A pattern of light rays was drawn on the wooden floor as I sit down comfortably on my living room’s brown couch. I smile at Emily who is holding hands with Scott. Hugh and Chris sit on the facing sofa.
“Thank you all for coming, especially in this time of the year,” my eyes turn to the twinkling Christmas tree beside me, “I just love Christmas!” I smile excitedly.
Hugh raises an eyebrow at me, making me feel sort of uncomfortable. I start to clear my throat when Chris slaps him on the back, “stop pretending, Hugh, you’re like the biggest fan out there!” He turns to me, “You have no idea how obsessive he turns around November 15th. Every year he has to improve last year’s Christmas tree. And that takes a lot of planning and buying things…” he trails in a darker tone, rolling his eyes.
“Well…Christmas is important to me,” Hugh rolls off his shoulders in a dismissive matter.
“Of course it is! It brings out so much memories, right?” I turn conspirationally at Emily and Scott.
Emily chuckles at this. “Yes! Christmas has marked the most important times in our lives. Like when Scott proposed, or when we got married…or when I announced that I was pregnant for the first time…” she blinks at me.
“Actually, why is Christmas so important to you, Gaby?”
I smile at her. “Right, I haven’t introduced myself to our dear audience today. I’m Gaby Cabezut and I’m the culprit behind everyone’s stories in this room.” I reach out to the small coffee table in the middle of the living room, grabbing a steaming mug filled with hot cocoa. Taking a small sip, I lift the cookie filled platter offering everyone a cookie. “And Christmas is important to me because I have fond memories around this time of the year. It’s like it represents love and family and friendship at the same time. The year finishes and you’re off to a new start as January comes, all recharged with the greatest energies of the year.” I leave the mug on the table, “but we’re not here to talk about me guys, what makes Christmas so special for each of you?”
Scott clears his throat and squeezes his wife’s hand in a loving manner. “Christmas is especial for all those things Emily mentions but what I love most about it is the gift exchanging!” He finishes up excited like a little boy.
Emily shakes her head, “we had this whole tradition about exchanging funny presents between us two, but Scott pretty much blew it away when he got me tiffany’s jewelry.” She stares accusingly at him.
He raises both hands in mock surrender, “it was on sale!”
Emily rolls her eyes. “Anyway,” Scott adds much more composed, “on recent years, Kate and Mark are part of the tradition.”
“And Marianne and Jason, too.” Emily’s eyes sparkle somewhat proudly.
“How does it feel to have a married daughter now?” I ask excitedly.
Hugh snorts before exclaiming, “you guys are old!” at the same time Emily smiles fondly saying “it’s awesome” and Scott sulks a bit as he adds sourly, “it sucks.”
I burst out laughing. “Hugh you’re like the same age, dude!”
“But I’m not having grandchildren soon!” he defends himself.
Emily gasps. “Oh my God! I will get to be a Grandma soon!”
“If you’re not on the way already,” teases her Chris.
“What?!” Scott’s brown eyes are wide as he turns to me.
I shrug. “I have no idea, you guys!”
Emily stares at the distance dreamily, “imagine a pair of little feet walking around the house, Scott. How awesome is that?”
Scott gulps audibly. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, ok?”
Everyone laughs at that. “So what would you say to everyone reading this on this Christmas?”
“Enjoy every Christmas as if were the last,” Hugh adds more seriously, “because the next thing you know, you’re old like these two!” he burst out laughing gesturing at Emily and Scott. They both roll their eyes. Me too.
Hugh is definitely hopeless.
“Enjoy time with your family and friends. It is the time of the year to cherish one another,” Chris ignores Hugh’s hiccups but he does shakes his head disapprovingly at the end. “Even if your boyfriend is a dimwit.” That sobers Hugh up.
“It is the time of the year when you get to give out awesome presents like a copy of the greatest story of the ultimate couple of all times,” Scott smirks as he finishes.
I laugh at that. “Nice one!” we high five.
Emily smiles as she shakes her head, “Seriously, do enjoy all your friends and family gatherings. Presents or no presents included. Christmas is about passing time with your loved ones, sharing moments with them, making memories.”
We all look at her in some sort of awe. Because she’s right. Christmas is about being with each other and making new memories.
“To that,” we all raise our hot cocoa mugs up in the air, “have a merry Christmas you all!”
Gabriela Cabezut’s work are exclusively found on Wattpad.
Her first published book, Prince with benefits, is for sale through Pop Fiction Books (Philippines) and as an e-book on the buqo app.