“I think that’s the last of it,” Charlie sighed, wiping some sweat from his brow. He had just finished his third trip down to the lobby to bring up the remaining items from his shopping trip. The cab’s trunk hood had barely closed leaving the mall and Charlie had to help the driver jigsaw all the boxes and bags together to fit it all in.“You got the Keurig that was in the flyer right? That’s the one Catherine wanted,” Hazel asked as she rummaged through the bags sprawled across the living room and entrance way. “Yes dear. I took the clipping you gave me right to the Customer Service Desk and they helped me out. You were so worried that I made sure I got it right.” Charlie plopped himself down into his armchair. He hadn’t even taken his coat off yet. He was exhausted.
“Thank you for doing all the shopping for me this year,” Hazel said as she walked over to give Charlie a shoulder squeeze. Charlie smiled up at her. “Ah, it was no bother,” he paused and then chuckled. “Well, actually it was a pain in the you-know-where, but I know you haven’t been feeling the best. I just wanted to help. I have no idea how you did all this every year.” Hazel took a seat on the sofa next to him. “Well, you managed just fine on your own last year,” Hazel recalled. “That was different,” Charlie retorted. “The kids were all here and did everything for me. I didn’t have to lift a finger!” Charlie remembered what a different time it was the Christmas before. Hazel had just had her fall and was recovering and all the kids had made it back home to celebrate their last Christmas in the house. What a memory that was!
“I’m sorry my leg has been acting up,” Hazel said giving it a rub. “I know,” Charlie nodded. “Since having the flu, you just haven’t bounced back. Between sleeping most of the day and feeling achy and run down, you have me rather worried.” Hazel gave him a look that told him not to worry so much. “We’re getting older, Charlie. Our bodies take a little more time to heal. In any case, I have to admit that it will be nice not having to host a Christmas for once. I thought I would miss doing the big dinner and putting up the tree, but it’s about time I handed the torch over to Catherine. It’s just so much work for us now.” Charlie let out a laugh, “Well, after today, it certainly felt like a lot of work for me.” Hazel tossed a pillow at him. “Never you mind,” Hazel jokingly scolded. “I appreciate you doing all the gift shopping this year for me, but I’m still the one that has to wrap them all and do up our Christmas cards. And I think I will still put up a few things here and there, just in case people drop by over the next few weeks.”
Hazel and Charlie had decided to spend Christmas at Catherine’s. While John and James were hosting their own Christmases for their families in Ontario, Catherine had offered to host dinner and a gift exchange at her home. Catherine’s boys would both be there, and Jared was able to get two days off from work. It would be nice to just relax this year, both Charlie and Hazel thought. It was never too late to start new traditions.
“Now, to get a start on these packages,” Hazel exclaimed, taking out some tape and wrapping paper. “I think I’m going to pour myself some egg nog, put on some Bing Crosby and watch you. My part is done for the year.” Hazel scrunched up her face and gently tossed the other couch pillow at him. “You silly man,” she laughed.
ASCHA wishes you and yours a very happy and relaxing holiday season. We hope you have an opportunity to visit with those you care about, and to enjoy old and new traditions.
Charlie and Hazel will be celebrating with Catherine over the holidays and their Facebook and blog posts will return in the new year. We hope you will join us for the next chapter of their story!