Forest shivered this morning, it was colder than any day he could recall. It was Dec 24 of course, the first snowfall of the year fell fast and heavy. The Cubs nestled closer to Spring, their Mother.
Soon, it would be Christmas, and they would expect presents. Forest kissed his mate, smiled at his children, and headed out into the glen.
First he collected Christmas dinner for the family. There ancestors were Italian foxes, so fish would be appropriate. He selected a small tree limb that would fit just under the hole in the roof. The starlight would brighten the little berries on its branches.
“What no lights?” Anna asked her Dad Tom as he told the story. “Well no honey, it’s a fox. How could they have a lit tree?” Justin, her four year old brother spoke. “A family of fireflies live in the tree!”
Tom laughed, “Okay, a family of fireflies live in the tree.” Anna listened as the children peppered her husband with questions and changes to his simple bedtime story. When it was done, Warner Bros would have bought it.
Anna thought about how the night began while finishing the dishes. Tom guaranteed that he could get the kids in bed by 9:00. He did better than she thought, he got them in bed a half hour late, and it took an hour to finish the story.
Still, it was Christmas Eve, and they could share a few minutes drinking coffee before half a night of wrapping last minute presents. Both sides of the family were coming tomorrow for Christmas. An involuntary gasp left both their lips each time they thought of it.
Still, Tom had finessed the two factions brilliantly. He convinced them, known affectionately as the Imperials and the Crown Royals, to join their only grandchildren at their house for Christmas. What a Christmas this would turn out to be.
Lynda and Carol would fight over decoration ideas. Trent and Hank would each try to out do the others for their second generation’s attention. At its end, the kids would call it their best Christmas ever. Mom and Dad would mumble something about the Armistice of 2011.
Either way, instead of plane trips and hurried goodbyes, it would be a weekend filled with family. Smiles would replace gasps, hearty memories would conquer frustration, and peace would be the prescription of the day. It was a brilliant suggestion from her own husband that made it possible.
She looked at him when he sat beside her. “I guess, Tom Fox, you think you’re pretty smart?” “Not as smart as I was ten years ago.” She still blushed at the compliment. “I’m a lot smarter after you said yes than I was before.” Again, she smiled. “What’s that smirk mean?” Anna laughed as she held his hand, “I’m smart enough not to answer that, after all, I’m Mrs. Fox!”