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Legiversary Drabble 2

Title: A Simta Fe Christmas
Characters: Alex, Katie (Kaylynn), Isaac, Peter, Lenora.  Phily is mentioned
Rating: Everyone
Notes:  Canon.  This would be when Peter and Lenora are about six years old, hence their crazy excitement about Christmas.
Words: 1,561

“I hope Alex makes it back from town soon,” Kaylynn said as she looked out the window at the snow that was falling faster and thicker with each passing moment.
“He was just behind me, Katie,” Isaac said as he tied string around the brown paper package he’d just finished wrapping.  “The train was unloading, and he wanted to wait to see if the Christmas package from Phily had arrived.”
“I hope it did; there are a few things for the children that I’m counting on.”
“What, Santa’s not going to make it through the snow, so you need to rely on your sister?”
“Santa’s not coming?” Peter gasped, coming to a screeching halt at the bottom of the stairs. 
“Why not?” Lenora asked as she crashed into him because she had been following him too closely.
“No, Santa will be coming,” Katie said, shooting an evil glare at Isaac.  “Isaac thought he would be funny.”
“It’s not funny to joke about Santa not coming, Papa,” Lenora said.  “He’ll leave you coal in your stocking if you’re a bad boy.”
“I think Santa knows that me being good is a lost cause,” Isaac said, ruffling her hair.  He took the package and placed it under the small evergreen tree that Alex had found and Katie and the children had decorated.
The front door opened, and Alex came in, bringing with him a gust of wind and snow.
“Give me a hand with this, Isaac.  Phily must have sent us anvils by the weight of it.”
The two men dragged a large crate inside and brushed the snow off it.
“I’ll get the horses settled,” Isaac said, pushing Alex towards the stove.  “You get yourself thawed out.”
Alex sat down in a chair and put his boots up on the stove.  “That storm came up quick,” he said, unwrapping his scarf and handing it to Katie.  “But I couldn’t leave without seeing if the Christmas box from Phily had arrived.”
“I know,” she said, trading his scarf for a cup of coffee.  “I was hoping it would be here too, after Phily wrote what she was sending.  Once Isaac gets back in, we’ll have dinner and then put the gifts under the tree.”
The family soon sat down to dinner, but everyone’s eyes kept drifting over to the crate that Alex had brought home.  Phily always took such care in picking out presents for all of them, and they couldn’t wait to see what she had sent this year.  Plus, she always sent things like dress patterns for Katie and Lenora, short adventure stories for Peter, and copies of the Portsimouth Herald for Alex and Isaac to read.  There would be sheet music for the children, and a stick of candy or two as well.
After dinner, while Katie and the children cleaned up, Alex and Isaac unpacked the crate, putting the presents under the tree with the other bundles already there.  Peter and Leonora, once dismissed from their chores, watched in awe.  Everything was packed so carefully, with straw so the delicate items wouldn’t break.  They tried to peak at the other things in the crate, but Isaac quickly put the lid back on, and tapped a few of the nails back down so that the children couldn’t reopen it.
“What’s left inside isn’t for Christmas, but it can wait until tomorrow.  Don’t forget that we need to go to bed early, so Santa will come,” Isaac said, putting the hammer on the shelf behind the stove where little arms and hands couldn’t reach it.
Katie came out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron as she did so.  She then untied it, and hung it on a hook by the door.  Alex sat down on the bench of the old piano he’d picked up from a family that had given up on their homestead, and opened the lid to reveal the keys.  It was slightly out of tune, but it provided the children a chance to learn to play.  The rest of the family gathered around him as he began to play.
He played Christmas carols as the family sang along, Katie’s sweet alto blending with Isaac’s rich baritone.  The children sang too, though they were more concerned with the volume of their voices than they were with keeping them in tune.  Singing carols on Christmas Eve was a Bradford tradition that Alex’s mother Carolina had brought with her when she married his father Thomas; her family had done it for as long as Carolina could remember, and she was eager to continue it with her new family.  The songs of old always comforted Alex, especially now that he was so far away from the home of his birth.  Singing the familiar songs made the distance between his siblings seem smaller.  He knew that far away in Portsimouth, Phily and her family were doing the same thing that night.
After several songs, Alex closed the cover to the piano.  “Bedtime,” he announced.  “Remember to hang your stockings up first.”
Lenora and Peter each took one of their stockings and hung them on the nails near the stove that Isaac had put there just for that reason.  They then kissed their parents goodnight, and went upstairs to bed.  Katie went up with them to tuck them in, and remind them that morning would come so much faster if they went to sleep right away.
When she got back downstairs, neither Alex nor Isaac were anywhere to be found.   Katie, after glance around the room quickly to make sure that she really was alone, picked up the box with her name on it, trying to figure out what might be inside from the weight.
“You’re worse that the kids are,” Alex said, grinning as he came out of their room.  “Put it back.  Tomorrow morning will be here before you know it.”
Katie did as she was ordered, sighing quietly.  “You’re right, of course.  The kids will be up before the sun is, clambering for their gifts.”
* * * * *
They heard the children thunder down the stairs early the next morning long before Katie or Alex wanted to get out of their warm bed.  The children knew better than to go into either of the downstairs bedrooms without permission, but it didn’t stop them from banging on the doors.
“Wake up!” Peter called to his parents.  “It’s Christmas morning, and Santa made it through the storm.  We musta been really good, ‘cause he brought us lots of presents!”
“Please, Papa?” Lenora called into Isaac.  “Get up so we can see what we got.
In both rooms, a similar scene took place.  The grown-up rose from their bed and put dressing gowns over their night clothes.  Isaac was out in the main room first, and he stirred up the stove before adding more coal to it.  Katie went into the kitchen to put a pot of coffee on, and Alex smiled at the children who were shaking with excitement.
When Katie came out of the kitchen, he nodded, and they dove towards their stockings.  Each one contained a parcel with six pieces of candy, an orange, and a shiny new penny.  Peter and Lenora looked at each other, scarcely believing their luck.
“You know, there’s a few things under the tree for each of you as well,” Isaac reminded them when he saw that they were too enthralled with their bounty to notice the packages.
Lenora and Peter put their presents down, and made a beeline for the tree.
Half an hour later, there was brown paper and string strewn all across the floor.  Everyone was admiring their presents.  Isaac had built Lenora a dollhouse, and Katie had assisted by making the dolls and things like curtains.  There was a beautifully carved set of wooden animals for Peter, painted by Isaac.  Katie had knitted both men knew scarves and mittens, and Alex had gotten Katie a lovely cameo broach to wear with her Sunday dress.
But by far, the best gifts were from Phily.  For Isaac, a set of carving chisels, the finest he’d ever seen.  There were several books for Alex, including The Adventure of Huckleberry Sim and A Study in Scarlet.  Katie got a beautiful new tea set with a pattern of ivy leaves, and not a single piece of the service had broken during the long trip from Portsimouth.  Young Peter got a miniature steam engine and caboose, with real working wheels and a small track to run them on.  For Lenora, there was a beautiful wax doll in a pink satin dress with silky golden curls.
“Wow,” Peter said.  “We all must have been really good this year.”
“I know,” Lenora said, hugging her doll.  “Aunt Phily’s almost better than Santa Claus.”
Alex laughed.  “That she is, Lenora.  We’ll have to send her a very nice thank you letter.  I think you and Peter know enough of your letters now that you can sign your names to it.”
“Now, I’m sure you’re all very hungry after opening all those presents,” Katie said, getting up.  “Who wants pancakes?”
They spent the rest of the day admiring their new presents, playing with the toys, and eating the good food that Katie cooked.  All in all, it was a very merry Christmas in Simta Fe that year.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 16th, 2011 06:18 am (UTC)
This is such a lovely and touching look into their lives :)
Dec. 16th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Dec. 17th, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
Awww, sweet!
Dec. 17th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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