When Christmas Comes

Written for Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers  
Genre: Realism
Word count: 100 words
PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson 
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When Christmas Comes

As a child, Christmas decorations made her sick with excitement. Now they made her sick for those gone missing since the lock-down. They showed up in little boxes the home projected onto a screen, but she knew they were impersonators. She watched, but refused to speak to those teary-eyed strangers. Her own family was naturally cheerful, even boisterous. “Lord, where are they?” Every day she recited their names, rolling them in her mouth like hard candy. Every day there was less of them to remember. But Christmas came. Her heart burned. There was a Light to investigate in the heavens.

42 thoughts on “When Christmas Comes”

    1. There’s something very wrong in our approach to this problem. In Japan the suicide rate has soared to 13,000+ this year compared to 2,000 last year.

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  1. Speechless. This captures so much… so very much. I usually put a picture on the tree for each person lost the past year. I can’t do that this year… there’d be no tree left. Too too many. Don’t even feel like celebrating at all. We cancelled T-day & Christmas this year for Covid. It’s going to be different, that’s for sure.

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  2. Dear Dora,

    Rolling on the tongue like hard candy. I love that description. Wonderfully written. I’m about ready to put our decorations up early just to add some cheer to the drear. The truth is lockdown won’t change our Christmas much since our family’s spread so far and wide. At any rate, good job.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Dear Rochelle,

      Thank you. It’s hardest for those who are in nursing homes in the last stage of their lives. This is the first year I’m going to put up decorations early so I know what you mean, “cheer the drear.” If any one can make Hanukkah and Christmas light up, it’s gotta be you with your cheerful energy.

      Aleichem shalom,
      Dora

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  3. The virus has been disorienting in innumerable ways. I can see where extended isolation can mess with someone’s mind. I can also see where the usual happy family members, now overcome with worry and anxiety, would seem alien when broadcast through a medium reserved mostly for fantasy and fiction. We are living in strange times and you have captured it so well in your story.

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      1. It sure can be. It is so important that we try and mitigate in the best we can with the older people in our lives. Call. Write. Visit from outside. Make things together (and take photos, and share). And, yes, video-chat. But also call and talk and see if someone can check in on them – from outside and outdoors if need be. Connection matters.

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  4. What a fabulous phrase: rolling on the tongue like hard candy. So descriptive and so apt. And can 2020 be over and the health of the world return so that we may see our families? Well done, Dora!

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  5. Very well written story for this time. I like the phrase, “Every day she recited their names, rolling them in her mouth like hard candy.” Reminding herself they are out there. I’m putting up my Christmas decorations today and video-chatting with my two kids who are an ocean away. One day at a time!

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