-postcard quality of their holiday. It was almost too perfect.

    Hopefully one day he'll give her that tiny box. There's always Valentine's Day. :)

    And no Christmas is complete without Sinatra. Well done!

  7. Reminds me of my favorite saying: "Kill Ugly Television". Meaning, of course, commercial TV. That couple got sideswiped. Someone should have warned them.

    Cool story Ant.

  8. It was on the DVR, right? Why didn't he just fast forward through the commercials? Ah well, maybe next year will be better. Great story!

  9. Guess that iPad wasn't such a clever gift after all. This story, however, shone like a diamond.

  10. I don't understand why some couples don't marry. The safety pre-nup is a pinch, but after that there are tax breaks and the commercials don't sting anymore. Funny, though, to have a commercial ruin Christmas, when it's one big ride down materialism for so many.

  11. Yet another reason to HATE freaking Jared. Too funny Ant!

  12. Bravo

    (though in terms of Carver-land, a mere commercial would probably not suffice to ruin the' like picture that Dickensian postcard, and a half-gallon of scotch, and things maybe get a bit sexxay but go awry. Drunken obscene argument ensues, male lunges for female, and she like breaks off a bottle on a table and slices him up a bit....or something like that).

  13. Cathy Webster said it best.. poor both of them..
    this is a great story..i so enjoy stopping over here for my weekly mini-tale..never know what I'll get..
    Good Stuff Anthony!!!

  14. Perfect setting for a story woven so deftly. You captured the dissatisfaction well.

  15. Would the mensch aka Henry Chinaski (Buk. to any noobs) who penned, or rather typed...."Cunt, Kant and a .45" approve?? Not sure.

    At least some requisite tit shots, paysano.

  16. Great Christmas tale, Ant. Better luck for her next year. A lot of atmosphere packed into a short story. ANd Frank is always a perfect choice...

  17. Maybe you should have shopped at Subway. That way when she opened the sack she could exclaim, "He went to Jared!"

  18. Hell, I'll take her iPad. Ho,ho, ho! :)


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