It Isn’t About the Gift
by Patty Froese
My brother hated waiting for Christmas. Ever since he was a little boy, he’d sneak through the house, find where his gifts were hidden and sort through them before they were even wrapped. I knew what he did, of course, but I never did rat him out. Sometimes he came with news of my gifts, too!
The last year we all lived under the same roof, I bought my brother a cigar case and had it engraved. I was incredibly proud of this gift, and knowing my brother’s sneakiness, I wrapped it immediately and put it under the tree. I was positive that for once, he’d be surprised.
Christmas Eve came, and he opened my gift. He made a great show of being surprised, looked it over, and put it back in the box.
“Wait!” I said. “It’s engraved. Look again.”
“What?” he said, pulling it back out. “I didn’t see that when I unwrapped it before!”
I still laugh when I think of his sneaky Christmas antics, but now he’s his wife’s problem to deal with. And this year, when my 5 year old boy started sneaking through my closet, peeking into boxes and bags, I realized that I have my own little boy on my hands who I will need to outsmart every year.
I’ve learned something valuable about Christmas. It isn’t about the gift–it’s about how well you hide it!
By Patty Froese
When Millie’s boss asks her to work over Christmas, she’s hesitant to give him any more overtime. She has plans for her life that include quitting this job and starting her own photography business, and she promises herself to quit by New Years.
Andrew Holmes has no desire to go back to his tiny hometown for the holidays, but his manipulative grandfather gives him an ultimatum that he just can’t refuse. So in order to get the last project of the year finished in time, he asks his assistant, Millie, to make the trip with him.
With a disgruntled brother, a sister-in-law struggling with infertility and a little boy who shows up claiming that one of the Holmes men is his father, Christmas is about to get complicated…
“So, Millie says she’d like to stay,” Andrew announced.
“Good.” Louise shot her a smile. “Do you like fruitcake, Millie?”
“I think so.” Mille sank into a seat next to her boss.
“Me, too…” Louise disappeared into the fridge, her voice meandering out from the chilly depths. “Except I always hate the fruit in it. So I just make the cake. But the cake is rather dry.”
“It’s more like a Christmas cracker,” Andrew murmured, and Millie repressed a laugh.
The dense, dry confection that landed with a heavy thud on the tabletop looked nothing like the fruitcake she’d seen in the past.
“Guests first.” Louise announced cheerfully, and when Millie shot Andrew a “help me” look, he pointed under the table.
“Give it to the dog,” he mouthed.
The dog? So far, Millie hadn’t seen a dog in the house, and when she slowly raised the plastic tablecloth to peer under the table, she was met with the biggest canine face she’d ever seen in her life. Stifling a yelp of shock, she turned her ashen face towards Andrew.
“That’s Edgar,” Andrew said.
He nodded. “Get used to him.” When she turned her attention to the plate deposited in front of her, Andrew leaned in and murmured in her ear. “Thanks for coming, by the way.”
Patty Froese writes from Alberta, Canada, where the winters are long and cold. This suits her just fine, since it gives her plenty of time to write and she can enjoy the snow from the right side of the window. She has her degree in English Literature and has written in other genres, but she particularly enjoys writing romance.
Patty also writes for Harlequin Love Inspired under the name Patricia Johns.
Tamera Lynn Kraft is on her blog today for The Christmas Hop at this link.