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Flash Fiction--The First Rate Last Minute Humorous Christmas Party and Program
It Wasn't the Usual Christmas Meeting
I love history and I belong to a women's historic preservation group. Some of the women are pretty perfect. I'm not.
A teacher once told me that all the world could be grouped into The Planners and The Procrastinators. I'm a procrastinator most of the time. I read and watch old movies, then the day before an event or deadline, I become a whirling dervish of activity. I make the other members happy when I screw up and forget some detail. It makes them look good.
While I was perusing my cookbooks the night before our annual Christmas meeting, luncheon and program, my phone rang.
A raspy voice croaked, "My body is a volcano, erupting at both ends. I can't have anyone come here."
"Ok, drink hot tea or Sprite, make soup and toast."
There was a pause. I added I would be happy to email others about the cancellation.
Another pause. "Actually, I was hoping you would offer to have everyone to your house."
I surveyed my projects and junk spread out on the kitchen counters, dining room table and living room. I started to form the word no, but she sounded so pathetic, I agreed.
The home of the former hostess is a Winter Wonderland of coordinated high-end decorations. Her Christmas China probably was laid out and her silver already polished. My decorating usually involves the "ghosts of Christmas past." I have felt and bread dough ornaments that I'm too sentimental to toss. The women would be disappointed. Geez.. Why had I ever agreed to be the hostess.
I scrounged different paper plates and napkins and put some reasonably new candles in the middle of the table. The food that that the women brought was delicious. They didn't mind not eating on Christmas china.
"What's the program today?" our president asked.
Now this group is borderline professional on historical research and programs. My mind was frozen. We had heard programs on the origins of Christmas carols, The Evolution of Santa Claus, Antique Christmas Postcards, Christmas Collectibles and... Program???
Through some Christmas magic, I heard myself saying, "Today, all of you are the program."
My audience was skeptical.
"i'm going to ask each of you to tell a story in 3 minutes or less about your WORST Christmas, and I'll start"
My story was set in 1958, when I didn't get the doll I wanted and worse, my friend next door did. I acted like a brat to my family who were having a hard time financially. My Dad was a child during the Depression Era and gave me the only spanking he ever gave me. He sent me to my room for the rest of Christmas Day
The next gal told a tale of having left the plastic wrap on the Christmas ham and baked it as a new bride. Another told of having words with her daughter-in-law, then the whole family spent the day searching their farm for her. Tales of drunks, mixed up gifts, unruly relatives, and those who had knocked over Christmas trees came pouring out amidst giggles. The worst Christmas "prize" went to two sisters who had saved for a perfect resort Christmas in Mexico only to have everyone get sick with Montezuma's Revenge. Then they missed their train. I don't remember a party where any of us before or since has laughed that hard.
I'm not sure that any of the stories qualified as historical, but they were hysterical.