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Christmas with the Hollidays


by dan4884

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Also by ssjelitegirl

"Mother!" A high-pitched cry echoed through the kitchen. "Mother, Hallie's teasing me again!"

     Flora Holliday the Faerie Wocky, standing at the kitchen doorway, rubbed her forehead with a pink, carefully brushed paw as she opened the door. "Oh, not again... yes? A letter? Hallie, stop teasing your sister! Like, thanks very much, have a nice day." She closed the door on the messenger, shuddering slightly. Brightvale was beautiful at this time of the year, with all the little houses and trees covered in clean white snow, but that snow was cold, and so were the air and the wind.

     The Wocky trotted to the table, ripping the yellowish green envelope open on the way. The two daughters dashed in as their mother was already reading the letter.

     "Mother, Hallie took my brand new poem I was just writing!" wailed the slender pink Gelert. "Give it back, Hallie!"

     Hallie, a Halloween Cybunny, hopped aside, out of her reach. "Come and get it." She grinned. "A workout will only do good for you, or you'll spend your whole life sitting in that frilly pink bedroom of yours and admiring the sunset..."

     Flora wasn't even listening. "Ohemgee!" she suddenly burst out, causing her daughters to wince. "Your daddy's coming home in three days!"

     She read to her daughters the scrawled note in her hand:

     My dearest Flora-

     Looking at the calendar earlier today, I realized it is that time of year again. My heart always lifts when this time comes, when I know I will be home soon. I cannot wait to see you and the girls; I'm sure (or at least hope) you all feel the same way. I plan to arrive on the 20th if everything goes well. See you all soon.

     Christopher

     The Gelert forgot her poem at once. "Oh, mother, how wonderful! He hasn't been home for months; it's so good that he can come back for Christmas!"

     Hallie the Cybunny, though rubbing her ears in a slightly grumpy manner, smiled as well. "Well, guess it's high time to get decorating and stuff, then. The guys say that it's near impossible to get a tree this year. Here, Valerie, take your scribbly thing."

     A short while later, Flora and her three daughters sat in the living room, tearing apart the box filled to the brim full of decorations they had found in the attic. Valerie was giggling as she spread apart a garland with dangling pink and red hearts, while their sister Geena, a grey Kacheek, sighed and pulled out the few ornaments that had shattered. Geena rarely emerged from her bedroom these days, and Flora was rather surprised to see her sulky daughter in the middle of this pink, red and green chaos.

     The Halloween Cybunny reached into the box and pulled out her special decorations, a string of enchanted skulls and pumpkins which cackled whenever anyone walked past them. She grinned. Although Halloween was Hallie's absolute favorite holiday, Christmas had its perks too.

     Flora was looking around in the room, trying to visualize the final result. It wasn't easy as her three daughters were bound to start arguing about every facet of the Christmas holiday. She remembered last year too well. Grumpy Hallie, sobbing Valerie, and over-the-top-depressed Geena were definitely not what Christmas should be about. They all knew the tree was the most important, however. It was the center of the holiday, and therefore must be perfect in every way.

     "Mother, how 'bout these for the window?" exclaimed the pink Gelert, waving the equally pink garland around. "It would look simply dashing, so lovely and inviting, don't you agree?"

     Flora blinked. "Well, they're cute and all, but, like..."

     "Cheery," said Geena, raising her head to show two big and constantly gloomy eyes. "Christmas isn't about being cheery. It's the holiday of peace, silence and..."

     "Happiness, which is exactly why we're putting this thing here above the door," stated the Cybunny, holding the cackling pumpkins up.

     "No!" Valerie shrieked. "Those pumpkins can go on the back of tree, next to the wall, so no one can see them," she said bossily.

     "Not if your frilly pink junk gets to be seen by all!" Hallie retorted, defiantly shoving the pumpkins on the hooks above the door.

     "Mo-ther," Valerie whined. "Please don't let Hallie get away with this!"

     Flora sighed. These fights happened so often that the Wocky simply tuned out the noise and ignored her bickering children. But this time, she couldn't ignore them.

     "Get these skeletons off of me!" the Gelert screamed, tossing the cackling decorations away. They happened to land on Geena who just sighed and pulled them off silently. "How do I love Christmas? Let me count the ways..." she muttered to herself while Hallie chased Valerie around the room with more of her Halloween inspired ornaments.

     The faerie Wocky slid off to the kitchen. She didn't really like cooking that much but at least it was quiet in there and she could concentrate on doing things her way. Flora opened the pantry and peered inside.

     "Girls!" she shouted. "Who feels like going to the store and buying some food for the big Christmas feast?"

     No answer. Hallie and Valerie were apparently too busy and Geena rarely responded to anything that didn't have to do with her directly. The Wocky frowned, took a deep breath, marched to the doorway and boomed:

     "HALLIE! Go to the store and get us the ingredients we need for the usual Christmas meal. Val, you decorate the room and NO complaining from you two, I'll let you make additions to the decorations when you get back. Geena," now her voice softened, "please go to the market and find us a holiday tree; the workers over there will deliver it like every year." She huffed and put in her last remaining piece of authority, adding: "Now move it, all of you."

     It seemed to do the trick. The three girls went their separate ways and pulled off their respective jobs, albeit with fighting every step of the way.

     The tree arrived in fair shape, but once again, each of the girls had their own ideas on what to put on it and it ended up looking like an explosion of the party store. Flora sighed softly as she realized that there was nothing on the tree that signaled Christmas. It had plenty of pink and patches of black, orange and grey, but there was absolutely nothing red or green on it.

     The Wocky was worried all this commotion and clashing of ideals would contribute to an unhappy Christmas. When Christopher came home to this mess, what would he say? He certainly wouldn't be happy, that's for sure. Who'd be happy to find orange, black, and pink on a Christmas tree?

     "No way," decided the Wocky. "This year's Christmas will be totally awesome and not some strange mixture of Halloween and Fyora-knows-what. These decorations have got to go."

     Logically enough, that meant that she'd have to get her daughters out of the way first.

     "Girls, could you please go to the store and get something for dessert? The Neopoints are on the table!" she shouted and thankfully enough, the three galloped off at once, Geena behind the other two but still going. The Wocky smiled to herself and turned to skim through the boxes of holiday decorations that were still in the middle of the room as her daughters ran past the window, shouting things like "I wanna buy pumpkin cookies!" and "No, candy canes, they're so sweet and tasty!"

     "Let's see now..." muttered Flora, taking a deep breath and charging into the chaos. She tore down the assorted pumpkins, skeletons and pink hearts, hurriedly replacing them with red and green ornaments and shimmering silver tinsel. Fluttering to the top of the tree, she replaced the rather ugly Cupid Valerie had placed there with the proper golden star. Candy canes were quickly hung on the stronger branches and the tree looked respectable soon enough. Flora smiled at her handiwork and turned to take the empty box of decorations away.

     Apparently it wasn't empty yet. There was one little ornament left. "No point in leaving you here," muttered the Wocky, grasping it in her paw and gazing at the tree to find a good spot for it. Wings flapping quickly, she placed the winter green ornament on a branch near the top and turned around to return to the ground.

     But as she did so, her wing caught on a garland. Alarmed, Flora twisted quickly, and in doing so pulled the tree with her. She screamed as she was pushed to the ground by the mass of the tree and she winced when she heard the sound of ornaments shattering.

     If Christmas wasn't ruined already, it was sure ruined now.

     Since when are Christmas trees so heavy? She could barely move herself. Nevertheless, she had to get out somehow; if she didn't she might burn the turkey. A sob escaped her lips. Why was everything going wrong? Christopher would never want to return home again.

     "HELP!" she shouted as loudly as she could muster.

     She didn't get an answer. The house was quiet - the girls were still at the store. The Wocky's nose twitched when a bitter scent reached it. Oh dear Fyora, not the turkey!

     Wait... was that the door? "Girls!" yelled Flora. As embarrassing as the situation was, she had bigger things to worry about right now, like the turkey that had cost a real fortune. "Girls!" she shouted again. A heavy bag landed on the carpet with a thud and two dark green furry paws grabbed the tree and lifted it up.

     "Didn't see the girls when I came in," said the Christmas Lupe, trying to get the tree upright again. Its trunk had cracked when it fell and the whole tree was now crooked so he placed it against the wall. "They must be out of the house. Are you okay?"

     "Christopher?" Flora got up and shook herself. "I... well, I... yeah, I'm fine... no, I'm not!" she suddenly wailed. "Everything has gone so terribly wrong today! Just look at this tree!" She whacked the tree in a sudden burst of anger and it slid even more askew. "And the decorations," she gazed at the pink, orange and grey decorations her daughters had attacked the rest of the room with, "and the... eep, the turkey!" She dashed off to the kitchen.

     Christopher remained standing there in the messy living room. He looked around at the crooked tree, the carpet covered with shards and fir needles, the messy decorations, and he stretched his back while a happy smile spread over his face.

     It was all so very familiar.

     The Lupe went to the kitchen to find Flora sobbing quietly by the table which held the charred turkey. The kitchen was filled with smoke and the window was open despite the chilly air that emerged from it.

     "Easy, Flora." The Lupe stepped up to her. "What's wrong? Look, the turkey's fine, just a little crispy."

     "No, it's not fine!" complained the Wocky. "Everything's a mess! This whole place looks totally awful!" She burst into tears again. "I just wanted everything to be perfect by the time you come..."

     "But it is perfect," said Christopher. "It's my home. This is exactly what I wanted to come back to." He grinned widely. "You know, during all those days I spent coming home, this is just how I imagined the house to look like. The girls wanted to have things their way again, eh?"

     Flora smiled in disbelief. "Well, yeah... and I wanted to fix that mess they made but now most of the tree ornaments are broken. And the tree itself... now we'll have a terrible Christmas!" At the thought of the crooked holiday tree she burst into tears again.

     Christopher patted her back. "Come on, it's not half as bad. I have a little idea."

     ***

     "We're home!" Hallie screamed as she slammed the front door. Geena carried the oversize grocery bag filled with all sorts of sweets. Apparently they hadn't spared one single Neopoint.

     "Mother, where are you?" shouted Valerie, peering into the living room. Flora was currently hanging a chain of skulls on the tree. It wouldn't stay well as many of the branches were broken. Valerie's high-pitched voice caught her off-guard and she bumped down on the floor with an "eep!"

     "What happened?" demanded the girls, gathering into the room and staring at the crooked tree.

     Christopher poked his head out from behind the tree. "Your mother had a little accident but I think we got most of it covered. Is this thing here supposed to cackle like that?"

     "Dad!" The three daughters rocketed across the room, hugging their father and almost knocking the tree over again. "You're home!"

     The Lupe laughed happily, hugging his daughters. "Yeah, got home early. I was thinking of going to the forest tomorrow and finding a good replacement for this thing here, what do you think?"

     The girls returned their gazes to the battered tree. It leaned against the wall, ornaments shattered, garlands and tinsel ripped and torn, skeletons cackling madly and hearts twinkling brightly, the little tree they had arranged from the marketplace and their parents had redecorated just for them after the accident.

     "No," they said in unison. "We like it just the way it is."

The End

 
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