Saturday, January 14, 2012

Christmas redux

"Leave the decorations just the way they are and let's get some more egg nog- It's Chris' turn for Christmas now!" said Mr. Hall. The boys of the Hall had been taking the holiday in a sort of tag-team approach, and Mrs. Hall was gearing up for round two. At least the unseasonably warm weather made getting around easy. Mrs. Hall threw a scarf on over her sweater; "Com'n, we're going to be late for the cocktail party at the crematorium!"

They slid out of work and over to Oakwood Cemetery. All the usual suspects were there, and the buffet looked even more enticing than last year's. The chef from Kelly's pub held his place behind the carving station, and was dishing out a pasta creation with a terrific sauce enlivened with banana peppers.
Despite all the trappings of a Christmas season, the weather gods still refused to go along with things; the grounds around the cemetery remained green and fresh. Though while the temperate climate was topic of the day, the bigger concern was the economy. A number of their parties had been cancelled or postponed (which was turning into a euphemism for cancellation) and the season seemed to be taking a turn for the worse. Even the venerable holiday do at Coleman's Irish Pub, (the one chance Mrs. Hall looked forward to every year, because it always brought out the old guard of directors) was put off until a later date. Such was the nature of the year.
But all that was put aside, when the Halls pulled up to Hancock airport the following night to pick up Master Chris. Flying in from Montgomery, AL, he was staying over the holiday, renting a 16' moving van, and with Mrs. Hall's very indebted and happy blessings, taking all the loot, furniture and possessions he could carry away.
"Ah, it's good to be back home again," he said, after finally relaxing on the couch. Killer came up and gave him a hug. Mrs. Hall busied herself making all of Chris' favorite dishes, but Mr. H. disappeared downstairs. Chris' space gun collection was well known far and near as a thing of large and substantial beauty, but as far as Mr. Hall was concerned, it had been gracing the catacombs at the Hall for long enough.
He brought up several large bins of guns from the basement. "Welcome home. You can start by
going through all these."
Mrs. Hall prepared the traditional dinner for Christmas eve and after a short respite, the group dressed for service. Midnight Mass was beautiful and the little band straggled on home. The next day, Santa obligingly made a second appearance at the Hall, and Chris' stocking swelled up full, next to his bounty under the tree.
Wiping the remains of a chocolate orange from his
mouth, Chris reminded Mrs. Hall that he had to leave the following day, and while it was loads of fun to sit around and eat, (swallowing yet
another chocolate bell from the stocking as he spoke) he really had to load up the truck and be ready to go. They continued to pillage the Hall until the truck could hold no more. "Be careful with my old bar cabinet-" cautioned Mrs. H. as she
watched a favored relic of her past disappear into the van. "You promised me those L.L. Bean chairs from in front of the fireplace, too," he reminded them, and in a jiff, they were gone. By Christmas night, the van was full, secure and loaded with gas, ready to take off for Montgomery in the morning. Armed with a battery of leftovers, Chris climbed into the cab. As the Halls drove off to work, the van pulled away in another direction, and Chris waved jauntily from behind the wheel. Two days later, he wearily managed to peck out the words "Home at last!" in a text message to Mrs. Hall, and everyone sighed a sigh of relief.

No comments:

Tell your friends!