(advent) December 25

Thursday, December 25

Molly had awoken early, the habit of years, and had slipped from the bed without awakening Drew. Schrodinger was sleeping in a pile with Lily, Zoey and Jack in one of the guest rooms; Molly peeked in the room, but they were all still asleep as well. So she went downstairs, made a cup of tea, and went into the living room.

Their living room was huge, and the coals from the night before were still banked. Molly coaxed them back to life, then plugged in the Christmas tree. With the softly glowing lights making the room sparkle, she curled up in the window seat to watch the sun rise.

There was little to see, though. Clouds had continued to come in, building a thick wall that blotted out the moon and stars. Molly sipped her tea and enjoyed the silence, knowing that soon it would be shattered. There were more presents now under the tree, wrapped in the traditional red and green tissue paper that Santa used, which told her that the jolly elf had come and gone.

She heard a noise, and turned to see Jade coming to join her in the seat. The Snow Queen was dressed, to Molly’s delight, in soft pajamas that were covered fall leaves and holly berries. “May I join you?” she asked, and Molly moved her feet, inviting her in.

“So the Snow Queen wears pajamas to bed, just like a mortal?” Molly teased gently.

Jade laughed. “Of course I do! Mortals have some of the best ideas, after all!” She looked out the window. “Time for one of my Christmas presents for the Cove.”

Molly watched as Jade raised a hand and whispered something under her breath. Silver-white sparkles flowed from her fingertips and out through the glass, swirling up to the clouds. In a few moments, snow started to fall, tiny white flakes that danced on the breeze.

“Now it looks like Christmas,” Molly said, as the snow started to pile up. “Finally.”

“It’s thanks to you that we have a white Christmas,” Jade said, looking over at her friend. “You’ve pulled off a Christmas miracle. You found the good man hiding in Jack’s soul, and gave him back to me.”

Molly flushed a little. “Like I said before, Jade, Jack did all the work. I just showed him how to do it.”

“And you believed in him, when no one else did,” Jade said, leaning over and putting a cool hand on Molly’s. “I’d even given up on him. But you didn’t, and I wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t. Thank you.”

“You would have done the same for me,” Molly told her, clasping her hand.

“Absolutely.” Jade nodded. “If you need anything, Molly, please let me know.”

Molly was about to reply when a shriek of absolute joy echoed through the house, followed by the sound of running feet. Lily and Zoey burst into the room, followed closely by Schrodinger and Jack. “Santa came!” Lily shrieked.

“And it’s SNOWING!” Zoey added. “Christmas is perfect!”

Their calls brought everyone else to the living room, yawning and rubbing sleep from their eyes. Molly, Corrine, Donna and Jade brought out tea and coffee cakes, and then the present unwrapping began.

In the middle of the chaos, Old Man Winter showed up with even more presents and, to Lily and Zoey’s delight, Ember. The entire living room was full of chaos, noise and cheer, and Molly loved every minute of it.

At the end, there was only one more box under the tree, and Lily pulled it out. “To Drew and Molly, from Jack and Jade,” she read, then brought the box over to Molly. “Open it, Molly, open it!”

Inside the box was a key. Molly pulled it out and looked quizzically at Jade, who was snuggled in Jack’s arms. “Did I miss something?” she asked.

It was Jack who answered. “No,” he said, chuckling. “That’s actually the key to my log cabin. We thought you might like a honeymoon there.”

“Really?” Molly’s eyes went wide. “Before or after you add the kitchen?”

“After,” he promised. “Just tell us when.”

Molly glanced back at Drew. “Well, I guess now is as good a time as any to tell you all that we’ve set a date,” she said, and Drew nodded. “We’ve decided that Saturday, July 18, 2015, we’re getting married.”

The room erupted into cheers. Molly turned to Schrodinger. “You’ll be our ringbearer, right?” she asked.

Of course! the CrossCat said excitedly.

“And we’d like you two to be our flower girls,” Drew said, looking at Zoey and Lily, who nodded enthusiastically.

“Jack, would you escort them down?” Molly asked the hound, who thumped his tail in agreement.

“Then it’s settled,” Molly said, smiling. “July 18.”

“There’s actually one more gift we have,” Jade said, looking at Jack. “For Schrodinger.”

For me? Schrodinger said. Where?

Everyone looked around. There were no more presents under the tree.

Jade grinned and beckoned the CrossCat over to the window that looked out over the front yard. The sleigh that Drew had painted sat among the snow drifts.

“We couldn’t get a pony,” Jade said. “But we talked to a certain friend of ours, and we hoped this would be acceptable.”

Hitched to the sleigh with a silvery harness covered in bells was a large reindeer, ribbons on his large rack and a Santa hat perched on his head.

Is it…is it…? Schrodinger couldn’t even get the words out.

“It is,” Jade assured him. “You only have him for today, as he has to go back to the North Pole after that, but I think we can manage to get a few flights in today. What do you think?”

It’s the best present EVER! Schrodinger jumped up on Jade, purring ecstatically. Let’s go!

***

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I hope you enjoyed this year’s Advent calendar, and as a special gift, start looking for a new Advent story on July 12, as Molly and Drew get ready to wed!  I hope to see you then!

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