Christmas Aftermath


Bill sat at his kitchen table, a mug of burnt tasting coffee in one hand and a reeking dog in his other.

“You’re not my sister’s dog,” he said, squinting at the ball of fur. “You’re not anyone’s dog, as far as I know.”

Regret murmured softly that perhaps he should have paid closer attention to the events of the past few days. But it was too late now. Christmas was over, his family had packed up their gifts and leftovers and driven back to whatever branch of the familial-tree they sprouted from. Bill was left with only the remnants: half-eaten homemade cookies nestled where cookies should not be, a glittering stack of unopened presents with no name tags, and two mismatched shoes of inexplicably different sizes.

Not to mention the mystery mutt.

He sipped at his bitter coffee for some strength to face the festive debris when a wild thought made him blink. There was one possible explanation, one place untouched by the usual rules of reality. Impulsively, he Dialed ‘1-800-NP-STNICK.’

The call was picked up instantly. “North Pole, Alfie speaking!”

“Ah, yes, hello. Ahem. I seem to have stumbled upon… well, a bit of a post-holiday predicament,” Bill began, sounding more British than he intendedbecause, well, it’s quite hard not to sound excessively polite when calling Santa Claus’s office.

“Ah, they didn’t like the hamster wheel? We can exchange that, no problem!” Alfie sounded all too comfortable with such absurdities.

“No… see… I have too much. Unopened boxes, mismatched shoes… And a dog. There’s a dog that I don’t recognize here,” Bill clarified, hoping this would straighten the matter out swiftly.

“A dog? How strange! And what would you like to do with all these items?”

“That’s just it, what should I do with this stuff?” Bill’s tone showed his persistent perplexed predicament dripping with desperation.

“Wish I could help there,” Alfie replied cheerfully, her nonchalance sliding by as swiftly as the cookies on the kitchen floor, off to find new and exciting places to become stale.

“Oh right. Thanks anyway.” A bitter tone, much like his coffee, doused his words in this mysterious impasse.

Bravely, Bill set his coffee down and started to roll up his sleeves. As he plunged into the thick of the aftermath, he glimpsced the ridiculousness of the situation. Every incongruity, every mismatch added up to a picture of imperfection making this Christmas extraordinarily bizarre and yet, ridiculously wonderful.

Life was not meant to be perfect, was it? And if it were, would it still be life?

“Much like Christmas,” thought Bill with a chuckle. “Much like….” his voice trailed off. The pup nudged his elbow and licked his hand, and Bill found the semblance of a smile playing on his lips.

It struck him harder than the Christmas pudding on his waistline, the true meaning of Christmas was still there, in the unmatched shoes, novelty mugs, and of course, the canine. It didn’t make sense, and yet, it oddly did.

Much like… well…, life.

If his tea-cosies had been upturned or his rugs thrown askew, it was all just a part of a memorable Christmas, of the chaos and laughter that’s too easy to forget in the aftermath. Of love, life and a freakishly unaccountable dog.

With newfound resolve and his new companion beside him, Bill ventured courageously into the whirl. The day seemed less chilly, his coffee less burnt. And above all, life seemed less serious.

And so, Bill found himself, deep in all the misplaced chaos, quietly laughing. Christmas was over, yes, but it had left behind more than unopened boxes and a mysterious mutt. It reminded him that life, like Christmas, was never without chaos or surprise, and to enjoy each imperfect moment.

After all, no one ever promised that life, or Christmas, would be anything but wildly, gloriously messy.


What happens next?

Mild to Wild

1 = Keep it simple10 = Let's get wild

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