“Well, it looks like we survived another one,” Tom said to his neighbor across the fence.
“Yea, it sure does. Fortunately, you’re big two are over. I’ve got another one to worry about in a few months.”
“Oh don’t worry, Bo. I doubt you’ll put on that much weight for them to even bother with ya.”
“That’s one advantage to being skinny. Huh, Tom?”
“I hear ya.”
“Hey have you ever wondered what they do on these special days beside eat?”
“Well, not really. But now that you mention it, I am a bit curious.”
“Why don’t we sneak a peek. They’ll be too distracted to even notice us.”
Tom and Bo trotted over to the white, two-story farmhouse and peeked through the window. Stockings dressed the mantle above the dancing flames of Christmas fire. An elderly couple donning Christmas sweaters rested on the davenport soaking in the warmth of fire and family. A little girl and boy dashed to their parents, jumped up and down with an earnest plea on their faces. Tom and Bo couldn’t make out the petition but clearly observed the passion of their expressions. Tom and Bo turned to each other and shrugged their shoulders.
Returning their attention to the home’s interior they beheld a magnificent pine tree jutting up to the ceiling adorned with red and green glass balls, ginger bread men, and covered with tiny lights. A luminescent angel perched herself atop the mighty pine as if heralding an unparalleled event. Beneath the branches lay decorative packages of various shapes and sizes.
The mother nodded her head and the children ran to the tree and began tearing the packages open. The parents and grandparents smiled and laughed at the youthful exuberance. Dolls, cars, games, and clothes appeared beneath the wrappings, which now covered the living room floor. The children leaped and laughed around the room with toys in hand.
“It must be their birthday with all their presents,” Tom suggested.
“It’s certainly someone’s birthday,” Bo replied.
The elderly gentleman gathered the family over by a ceramic stable with animals, kings, shepherds and a little baby in the center. He pulled out a large black book and began reading. The family stood silently and listened to every word. At the conclusion they bowed their heads and then sang a song.
The mother darted into the kitchen while the rest of the family mingled. A few moments later she emerged holding a platter with a twenty-pound turkey seeping juices from its golden roasted skin.
“Tom, are you O.K.?” Bo asked.
Tom fell to the ground and breathed heavily. “I think I’ll be alright. I just need to catch my breath. I hate these holidays.”
Inside, the father jerked his head toward the window and ventured for a closer look.
“Tom, I think they spotted us.”
The window slid open and the father yelled, “Get back to the barn you two. How did you get out here?”
Tom gobbled and Bo squealed as they hurried back to the barn.
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