The Perfect Christmas
The CBB -> Cookies & Drabbles

#1: The Perfect Christmas Author: CBB Secret Santa PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:38 am

Jo Maynard was sitting in her study at Freudesheim; piles of paper littering her desk.
Opening a drawer she took out three files and marked one Anna, one Jack and one ‘me’.
Picking up the largest pile she checked through it, muttering to herself as she did so. ‘Food, for the week before, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, food for the children, room layout, table setting, laundry all present and correct,’ as she finished muttering she placed the pile into the folder marked ‘Anna’. Then picking up the second pile she counted twenty separate sheets of paper, a wish list for all of the children and herself and the final sheet collection times from the airport. These were all placed in the folder marked ‘Jack’. There now remained two pieces of paper on the desk, one headed ‘School Staff’ and one ‘Jack’ These were placed in the folder with her own name on it. ‘I will get these on Friday when I go down to Montreaux to visit Winifred,’ she thought as she placed this folder back in the drawer. Rising she picked up the other two folders and took one to Jack’s study and placed it on the desk, the other she took to Anna in the kitchen.

‘Here are your instructions for Christmas, Anna. I am away for the weekend visiting Montreaux so you will have plenty of time to get started. Now it is nearly eleven so I’ll have my coffee and biscuits in the Saal.’ As she finished speaking Jo left the kitchen and retreated to the Saal.

Having served Jo her coffee, Anna returned to the kitchen looked at her lists collected up all the ones about food, went into Jack’s study and sat down at his desk. Picking up the telephone she dialled the number of a large provision store in Interlaken and multiplying everything by 20 and adding a few she ordered all the items on Jo’s list.

Meanwhile in Oxford Len and Con Maynard were discussing Christmas.

‘Are we getting a joint present for Mamma this year or are we buying separately?’ Len asked as she sprawled on the bed.

‘Mamma looked so disappointed last year when she only had one present from us three, not three separate presents and you know how much effort she puts into making Christmas special for us all so I think we should buy her a present each.’ Con spoke from where she was curled up in the one comfy armchair the room boasted. ‘Actually,’ she continued. ‘I already have something for her, I bought it when I was staying with Odile in Paris in the summer.’

‘That’s fine,’ Len said trying to keep the note of desperation out of her voice as she also added another name to her list. ‘Are you going to let Margot know or should I?’

‘I’ll tell her! I am writing to her tonight.’ Con replied.

A few days later Len was trawling the streets of Oxford searching for the items she still had on her list when a shop caught her eye halfway down a narrow side street. She hurried towards it hoping and praying that it might contain some of the items she so desperately needed. Having a good look round the shop she found things that would do for her youngest brother and sister and a book that her father would enjoy. As she waited her turn in the queue to pay she saw a rack that she had not noticed before in a dim dark corner of the shop. Len nearly shouted aloud in joy as she realised that exactly what she was looking for for her mother was there. She just about snatched it off the rack and ran for the till. Hugging herself with glee she rushed to the nearest café for a much needed cup of coffee.

Meanwhile in Edinburgh Margot read Con’s letter with despair. She had been hoping that the other two would go for a joint present and then she could have let them get on with it and not paid her share until she was in Switzerland and had tapped her father for some cash. Still Con was right; Mamma loved Christmas and did try to make it special for them all.

Suddenly a knock came on her door, followed by the voice of her friend Morag.
‘Margot do you fancy coming to do a bit of Christmas shopping?’

Margot opened the door. ‘Fantastic idea,’ she said. ‘Let me grab my coat and bag.’

The two girls spent a happy couple of hours wandering the shops Margot had small presents for her brothers and sisters a nice bottle of wine for her father but nothing for her mother. Then Morag suggested going into a large department store as she wanted to look as something. Whilst Morag was queuing to pay Margot noticed a sign over a large bin saying ‘SPECIAL OFFER 90% OFF.’ As usual with Margot to think was to act and she went to have a look in the bin. There it was exactly the sort of thing her mother would appreciate and at a price to suit her purse. Margot took her turn in the queue and left the shop with a beam of satisfaction.

The days flew by after that and very soon it was Christmas Eve. The long Maynard family including the three Richardsons and Erica Standish were gathered at Freuedesheim. The youngest members of the family were nearly off their heads with excitement, the elders as befitted their greater years were a little more restrained. The day was spent eating Jo’s marvellous food and with a long walk in the snow in the afternoon.

Christmas Day dawned with the promise of bright, if frosty weather. Magically, overnight, a large pile of parcels had appeared under the Christmas tree in the salon and it was only a threat from Jack that anyone entering the Saal, before the whole family had been to church and had breakfast, would have all their presents sent to an orphanage that kept them all in bounds. Finally the whole family were assembled round the tree, Anna and Rosli were in the kitchen seeing to the dinner. It was family custom for Jack to hand out parcels as he came to them and people just opened them as they received them. If they had waited for each in turn to open something they would probably have still been opening Christmas presents on Good Friday. Jo watching over the younger members of the family, ensuring they kept labels for thank you letters, managed to keep quite a few of her parcels to the very end. Thus it was with the whole family watching her that she picked up Len’s parcel. Very carefully picking at the sellotape (Anna could iron the paper and it would do for next year for someone else) Jo opened the parcel and pulled out a lime green twinset. Not noticing the startled looks on the faces of the other triplets Jo fell on the neck of her firstborn crying:
‘Oh thank you, darling just what I always wanted!’

Laying the parcel to one side Jo picked up a very heavy parcel which proved to be from the younger members of the family and when opened revealed a carved St Bernard. Her next from the three singleton boys was handkerchiefs. Her next was Margot’s offering. This was a large soft parcel much bigger than Len’s. Again Jo went through the ritual with the sellotape and finally to a gasp of amazement from the family and looks of consternation from the triplets Jo drew forth a hand knitted twinset in a very bright lime green!

Accepting her mother’s thanks Margot said defensively ‘Well, I knew it was your favourite colour and I know how much you love twinsets. And at least I made it myself’

Finally Jo was left with only two parcels to open. Jack pushed one forward it was wrapped in the most glittering gold paper with a beautiful large silver bow in one corner. Jo didn’t bother picking at the sellotape she tore the wrapping off quickly thinking to herself ‘It’s huge must have cost a fortune.’ Jo opened the box and finally under several layers of tissue paper revealed a gold lame mini skirt.

Jack grinned and said ‘I know you wanted something gold dear and I thought you might like some new modern clothes. ‘

Laying the skirt to one side Jo picked up Con’s parcel.

‘Did you buy this in Paris Con?’ Jo asked rather cheekily

Yes Mamma,’ Con replied.

Jo was too excited to notice the gloom in her daughter’s voice.

Again there was a layer of tissue paper under the Christmas wrapping and again Jo drew out a lime green twinset! This one though had a pattern of gold running through it.

As Jo finished thanking Con the gong sounded for lunch. The family enjoyed their lunch whilst Anna and Rosli ate theirs in the kitchen. Games followed lunch as it was now snowing too hard to go out. Tea with Christmas cake and Anna’s lemon biscuits followed, then carols round the piano and finally bed for everyone. Anna and Rosli had had the evening off and had retired to Anna’s room with a food hamper and some bottles of drink Anna had added to Jo’s shopping list.

Later, as they got ready for bed Jack turned to Jo and said ‘Well my dear the triplet certainly know you well! Have you enjoyed your day?’

‘Oh yes it was lovely and nice to have the children all home together, but I am so exhausted. All that shopping and cooking! Christmas with a big family is such a lot of work.’ Jo replied with a yawn. ‘Lets go to bed.’

Upstairs in Anna’s room the two who had had the real job of ensuring the Maynard family had the perfect Christmas slept the sleep of the justly weary. The empty hamper and bottles telling their own story.

Meanwhile in three separate rooms each of the triplets retired to bed thinking of the words she would have with the other two in the morning.

Slowly they all fell asleep dreaming their Christmas Dream.


#2:  Author: Carolyn PLocation: Lancaster, England PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:48 am

LOL Good for Anna! Glad she took 'good care' of herself.


#3:  Author: VikkiLocation: Sitting on an iceberg, freezing to death!!! PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 1:51 am

*giggling wildly!*
Wonderful story Santa!!!


#4:  Author: KBLocation: Melbourne, Australia PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 3:43 am

*giggling self into hysterics* Someone's been studying the drabble archive!


#5:  Author: LesleyLocation: Rochester, Kent PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 5:37 am

Love it! Wanted to shake Joey - but glad Anna enjoyed herself! Laughing


#6:  Author: Rachael PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 9:11 am

LOL! Very funny! Laughing


#7:  Author: LauraLocation: London (ish) PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:20 pm

Thank you Santa! *alternately giggling and wanting to shake Joey!*


#8:  Author: JennieLocation: Cambridgeshire PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 4:32 pm

'Jo's wonderful food'?

Lovely, thanks.


#9:  Author: Helen PLocation: Cheshire PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:24 pm

Laughing Laughing Laughing

Excellent, thankyou Santa! And good for Anna!


#10:  Author: SugarplumLocation: second star to the right! PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:21 pm

Very funny Santa ....glad you gave Anna a good xmas too!


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