Julie stared up at the overhead screen and sadly watched as the flight board inside the filled to capacity airport, flickered from on time to cancelled.  “I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas and it appears I will be spending it by myself inside this terminal.  She slowly sank back into the cold hard chair and couldn’t help but begin to cry.  She had thought that going away to college was going to be a dream come true and in many ways it was but tonight she wanted nothing more than to be back in New York surrounded by her family and friends.  She wanted to hear the carolers as they serenaded her and her boyfriend of three years, Tim.  She wanted the hustle and bustle of the city streets with the shoppers rushing from one store to another finishing their last minute gift buying.  She missed the feeling of the fresh falling snow upon her as she stared up at the huge tree all a glow in Rockefeller Center.  Perhaps most of all she wanted to feel like she was home again.  “Well,” she thought, “I guess this won’t be a Christmas to remember after all.”  She unfolded the blanket she had brought for the flight and tried to make herself comfortable or at least as close too comfortable, as she could manage to get.  Her eyes must have slowly closed because the next thing she remembered was a flight attendant tapping her on the shoulder.  Julie looked up at the lady with hope that she had overreacted and somehow all the flights were back on.  However, she knew that wasn’t really a possibility.  “Yes,” Julie said while attempting a smile.  “It appears you are alone tonight,” the flight attendant ventured a guess.  “Great,” Julie thought, “now not only am I alone but I am having this kind lady point it out to me. “  She wanted to hide under the blankets and pretend she didn’t notice how everyone else in the airport seemed to have someone with them.  Looking back up at the flight attendant she couldn’t help but shake her head yes confirming that she was indeed alone.  “I was in your shoes once and it was awful.  Christmas felt so far away.”  Julie gave a sad smile, after all that was exactly how she was feeling.  The flight attendant dug in her large satchel and pulled out a green wrapped package with a bright red bow.  “This helped me once upon a time, perhaps it can help you too.”  Then handing the gift to Julie she said, “but before you open it you must promise to one day help someone else who is in need of some Christmas spirit.”  Julie nodded her head in agreement and wondered if what was inside the package really could bring back the Christmas she so desperately wanted.  She slowly began to untie the red ribbon and peel away the carefully wrapped green paper.  Before she knew it she was staring at a small wooden box.  “Like this is going to help me,” she thought as she carefully lifted the lid and peered inside.  Julie let out her first smile of the season.  For inside that neatly wrapped gift and carefully placed inside the wooden box was exactly what her heart had longed for.  




12/04/2012 6:47am

....keys to a Range Rover with chains for its tires, so I can drive home for Christmas! That is what is in that box!

12/04/2012 7:07am

Hum... It thinking something magical, something full of warmth that reminds her of family. Like the smell of hot chocolate and firewood burning. Maybe visions of Christmas memories past. Or just a feeling settling over her of well being. Merry Christmas, Holly!

12/04/2012 10:05am

A silver charm that says, "Home is where the heart is."

12/04/2012 12:21pm

Just like Scrooge's ghastly visitors who endeared the old goat with a new perspective, the little box contained a tiny house with a working front door, an exact scale model of her parents home in New York which, upon opening it allowed her to experience the Christmas she had envisioned when she had made her traveling arrangements.

12/04/2012 1:25pm

A plaque that read--Christmas is about giving. Extend your hand in greeting to the nearest stranger, and wish that person a heartfelt Happy Holidays. The returned smile will be a gift for you both."

12/04/2012 3:10pm

An ancient bottle with a genie to grant her three wishes, one of which she uses to get home. She uses the other two to do something kind for two strangers she meets along the way.

Carolyn Sullivan
12/05/2012 12:42pm

A bell from Santa's Sleigh. When you ring it and think of home it will transport you there.

12/05/2012 4:19pm

That is the direction I was going in. I like this.

12/05/2012 4:24pm

Christmas is a time for magic. I have always believed that and have always been attracted to stories with a magical - if not supernatural - bend to them.

It use to be a thing of desire, now it is a thing of creativity.

12/06/2012 10:49am

I wasn't going to go magical but this just sort of popped into my head...

Inside the box was a magic mirror that allowed her to see into her family's home through the mirror over the fireplace. Her friends and family could see her too and they were able to wish each other a Merry Christmas and share part of the holiday with each other through this magical device.

12/06/2012 11:10am

That's divine. Everyone in my writing group knows how much I refer to Stephen King's "On Writing" and one of the reasons the book stuck me so is the way in which he demonstrates the telepathic nature of writing and reading. I believe we all feel this, and is there a better opportunity to show it?


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