Today’s writing prompt, Christmas Vacation, is the sixth prompt of the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS PROMPTS on the Daily Drafts and Dialogues blog this year. Keep reading to see the full prompt and my completed version of it.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Christmas Vacation
Write a short scene in which two or more people are participating in a sport or outdoor activity of some sort while on a Christmas vacation.
Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt
Christmas Vacation on the Lake, by K.E. Creighton
I may be grown now, but traditions are sacred, especially holiday traditions. And ice skating with my dad every Christmas Eve was always one of my favorite ones. He would always dress as an elf and spin me around the ice for hours while telling me stories of everything going on inside Santa’s workshop that night, making me happy and exhausted. I always slept like a baby every Christmas Eve night. And still do. This year was no different, except my dad was only wearing the elf ears and not the entire elf costume (jingle bells and all), like he usually did.
I’m older now with kids of my own, but we’ll still skate for hours, just the two of us, on the lake in the middle of nowhere. Well, technically the lake is roughly ten miles away from our family’s vacation cabin. But no one else ever comes with us to the lake in the winter, though. It’s all ours, our own mini Christmas vacation.
Tom was really looking forward to his big trip to the cabin in the Poconos. This year had been okay, but the long hours at the city garage and hardly seeing Mary because of her bank hours and taking night classes to finish her education for her degree in finance. Her bank president had told her that when she graduated, she would be given a promotion and her own branch.
The trip to the Poconos was to be a big surprise for Mary, and they were to leave the day after Christmas, and not return until January 2nd. The nearby lodge always had a great New Year’s Eve stage show and party, and he had a great table all booked. Since the kids were all coming for Christmas, but going home that afternoon.
All the kids and grandkids arrived Christmas Eve, and the feast was incredible. I read “The Night Before Christmas” to all the grandkids, but the oldest grandson, Tommy, looked quite bored and was looking at his phone the entire time. Since he was 13, I had no problem overlooking his apathy. His mother was rolling her eyes, but I told her it was okay, that Tommy had been quite patient and helpful otherwise. She smiled and oversaw the decoration of the Christmas tree.
Christmas morning saw smiles and hugs exchanged as the unwrapping of gifts became feverish. I passed trash bags out to the parents, and the remains of the day were soon disposed of. Mary passed out drinks and pastries, aware that everyone had breakfast earlier. I watched football with the sons and grandsons. Mary invited all the ladies into the dining room for parades and Christmas movies.
By five, everyone had driven or flown home, and the house was tidy again. I helped put away the last of the dishes, and checked ESPN for the final football scores. Mary brought out some burgers and fries, and we ate as we watched “It’s A Wonderful Life”. The movie ended at 7, and I surprised her with the vacation voucher. Mary threw her arms around me, and began to pack.
We decided to sleep in, and leave around 10 AM. A light breakfast with some juice for the road made this a great road trip. The cabin was only a 2 hour trip, and the scenery made it seem like only half an hour. We were only 10 minutes from the cabin, when a state trooper stopped us, and warned us of an avalanche ahead.
I told him of our destination, and he told me this was the only road to that cabin. However, the road was supposed to be cleared by noon tomorrow. We turned around and made our way back to the nearest town, where I remembered a Holiday Inn with a vacancy sign. As we pulled into the parking lot, a nice man and his family were attempting to start his Ford Bronco. I offered my help, and Mary checked us into a room and ordered dinner.
It only took me a second to realize his alternator was shot. I drove him to the nearest auto parts store, and they happened to have the part. However, I knew that the snow would be starting in about an hour, and I couldn’t replace his alternator in the cold. The night manager called a friend of his who ran the local garage, and they let me use his tools and shop. I managed to replace it in about 2 hours.
Mary took the wife and kids to Denny’s for dinner, and brought takeout to the garage just as we finished up. I told the father it was no trouble, and to consider the labor my Christmas gift. We went to the Holiday Inn, and slept the sleep of the blessed.
We arrived at the cabin about 2 PM the next day. The scenery was amazing, and Mary had shopped for a week’s of groceries in town. I called the lodge, and confirmed our reservation for the big New Year’s Eve gala. We had a great week skiing and sledding, and even enjoyed a carriage ride around the mountain lake.
The New Year’s Eve gala was better than we expected. The manager of the lodge led the midnight countdown, and we slipped out early to get some sleep before our drive home. The last night at the cabin was cozy, and Mary took a last video shot the next morning.
The trip home was quiet, but Mary was happy and satisfied. I told her that this week meant a lot to me, mainly because we could be alone together for the first time in years. She hugged me, and reminded me that her courses would finish in June. My real present was reconnecting with my wife and enjoying our marriage!
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