Merry Christmas! Here is a little flashback to the first Christmas after Tommy and Julie lost their parents. I wrote it for today, and I hope you enjoy it!
Julie woke up and stared at the ceiling.
She hated this day.
It was Christmas and she hated every part of it.
Her parents died eight moths ago and it hadn’t gotten any easier. They had settled into a routine, but this was different.
This was Christmas.
Jack and Tommy were spending a ton of time at the library, studying, and she was home each day doing nothing. It was break from school and she just sat home and spent more time packing up her parent’s things.
They didn’t even have a tree.
Tommy tried to get her to go on a trip with friends, but she refused.
She just didn’t want to be with anyone’s family.
“Julie? Aren’t you going to come downstairs?” Jack asked from outside her door.
“But it’s Christmas.”
“But you have to. We don’t know how to put the ornaments on the tree.”
“We don’t even have a tree.”
“Can you please come downstairs? If you don’t, I’ll have to keep yelling through the door and that’s silly.”
“Ugh!” she yelled. “Fine. I’ll be there in a minute.”
She got up and pulled her clothes on before she walked out into the hallway.
There was music playing and something smelled, well, good.
She jumped down the stairs and saw her brother standing there with a mess of ornaments all around.
“What are you doing?” Julie asked.
“Oh, hey, I’m trying to figure out how the lights go on. I keep trying, but they won’t light up.”
“When did you get a tree?”
Tommy wiped the sweat off his brow.
“Last night. You were all moody and went to bed, so we figured you didn’t want to help us.”
“Ho Ho Ho!” Jack came in wearing a Santa suit. “Hello little girl. Are you ready for your presents?”
Julie raised her eyebrows.
“Jack? What are you doing?”
“Who is this Jack you speak of? I am Santa Claus.”
“I thought you were going to come last night. Did something happen?”
“Well young man, sometimes the North Pole gets backed up.”
“You both realize I’m 13. I don’t believe in Santa anymore,” Julie said.
“But I’m right here,” Jack said. “Do you not see me?”
“I know what you’re both trying to do, but it’s pointless. Christmas sucks now,” she said as she walked to the couch and sat down.
Tommy put the lights down and sighed.
“Of course it does with that attitude.”
“What attitude do you want me to have? I can’t pretend everything is okay because it isn’t.”
Jack pulled off the wig and sat down.
“Nobody is saying it’s okay, Jules. But you can’t live in sadness.”
“Why not? Why can’t I just be miserable? Who cares?” she cried.
“I do,” Tommy said. “And so would mom and dad. We owe them better than this.”
“I know it’s not the Christmas you want, but we’re together and family is most important. Besides, you have presents to open,” Jack said. “And Santa went all over the damn town to find them.”
Julie wiped her eyes.
“How can we be happy and celebrate anything? How is that okay?”
“Jules, do you think it’s better if we all just sit around and cry every day? IS that what mom and dad would want? You’ve got your whole life ahead of you and you shouldn’t spend it sad and lonely. It’s okay to smile. It’s okay to be happy,” Tommy said.
“I just feel guilty. I just miss them.”
Jack sat next to her and smiled.
“My mom used to make these amazing cookies for Santa. We would leave them out and my dad would always steal them. Mom made an extra batch because I was always afraid Santa wouldn’t come if we didn’t have the right cookies.”
Julie wiped her eyes and smiled.
“Last year, your mom made the recipe for me because I was depressed. She left them in a bag for me to enjoy.”
Tommy looked at him.
“She did? You didn’t tell me that.”
“She didn’t make them for you. Besides, I didn’t want to share.”
They all laughed and Jack looked at his hands.
“I know it sucks and I know you miss them, but life has to move forward, Jules. If we don’t go through the motions, then things will never start to feel normal. You can’t let yourself get lost in the sadness. I miss my mom with everything in me and I hate that she’s gone, but I also know how incredibly blessed I am to be adopted into this little family. I will never take the gift you’ve both given me for granted.”
Julie hugged him and Tommy sniffed.
“Well damn,” he said. “That was really nice.”
“You’re both right. I’m sorry,” Julie said.
“Well, I think we just need to make some new traditions. We can decorate the tree on Christmas and order pizza for dinner,” Tommy said.
“And open presents,” Julie said.
Jack put his wig and beard back on.
“Ho ho ho,” he said and put the gifts out.
Julie laughed and realized just how much her parents had left for her.
She was incredibly lucky.
Merry Christmas from Tommy and Brittany Williams and Naomi; Jack and Stephanie Stephens, Sabrina and Tess; Bill and Julie Kastan, David and Josie; Evan and Liz Thrushcross and Kevin; Ian and Cassie Yearling and Desi.
Happy Hanukkah from Mike and Jade Stein, Eden and Sara.