Dolores got a most unexpected Christmas present the day after Christmas last year. It was an email that read:
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Partially annoyed, Dolores clicked on it and responded with equal nonsense:
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She received the most wonderful reply:
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Dolores now lives in a mansion and drives a Lamborghini.
It was Christmas Day! It was also Patsy’s first Christmas for fifty three years without her husband who had passed away in June. Both her children were overseas; one on military duty and the other in the diplomatic corps.
“Let’s not get morbid,” thought Patsy. “I shall celebrate Christmas with a little feast.”
Patsy purchased an hors d’oeuvre (“Do not defrost, heat in oven for ten minutes”), the biggest chicken to roast that she could find (“But for Christmas I shall cook it like a turkey”), and a host of vegetables as side dishes (“Different enough from the usual to make it celebrational”).
“I shall have a little wine with it all, and then end with a slice of homemade piping-hot apple pie with whipped cream. I shall top it off in front of the TV with a nice coffee and some marsh mellows.”
But what a stormy Christmas Day! Snow flurries and sudden gusts of wind! And then the electricity went off. A black out. Everything was only half cooked.
Patsy sat wrapped up next to the fire and roasted her marsh mellows on a stick. Oh! She almost forgot! A little wine!
Regan was a school teacher. She taught “the littlies”! It was Christmas Eve.
Little Johnny brought his teacher some flowers. “Happy Christmas, Miss,” said Little Johnny.
“How dare you, you brain-washed son of bigots. If I was a male you wouldn’t give me flowers. You’re giving me flowers because I’m a woman, and that’s sexist. I won’t accept your dumb flowers, and besides I don’t celebrate Christmas. I thought I’d taught you to ignore all this silly superstitious stuff and live in reality. Dismissed!”
Regan was clearly in a bad mood. She and her sister, Goneril, were to go to a ball that very evening. The Handsome Prince was insisting that their other sister, Cinderella, was to come too.
Ms Peaburger set her class an assignment; all were to write and present a speech on a given topic. Modesta had to prepare her speech on “The Origins of Saint Nicholas”.
“Saint Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra, in Turkey, in the fourth century. He would celebrate Mass daily for the people of his Diocese, and he would hear Confessions, as well as Baptize and Confirm young members of his flock. He would celebrate Weddings for happy couples. And he visited the sick and Annointed them with the Sacrament of Extreme Unction as it was then called.
He spent many hours in prayer every week, and practised much penance and fasting. Apparently he even wore a hair shirt to…”
“Excuse me,” butted in Ms. Peaburger. “You have clearly got the wrong Saint Nicholas. What you’re talking about has nothing to do with Christmas. Next time you’re given an assignment I suggest you research it thoroughly. Sit down!”
Ronan knew exactly what he’d give his father for Christmas. He would inspire Dad with his very own story – at least that’s what the advertisement said. What if Dad knew his ancestors were Irish? Or Scandinavian? Or even South Asian? Would he celebrate with a pint of Guinness? A plate of pickled herrings? Learn some Hindi and take the kids on the journey of a lifetime? It was time to find out.
Ronan wanted it to be a surprise, so he had his own DNA analysed. Then he could take his father’s line and go yah-yah-yah in a paternal direction. Happy Christmas, Dad!
But Mum and Dad had both had their DNA analysed and were presenting a copy to each of their kids for Christmas.
Oh the sometimes inevitability of life! Ronan’s DNA had nothing in common with his father’s. Christmas rather quickly turned into a pretty dismal affair.