Home For The Holiday: A Short Story

Home For The Holiday: A Short Story

The first part of a mini-series.
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Hey, guys, so I'm switching things up, so instead of writing an article, I'm going to start a short story series. I'm doing this for variety and also because of writer's block.

* * *

"I see you've... redecorated..." Chloe smiled. The house looked like it had been frozen in time. Nothing had been moved or touched since her parents first moved in. The house was stuck in the '80s.

"Well, your father and I like the way it looks" Amanda swatted her daughter with the rag in her hand and walked into the kitchen. "Plus you haven't been home in 17 years so you don't have a say." It was true, the day Chloe graduated from college was the last day she stepped foot into her house. The very next day she loaded up her car and went away to college. She kept in touch via Skype, and her parents visited her at least twice, but she had no actual intention of coming back home. But this Christmas was different... This Christmas she...

"Put your things in your room and come help me, sweetie." Chloe rolled her eyes and did as she was told. Her room was laughable. Her parent's hadn't touched it either. Her twin-sized bed was going to be interesting to sleep in. The posters on her wall were off boy bands she no longer listened to. There were still pictures from high school taped around her mirror. She looked at each one, recalling the memories associated with the picture. She got to one that made her pause. She touched it and then took it down.

She made her way back down the hallway. The smell of her mother's cooking and the sound of her singing accompanied her on the walk. Her father stood watching his wife move around the kitchen. His smile was wide and his eyes bright. He loved her with everything inside of him. Watching her parents was worse than watching romantic movies. At least a movie can be called fiction. Some person's made up account of two fictitious people who seem to fall in love effortlessly and perfectly. She hated those movies and made it a point to avoid them. But she couldn't avoid her parents. They were picture perfect and it was completely real.

"Oh, hey, sweetie, I'm glad you're home." Chloe hugged her father. He had been wearing the same cologne for as long as she could remember, like the house, that hadn't changed.

"Glad to be home."

"To what do we owe the pleasure?"

"Clark, don't ask her that. Chloe is always welcome home." Chloe was thankful for her mother's diversion, she didn't want to explain why she had come home. It was honestly the last thing she wanted to do but out of options, she settled. "Now, put an apron on and come help me with this food."

"Momma, you I can't food to save my life."

"Oh honey, I thought you'd grow outta that by now."

"Mom, you can't grow out of being a bad cook."

"Oh well sweetheart, how do you eat?"

"Take out, restaurants... McDonalds" Chloe shrugged, her parent's shared a look and then doubled over with laughter.

"Your husband might want a home cooked meal every once in awhile."

"Well I don't have to worry about that do I, Dad?" Silence filled the room. Chloe regretted sounding so short with her Father but she hated that no matter what the conversation was originally about, it was always brought back to how single she was.

"How about I show you how to make some things and that way you can enjoy them when you go home." Her mom tried to make light of the situation but the tension was still thick in the air.

Instead of picking a fight, she picked up an apron and tied up her hair. There was a knock at the door.

"I'll get it," Clark said. Amanda handed Chloe potholders and nodded towards the oven.

"Take the turkey out and place it on the counter and get the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar out of the cabinet for me."

"Sure" Handing her mom things was something she could do. Amanda smiled at her daughter and went back to singing. Chloe joined in and the two women danced around each other. Chloe handed her mother whatever spices she needed and Amanda did the actual cooking and baking. Clark came around the corner and smiled at the sight.

"Join us, honey," Amanda held out her hand.

"I would love to but Ryan is here and he has a question for you."

The women stopped. Amanda gave Clark a look to kill. Chloe sharply turned towards the kitchen door, and a man came into view. He looked exactly the same as Chloe remembered. His hair was starting to grey and he had a lot more facial hair, but everything else was the same. He was always muscular, always handsome, that hadn't changed. He smiled when he saw her. Her expression didn't move. The moment she heard his name she had this look on her face as if she'd seen a ghost.

"Hey, Chlo- it's good to see you." He stepped towards her. She instinctively took a step back. Then she ripped off her apron and headed out the door.

* * *

I hope you enjoyed the beginning of my short story. To be continued...

Food for Thought: There's a lot of drama in this world... sometimes we need a little fiction
Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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15 "Christmas Vacation" Quotes To Use This Holiday Season

Hip, hip hooray for Christmas vacation!
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It's that time of year: Christmas is here. Everybody knows there isn't a better time of year. "Hear that sleigh, Santa's on his way: hip, hip hooray for Christmas vacation!" If you were singing that in your head by the third line, then you understand the glory of "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation." Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo blessed us with this film nearly 30 years ago, and with a screenplay by John Hughes, the film is just as funny today. Here are 15 quotes from "Christmas Vacation" that you should be using this holiday season.

1. “Hallelujah! Holy sh*t! Where's the Tylenol?”

When to use it: the holiday season can be stressful, but the key to staying cheery is to fake it until you make it. Use this quote when you need some extra help faking it.



2. “We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f***ing Kaye.”

When to use it: when your family is killing your Christmas vibes.



3. Todd: "Hey Griswold. Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?"

Clark: "Bend over and I'll show you.

When to use it: when family asks you about what you’re going to do with your future, how college is going, or if you have a significant other yet.
Or when your neighbor, Todd, is #theworst.




4. “She falls down a well, her eyes go cross. She gets kicked by a mule. They go back. I don't know.”

When to use it: any time your family comments on your appearance.



5. “Worse? How could things get any worse? Take a look around here, Ellen. We're at the threshold of hell.”

When to use it: when it’s finals week, and you're watching Christmas movies instead of studying.



6. “Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.”

When to use it: when professors give you 20 million assignments right before break.



7. “Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”

When to use it: when your uncle starts talking about how Donald Trump should be president at your family’s Christmas dinner.



8. “I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.”

When to use it: when your parents won’t let you open presents at 6 a.m. because you’re an adult now.



9. Ellen: "He's an old man. This may be his last Christmas."

Clark: "If he keeps it up, it will be his last Christmas.

When to use it: when your racist grandpa is being extra racist.



10. “Lotta sap in here! Mmmm... Looks great! Little full, lotta sap.”

When to use it: when you regret buying a real Christmas tree, but you’ll never tell your significant other they were right and you should have gone with a fake one from Lowe's.



11. “Every time Catherine revved up the microwave, I'd piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour or so.”

When to use it: when you need to deflect because a co-worker asked you to cover their Christmas Eve shift.



12. Audrey: "He worked really hard, Grandma."

Art: "So do washing machines.”

When to use it: when someone gives you a homemade present and says it’s “the thought that counts."



13. Clark: "Our holidays were always such a mess."

Clark Sr.: "Oh, yeah."

Clark: "How'd you get through it?"

Clark Sr.: "I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels.”

When to use it: every day of finals week. And every day of break spent with your family. And every day in general…



14. Ruby Sue: "Rocky bit my thumb. Him's nervous."

Clark: "Nervous or excited?"

Ruby Sue: "Sh*ttin' bricks."

Clark: "You shouldn't use that word."

Ruby Sue: "Sorry. Sh*ttin' rocks.


When to use it: when your family doesn’t appreciate your potty-mouth.



15. “Merry Christmas. Sh*tter was full.”

When to use it: All. Year. Long.

Merry Christmas!



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39 Christmas Gift Ideas For Your Girlfriend

Don't stress over finding the perfect present for your woman, because everything a girl could want is right here.

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As a girlfriend, I always look forward to the holidays or events where you receive presents from your significant other. Not that I love material things, it is just a great way for them to express how much they care about you.

My boyfriend has always done a great job when it comes to gifts and a lot of the things on this list are things he has gotten me in the past.

So here are some ideas for any guys who aren't quite sure what to get their lady or for any girls who want to share this to give their man a hint ;)

(For best results, mix and match a few of these.)

1. Flowers

2. Chocolates or favorite candy/food

3. Stuffed animals 

4. Gift card to their favorite clothing store

5. Gift card to a place that you can enjoy together 

Restaurant, theater, etc.

6. Cute socks 

7. Candle 

8. Heart felt card

9. Date night box

Fill a box with specific date night essentials. For example, Movie, popcorn, candy, pajamas, for a movie night together.

10. Face masks

11. Movie  

Buy her a movie you saw together or if you know of a movie you know she really loved or wanted to see.

12. Fuzzy blanket 

Fuzzy socks, fuzzy pillows. Girls love everything fuzzy.

13. Toys for their pet (If they have one)

14. Wine or favorite alcohol 

15. Make coupon book

1 free back massage, 1 free favor, etc.

16. Succulent 

17. Picture frame with a picture of the two of you 

18. Jewelry 

19. Lotion or perfume

20. Hand made craft

Paint or draw them something. It means so much more than a store bought gift.

21. Gift card to spa or nail salon 

22. Decorations for their room  

All girls love cute little knick knacks. TJ Maxx has the hook up.

23. Cute Mug 

You can even fill it with tea or hot coco.

24. Salt lamp 

25. Lava lamp

26. Diffuser and/or Essential oils

27. Nail polish 

28. T-shirt from her favorite band/artist/movie 

29. Poster of her favorite band/artist/movie

30. Cute new phone case

31. Hair accessories or products 

Scrunchies, bobby pins, hairspray, etc.

32. Art supplies 

Canvas, paint brushes, etc. Or supplies for any hobbies she has.

33. Monthly subscription box

It's the gift that literally gives all year! These are subscriptions such as Ipsy, FabFitFun, etc.

34. Donate to a charity or organization she is passionate about 

worldwildlife.org, Ivory Ella, etc. When you buy from Ivory Ella they donate a % to saving elephants, and if you donate to WWF you usual get a present as well, that can be part of your gift to show you donated.

35. Star map of the day you started dating 

thenightsky.com

36. Matching friendship bracelets or necklaces

In relationships it is important to remember that you are best friends first.

37. Promise ring 

What girls love more than jewelry is jewelry that means something special!

38. Matching Underwear 

meundies.com

39. Cook her a nice meal

Honestly, the best present is just something that she can tell you put a lot of thought and effort into. It isn't always about how expensive the gift was, it is just about how much you know her and the time you put into giving her a really special gift.

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