Will and Eva sat comfortably before the fireplace in their snuggery enjoying a hot mug of cocoa. As Eva took a sip, she scanned the sea of packages adorned in red and gold wrapping paper, and her attention was drawn to the star atop the decorated evergreen.
“Will – Honey, do you ever think about the star on the tree?”
“What about it? Do you think we should have got a fairy instead?” he replied.
“No, and they’re not fairies, they are angels. It’s all about the story about shepherds following a star, and bringing a lamb to baby Jesus. Don’t you remember that from primary school?”
“Something like that, but wasn’t it a bunch of kings? I was a king in Year Four,” Will said reflectively.
“Yeah, that’s the story,” Eva said. “And I was sure it was shepherds because I remember, Danny Bowman had a tie-died tea-towel as a hat.”
“What were you? Mary I suppose?” Will queried.
“No, I was panda. You know, one of the animals in the barn. It was the onesie I had so mum didn’t have to buy a costume.”
“Anyway, that star and the shepherds. I bet they were cold out in that field when they were taking care of all those lambs.”
“I guess so,” Will replied a bit puzzled.
“Well I was thinking it’s cold tonight too and though I doubt there are any shepherd out there, I bet there are some homeless people. It was really cold last night too, and there was a lot of frost. The thought of it even makes me shiver. What if we take that extra pair of mittens that Aunt Martha sent you, and give them to one of the homeless people?”
“Kind of like King Winzaluss, giving alms, huh?” Will asked.
“Yeah, then we will really have the meaning of Xmas,” Eva said.
“Okay, but let’s wait till the morning when it’s warmer,” Will suggested.
“Good idea,” Eva said smiling as she took another sip and cuddled into Will.
Suzie had no intention of getting Brian to put up Christmas decorations. Though she loved him, she knew he didn’t have an artistic bone in his body. That wasn’t what bothered her. No, it was that when he “helped” taking boxes out of the attic, that his languid efforts proved she should have just done it herself.
Lily Reese from the Aviation Administration headed one of the agency’s hardest working departments. While many of her peers oversaw the air traffic of major carriers, or liaised with the military, her “Exceptional Traffic” Department had the unenviable task of monitoring flights during key holiday periods. If it wasn’t bad enough with standard air traffic increased with people “going home” for the holidays, it was the quick turn around of restricted space that caused her the most headaches. While broomstick traffic was at its height in late October, it was a year round phenomenon, and while the “Stick Slots” were largely outside of commercial traffic zones, they sometimes came dangerously close to private flights from small regional fields. If this was not bad enough, stick traffic had to be curtailed completely in the 10 pm, 24 December to 6 am, 25 December window to allow for a priority “Exceptional” which entered her area of responsibility via Lapland in that period. The usual notifications of late had been found wanting owing to the increased number of foreign brooms in the air. This led her to work her staff to the point of exhaustion posting the new language neutral notifications before the close of the noon, 23 December announcement window.
All the indicators were good. Minus .5 C or 31 degrees if you prefer old money. A good frost last night, and snow predicted for tonight. Yes, it seemed the conditions were all set for the first decent snowfall of the year, and Felix the Christmas Elf was ready for it. He would make the first plunge into a snow drift and win the third annual jungle bell trophy in a row. Only seven hours to go. But truth be told he was getting a little bored waiting in his dive posture, but one needs to be ready when there are jingle bells on the line.