December 20, 2012

Going Ho-Ho-Home for the Holidays

     Getting ready to drive to MT for the holidays. It seemed like a good idea when we planned it. A case full of snacks, my travelling play list, magazines to read, and a joke book to keep the driver (my husband) entertained while he watches the road.

     Road trips are always fun, right?

     Except that I forgot one crucial element: the weather.

     It seems that Jack Frost is working against us. There are blizzards and closures and all manner of bad things falling from the sky. Now I have to ask myself what I was thinking when I thought driving to MT would be more fun than flying?

     Its looking like we may be late getting to our destination. Or maybe not getting there at all.

     But if my Hallmark holiday movies have taught me anything it's that as long as there is Christmas, there is hope.

     The movies start out like this: a well meaning couple with a car full of presents, snowed in. They are depressed and miserable.  How will they get back home for the holidays?

     Perhaps the snow will miraculously let up and they can make the drive at the last minute.

     Or maybe the family will come to them.

     Or...maybe the couple will decide to spend the holidays at home, making the best of it with hot cocoa and candle light while munching on Spam and fig newtons (okay I fudged on the menu).

     Those are fine endings, but my favorite goes like this...

     It's Christmas Eve. We werent able to make it home. We are woebegone as we hang our empty stockings on our non-existent fire place. "Maybe we can just sleep through Christmas," I say, looking at the clock and the bottle of Nyquil on the nightstand.

     "Sounds like a good plan," my husband says, sighing dramatically. "There's always next year."

     Suddenly, there's a jingle outside.

     "Honey," I say to my husband, "are you expecting a package?"

     "No." My befuddled husband scratches his head. "The post office is closed for the day and the weather is so bad no cars can visit. Not sure where that jingle is coming from."

     I (naturally its me, and not the befuddled husband) rush to the door and fling it open, fighting back the snowflakes that are obscurring my view. I see a brown hoof on our lawn, and then another. I do a quick count. Why, there are (what's 8 x 4 again?) oh there are 32! My eyes rise towards a shiny red craft in the yard. A sleigh! A fat old man sits atop it, a giant red bag to his side.

     "I've come to take you two to your family for Christmas. Get on in!" He waves us over. Our jaws drop. We jump into the sleigh, no sweaters or gloves, and sail away, over the blizzards, and are set down gently on the roof of my in-laws.

     "Thank you!" I say as I tumble out of the sleigh. But I'm too late. The mysterious, fat stranger is gone.

     Somehow we slide off the roof and hop down onto the ground without damaging our ankles. We look into the window. There is goose and duck and turkey on the table (though I can't tell the difference between any of them). Holiday music is playing magically on the piano. We have made it just in time for Christmas Eve dinner. And all is well.

     That's how I think it will play out. Hallmark wouldnt lie to me. If TV has taught me anything it's that if you wish hard enough, miracles happen.

Or maybe we'll just make the drive and take our chances. The worst that can happen is that we get stranded in the snow and have to eat each other. But that's another movie and it's on the Syfy channel. They don't air that till New Year's.

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