Seize the Day
Rockin Around the Christmas Tree
Rockin Around the Christmas Tree
“Alright girls, go pick us out a tree.” Pa said getting some saws, we all bundled up before going out into the woods to find us a Christmas tree. Lacey mostly picked the tree, it was her first time so I let her have all the fun. She would go from holding Johnny’s hand to running up to a tree saying it was the one, then she’s see one even better.
She finally decided that this one was the one, it was 6 feet tall and about 3 feet wide. It was full and beautiful, she did amazing finding the perfect one. Johnny and Zack cut down the tree and carried it the whole way back to the house, they knocked off all the snow before bringing it inside.
When we went inside Ma had already had the Beach Boy’s christmas CD playing, cookies were fresh and she was scurrying around to get all the stuff out. Ma put a Mickey Mouse Christmas tree skirt under the tree while Zack and I started to try to untangle the lights and see which ones worked, somehow I managed to get tangled in them and he was laughing too hard to really help me out of them.
“How.” He laughed. “If there is something that can go wrong, or you can get stuck in – you will.”
I pouted but he kissed me on the nose before pulling the lights off of me and put them on the tree, flexing after showing the finished product.
“Gold star.” Ma laughed. “Now here, this is all bulbs and ornaments… this one is tinsel and icicles ...”
When we finished decorating the tree Ma had us all take a photo infront of it, Zack put his arm around me and shined the brightest smile. This was the happiest moment of my life to
date, I was sure.
“I have presents for everyone, so you’re not done.” Ma said. “John, Bailey you already have one but Zack – Lacey… We’d like you to hang yours onto the tree too.”
Ma pulled out a small box, I knew what the box was – it was the box that held the ornaments that she had made out of old shirts, old flannel pieces or blankets and stitched our names into them. Mine was a light red and white flannel with thick black lettering that said Bailey on it, on the other side it had a horse on it. it was a horse blanket that I had had, but ended up getting tarnished. She could only save a small piece and got the idea to make us ornaments out of it.
John’s was black and almost looked like leather. It was a piece of his first car’s interior, it was his favorite car. It was a 1973 Chevy Caprice Classic Convertible, it was bright red and the apple of Johnny’s eye. He got 4 months before his 16th birthday because he always talked about wanting that car and I'll be damned if there wasn’t one for sale in town one day… Pa tried to hide it in a shed but Johnny ended up finding it.
Then one winter Johnny wrapped it around a tree, he was devastated. When we pulled up to the scene he was just sitting one of the tires that had come off, staring at it. he was bleeding but he didn’t care he refused treatment.
So ma threw out his old ornament and made him this one, so he could always have that car.
Zack’s looked like green flannel and had a skull on it, the same kind of skull that was on the jacket she had bought him. He smiled and hugged her before putting it next to my ornament on the tree.
“I didn’t know you were coming, so I had to hurry to make yours.” Ma said handing Lacey hers. “I had this piece of cloth but never knew what I would use it for, just knew it was pretty.”
And it was. It was a soft blush pink with lace on it, instead of a thick black lettering for her name Ma put it on in hot pink with a diamond on the back in tiffany blue. It was beautiful, girly and perfect for Lacey.
“Excuse me.” Zack said as his phone started to ring. He hurried out of the room and I got a weird feeling, but brushed it off. We cleaned up everything and shut off the music. Tomorrow was Christmas and I seriously couldn’t wait to give Zack his present. I hadn’t seen John bring it in, but he said he had it when I asked so maybe he’s just put it somewhere because I guess it would be pretty obvious what it was…
“I have to go, there’s an emergency.” Zack said, his face was red. Johnny got up and helped him pack some stuff before hurrying him out of the house.
“Call us when you get there, be careful.” Ma said handing him his jacket and kissing him on the cheek. “be careful!”
“Wait, you’re leaving?” I said grabbing his hand. “it’s Christmas.”
“I’m so sorry.” He said kissing me. “I have to go. I love you.”
I hesitated, very sad that he was leaving me on Christmas and hadn’t even told me why. “I love you too.”
I watched as his jeep went down the drive, I kept expecting him to turn around and come back but when the lights disappeared I knew he was really gone.
“Come on, let’s go to bed.” Ma said pulling me from the door into a half hug as we walked back to the living room.
Johnny and Lacey both hugged me before leaving to go to the loft, when I went upstairs the power flickered but to my surprise stayed on. I took a quick shower and dried my hair before getting into bed. I fell asleep alright but had no dreams, which is not a bad thing. It just meant that my lonely Christmas was here, and I would have to put a smile on for everyone else.
When I went downstairs everyone else was already up and sitting on the couch and the floor, ready to open presents. Ma insisted that we dress for pictures so I had put on nice jeans and a white long sleeve shirt with glitter snowflakes and white cheetah print. It was the nicest winter thing I had, bite me. And yes, it was from Victoria’s secret.
Ma put on more Christmas music, this time it was just instrumental music and lower so it wasn’t distracting. I sat on the couch next to Lacey as we started with presents.
I had gotten John a studded punk rock vest, he had mentioned before that he liked one but never committed to buying one, I also got him a new strap for his bass. Ma had gotten him a hat, it was actually punk rock looking I don’t know where she found it but it was something he would actually wear. She said it was too cold for him to be 2/3 bald with most of his hair standing on end not from gel but from the cold. Pa had gotten him a pocket knife, the body of it was a flat black but the edges were red.
“Flip it out.” Pa said after he opened it. John gave him a weird look but pulled the blade out to reveal a beautiful dark crimson color blade. “Now it’s a real knife, you can use it just as you would a regular knife.”
“Thanks Pa.” Johnny said immediately clipping it to his pants.
The rest of the gift giving went fast, then it was John’s turn. He had gotten Ma a new set of knitting needles, they were horror themed. She laughed and promised to think of him when she knitted things. He had also gotten her a CD player put in the jeep and burned about 10 CDs of her favorite songs.
He had gotten Lacey a gift card to her favorite store, along with a beautiful diamond
necklace. He had said he had another present for her later, but it was outside.
Then all that was left was Zack’s presents.
“I still don’t see Zack’s present I got him, you did bring it didn’t you?” I asked John.
“Oh, it’s at the house.” He shrugged.
“In California! John!” I said slapping him. “One thing. I asked you to do one thing for me.”
“No, it’s at the house on the edge of the property.”
“Why would you put it there?”
“Well, that’s where your present is too.” He said. “And Lacey’s present.”
“Well, why don’t we all go see the house anyways.” Pa said. “I heard you were renovating it, I’d like to see how it turned out.”
Johnny looked at the clock and nodded. “Well, the buyer is gonna be there around 2 anyways and I have to meet up with him to give him the keys…”
“You sold it.” My heart dropped again.
“Yeah, no sense in me having that house here… I’m never gonna live back here.” He sighed.
“We also got a potential buyer for my house in LA and we put an offer in on the house we liked in Huntington Beach.”
I drove myself to the house in my truck, Johnny followed in his car and Ma was with Pa in the Jeep listening to her new CD player. When we arrived to the house I realized it had been plowed out and almost looked inhabited. It used to be a blue house with white shutters but now it was a white house with light green shutters. It was absolutely beautiful, but it was beautiful before – that’s why it was my dream house.
Johnny led us inside, he showed us around the house well some of it. We heard honking outside and he rushed us back out front.
“The buyer is early.” He said with a smile.
Ma and Pa were smiling too.
“Let’s get our stuff out then.” I said looking for the guitar.
“I want you to meet the buyer first.”
He opened the door and my jaw hit the floor. I could barely see through the tears as I took a few steps forward to hug Zack as he stood in front of me.
“You said you were leaving…”
“Did you like the surprise?” He whispered into my ear. “Merry Christmas baby.”