Tis the Season to be Happy

Merry Christmas excerpt from Sunday's Best

Chapter 8

Tis, the Season to be Happy

Christmas was just around the corner. Everybody was hustling and bustling all over town. Philip had gone into the jewelry store without Janie’s knowing it. He knew what he wanted and he was ready to pop the question on Christmas Eve. So intent on looking at rings he didn’t notice that Tricia, Janie’s sister had come up behind him until she said excitedly, “Philip, are you going to ask Janie to marry you?” Philip almost jumped out of his skin. “Oh, you startled me Tricia, but yes I am. Please don’t say anything to her. I want to ask her if she will be my bride on Christmas Eve.” Tricia smiled joyfully and said, my lips are sealed I will not say a word.” I am so glad Philip; she couldn’t have found a better man than you. I know God brought you two together. You are a match made in heaven. “Janie and I are soul mates too,” Philip said. “Philip, it was you that helped bring Janie back to God and the church. After her husband Jake died, I thought she had lost her faith.” Philip said wistfully “I thought so too. It took me awhile to help her understand why God had to take him. I told her that she wouldn’t have wanted him to suffer more than he had and she agreed, I think that was the turning point for her. At first she was angry with God and thought he had left her, but she slowly began to realize as she started doing more things at the church that God was right beside her the whole time. And you, Tricia helped her a lot when you told her about the church remember.” “Yeah, I am so glad I did.” “I am glad you did too,” smiled Philip.”

Changing the subject Philip said “Come on, you want to go with me.” “Sure, where are we going? “Tricia said excitedly" I am going to go get the biggest, the fullest and the best tree I can find,” Philip exclaimed. Janie loves the old movie, White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. I want to give her the engagement ring right in front of the tree like Bing did to Rosemary Clooney. “Would you like to go with me to pick out the tree?” Philip asked.  Tricia said joyfully, “I would love too.” “Okay, let’s go,” cried Philip.

So off they went Tricia had walked over to the Mall so she didn’t have to worry about leaving her car and hopped into Philip’s truck.  A couple of hours later and after looking at several tree lots, Philip finally spotted exactly what he was looking for. It was Nelson’s Tree Farm just outside of town. “This is perfect,” Philip, said we should be able to find something here.” Treading around the trees, it was getting colder by the minute and their noses and hands were starting to freeze.  Philip blew on his hands and stuffed them in his pockets. “Look I see it, it is over there. Come on let’s get that saw and we’ll cut it down and go. It’s beginning to freeze out here.” “Fine with me,” said Tricia.” She had brought a pair of gloves, but even they hadn’t kept out the chill. “This is a beautiful tree. I know Janie will love it.” It was a seven-footer and it fit just right in the back of Philip’s truck. Philip had found a little store at the tree farm before they left and bought some garland and mistletoe. “This will do just fine,” smiled Philip with a twinkle in his eye.

Arriving at Philip’s house, Tricia hurriedly jumped out of the truck and headed for the front door so she could hold the door open for Philip. Janie had been finishing up the dishes when she heard Philip’s truck pull up. She ran to the door to greet him and stopped short when she saw Tricia holding the door open for him. “Well, hello sis, I wasn’t expecting you to see you,” Janie said giving her sister a big hug. Tricia laughed pointing to Philip’s truck, “I know I didn’t know I was coming over today either until I met up with Philip. We had fun finding that tree for you.” Janie smiled “I thought I would surprise Philip and come over and clean up around here a little.” Janie ran to help Philip with the tree as he struggled to get it untied from the back of the truck. Philip and Janie carried the tree in the house together and as they untied the string around the tree, it fluffed out to its full beauty. It will fit just perfect in the living room next to the fireplace. Philip exclaimed, “I better not put this too close. We would not want a fire, now would we?” “This tree is so beautiful Philip. I love it.” “Thank you so much,” Janie said as she planted a kiss on his cheek. Philip softened inside and reached to take Janie into his arms and gave her a sweet gentle kiss right on her mouth. “You are so very welcome my love.”

Philip had put the mistletoe over the doorway leading into the living room. He said with a twinkle in his steel gray eyes,” We didn’t even need the mistletoe, now did we?” “No! I guess we didn’t.” Janie chuckled with a gleam in her own pretty brown eyes. Any suspicions that Janie had about Philip’s love were waning. It felt good to trust him. “Okay, you two,” Tricia said let’s go get the decorations out of the attic.” When all was done, everyone stepped back to see the finished product. “It looks just like the one in my favorite movie White Christmas,” said Janie. “I was hoping you would say that,” Philip said with a big smile on his face, “because that is why I got this one.”

He looked over at Tricia and winked. Janie was to busy admiring the beauty of the Christmas tree to see him. Janie turned to Tricia and said, “I was wondering would you like to come for dinner on Christmas Day.” Tricia said with a giggle, “I wouldn’t miss your first Christmas together for anything. “Thank you, I’ll be there with bells on. “No pun intended.” she smiled.

On Christmas morning, Janie had come early so she could put the finishing touches on the turkey she had started the night before. She was about to place the turkey in the oven when the doorbell rang. “Will you get that Philip? It’s probably Tricia. She said she would be here early to help me get the dinner and desserts ready.” “I sure will.” Philip said stretching and yawning.

Philip had been relaxing in his favorite recliner, reading the morning paper when Janie called out to him. “Well, good morning Tricia and Merry Christmas to you. What do you have there?” “Lots of Christmas presents,” smiled Tricia,” we are going to have a great day aren’t we?” Tricia said giving Philip a wink and scurried into the kitchen to help Janie. Placing the turkey in the oven and the baked pies in the refrigerator, Janie called out, “Come on. It’s time to open our presents now.”

All the Christmas tree lights seemed to be dancing and so did Philip. “I’m ready. You sit here Janie and you sit here Tricia,” Philip said patting the couch in front of him. As they sat down, Tricia pulled out her camera. “I want to get this because it is your first Christmas together. We will have some great memories.” “Janie said you always love to bring that camera don’t you.” “Uh, ah,” nodded Tricia. Philip started passing out gifts. “This one is for you Janie from Tricia and here is one for you Tricia from Janie.”

Everyone was very excited as they began to open their presents. Janie was the first to open hers. “Oh, what a beautiful sweater I love it, Thank you sis.” It was a soft brown cashmere sweater with holly berries and dark green leaves on the front. Tricia opened her present next. “Wow, this is great! Just what I have been wanting, a digital camera with and view screen. I am going to take the rest of this day’s pictures with my new camera. Thank you, so much.” “Hold up your sweater, Janie and smile pretty,” smiled Philip. Philip got a new dark brown and beige sweater and some cologne from Janie. It is Sierra! Janie said, “Please put some on for me.” Philip said sweetly, “Sure thing,” as he opened the bottle and splashed some on his face. “Hmm, you smell so good,” said Janie reaching over to give Philip a kiss on the cheek. “Here,” smiled Philip as he turned the other cheek. Janie giggled and kissed him on the other cheek. “My pleasure” she said. 

Janie was so busy picking up all the wrappings when Philip went behind the tree. She didn’t see him get the small silver wrapped box he had hidden in the tree. Janie didn’t notice her sister Tricia getting her new camera ready either. “Janie could you come over here for a moment Philip asked sweetly?" I found a present in the tree and it has your name on it,” Philip said.” Janie said excitedly “Oh! How wonderful! I just love to find more presents when we think we are all done.” She came up to Philip, her brown eyes shining brightly. Philip started to get down on one knee and she looked at him in surprise. “What’s this?” Janie said as her eyes started to mist. Down on one knee Philip began, “Janie, I would be so happy and honored if you would be my wife.”

Opening the small silver box slowly, Janie gasped “Oh! Philip! “Janie cried,” it is so beautiful and you are so wonderful. I would be happy and proud to be your wife.” Philip jumped up and took Janie into his arms. “I love you Janie,” Philip said stepping back and slipping the ring on her finger. “Oh! Phillip I love you too.”

All the while Tricia was letting the camera roll with tears of joy streaming down her face. “Look, Tricia, said Janie showing her the ring on her finger. “I know Janie.  I was so excited when I bumped into Philip the day he was getting this ring.” “You knew he was going to ask me to marry him and kept it a secret all this time?” “Yep I sure did. I am so happy for you both. I know you were made for each other.”

Sunday's Best

Philip's surprise Christmas

This is an excerpt from my book Sunday's Best to order some for Christmas go to Amazon.com

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