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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2263125
A different kind of celebration.
The Holiday After
WC 339

My dad was a quirky kind of guy. He zigged while others zagged, and he had his own unique ideas. I always liked that about my dad. Now I cherish his uniqueness
He insisted our family celebrate the day after Christmas, too.

“Christmas is for Baby Jesus,” he would say. “The next day is for us to remember all the wonders of the year and to thank God for them.”

There were no gifts at The Holiday After Celebration. Each of us would compose a letter (whoever was old enough to print, which eventually all six of us children were) expressing what they were thankful for.

Mom would make breakfast: her special French toast, banana pancakes, and sausages. Oh, and bacon. Crisp bacon. And after we were finished, we would sit in the living room and read our letters to the family. The little kids would say whatever popped into their heads. Pretty funny stuff. We did our best not to laugh.

My letter always felt so cheesy. I gushed a bit, but things spilled from my heart…

Then, life grabbed hold and shook our family tree. My mom died before her time, then Dad followed—needing to be with her, I guess. My siblings and I all moved on with our lives. We’re spread out across the country, so I don’t see them much. Breaks my heart.

I miss The Holiday After Celebration. I haven’t written a letter (like I wrote back then) in years. And I miss my mom’s French toast. And the bacon.

Sad to say, I have not continued the tradition. I love my wife and kids, but none of them have ever shown any interest in the idea. Since I tend to take the path of least resistance, I have never insisted. I’ll bet my dad is rolling over in his grave.

If I really sit and think about it, it was one of those special moments captured in one patch of time. I am ever so thankful to have been in that space at that time.

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