A Christmas Vignette – Regina Decorates Luke’s Office – Flash Fiction

ysnkckdkyty-rodion-kutsaevRegina whirled into the lobby of the hotel, her ruby red, velvet cloak whirling around her. Her arms were laden with bags and there were also a few hat boxes clutched in her hands.  She sniffed appreciatively at the warm pine smell coming from the very large Christmas tree in the lobby. Currently, it only had its lights, twinkling fairy lights, but soon it would be decorated. Late at night, the staff would set to work turning the hotel into a Christmas dream. The bannisters would be strung with garlands, greenery would be around windows and doors. Bowls of glass ornaments and strings of shimmery beads. Glittery snowflakes and icicles dripping off of the balcony overlooking the lobby. The hotel would be alive with classic Christmas music and every member of the staff would have their holiday uniforms; sparkly dresses for the ladies, and festive vests and bow ties for the men.

Regina hummed The Christmas Song, Karen Carpenter’s voice in her head as she plopped her purchases in Luke’s office. Luke was out, it appeared, and Regina grinned deviously. She picked up the phone on his desk and rang up the kitchen.

“Hi, Margo. Could you have a bottle of champagne, a plate of shortbread cookies and some finger food brought to Luke’s office? I’m decorating.” She couldn’t stop the giggle to Margo’s groan of “oh God.”

Luke, while festive, did not like his office touched. Even by Regina, and they were a thing.

Regina had just plugged in some holiday music and was pulling things out of her bags when Craig came in with the things she’d ordered, the champagne in an ice bucket and the rest on a tray.

“Put the champagne on the desk and the two plates on that table,” she directed, pointing at the small table between two comfortable chairs she frequently confiscated when she was writing.

“The boss ain’t gonna like this,” Craig warned as he set the champagne flutes next to the bucket of ice and popped the cork on the bubbly.

“That’s because he’s never had me decorating. Besides, he can’t fire his woman.”

“Just don’t say I had any part of this,” Craig warned.

“Why would I? You only brought my order,” Regina said, confused.

Craig grinned and stuck his head out of the door. “Oy! Jason. Sam. Bring it in,” he called.

Two of the other bellhops came in carting a faux, fluffy, white Christmas tree and set it up in front of one of the long windows that looked out on Ashland’s bustling East Main. They plugged in the cord hanging near the base and the tree was lit up in glittery white.

“Lissa ordered this for your suite, but when she heard you were decorating the boss’s, she told us to bring it in here.” Craig and the boys left and Regina stood, staring at the tree in glee. She knew she always liked Luke’s assistant, Lissa, but this was extra perfect. And she was amazed that the word had gotten around that she was decorating in the twenty minutes since she’d ordered the food. Ah yes, living in a hotel was like a small town. Gossip was always a hot topic.

To the sounds of Bing Crosby and many more classic Christmas artists, Regina pulled ornaments from bags that had come from Paddington Station, one of Regina’s favorite stores along Ashland’s shopping district. There were other bags of ornaments from other stores and soon there were silver and gold and glittery red ornaments hanging on the tree. Thank goodness she didn’t have to put the lights on herself. She wound glittery pine garlands around the windows, she sipped the champagne, she nibbled the good eats, and soon, the office of the very prominent owner of the very luxurious hotel, was a warm and cozy winter wonderland.

She had the shades up so passersby could look in the windows, and she caught many open-mouthed “whoa’s” as she fixed things. Some she would wave at, others, she would toast with her glass of bubbly. It was fun.

By the time Luke entered his office at half past four, Regina was a bit tipsy and belting out White Christmas. He should have been furious with his zen office now almost as richly decorated as a store, but when his gorgeous lady held up a bunch of mistletoe in a gold bow and presented her very red lips, who was he to make a fuss?

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So I have recently been writing little vignettes of my various novels and their characters. I wanted to give everyone a Christmas story. I read off one of my little somethings the other night and was told that it was like a Hallmark script. I had never thought about my stories that way; the stories I have been writing for 16+ years, but it was incredibly encouraging because I like to write nice stories. I have been trying to figure out what to do with my stories for ages. Now I might have some inspiration.

Regina and Luke are the start of something I wanted to write about Ashland, Oregon, and the glorious Ashland Springs Hotel. I wrote a character piece on Luke ages ago. You can read it here.

Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope – A Review

_225_350_Book.1777.coverDuring the holiday season, we are so focused on the holiday in general that we forget what the true season of Christmas is about. Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope by Louie Giglio is an advent devotion book meant to help us slow down, stop, and reflect what Christmas and the advent are really about. Each day starting with November 26th, Paster Giglio guides us in scripture, a reflection relating to the scripture, meditation (which is usually a Christmas poem or song) and finally a prayer.  So 30 days of thinking about how we are waiting for Christ  and the remembrance of his birth, which for Christians, is a very sacred time of year.  So, when we get a little too busy with buying the gifts, preparing the Christmas meals and dealing with family and travel and all the frustrations that may come, this very thing, almost pocket sized book is just right for pulling out. Lighting a candle and meditating and focusing on Christ.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have loved advent since I was a little girl when we would read the Christmas story through the four weeks of December, lighting a green candle each week for the wise men, Mary and Joseph, The shepherds, the angels, and finally a red candle for Jesus. There were the colorful calendars and it was a very memorable and sacred time of year for me. I eagerly looked forward to it. As time as gone by, I have slowly let that slipe away, and this book is perfect for putting you right back into the calming frame of mind of what Christmas is really about. While I am terrible at devotions and having a daily schedule for reading my Bible, and I didn’t technically finish this book in a daily order, it’s still a lovely small book, perfect for the season. There is something incredibly calming about the red, black, white and grey colors of the book. So calming in fact that I ended up writing a sonnet about red berries with the colors of black, white and grey. This book is perfect for any Christian that want to get back to what advent is about. I love it’s slim size and I love that the meditations are songs I know, but may not know all the lyrics. I liked that it was a very Christmas themed book in that it had the traditional songs that Christians know for the season. From Oh Come All Ye Faithful, O Come Oh Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, and O Holy Night. Lovely hymns Christians know and love.

I would highly recommend this book to any Christian who wants do practice adven but feels too old for the calendars and childish themes. This is a lovely book. Five out of Five stars.

Kate

This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest opinion and review from HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Thomas Nelson, and BookLookBloggers.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas deariesMerry Christmas, readers one and all. My dearies who have held up under my very random, but Christmas inspired 25 Days of Christmas.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. I’ll be taking a few days off through the weekend to just relax a bit and hopefully write some posts for future dates. I’ve been doing these blog challenges and I love ’em, but man, they require a bit more foresight that I don’t seem to always have. Especially towards the end. I still have a Toolbox post in the works. A Writer’s Path (Ryan, I think)  knows what I mean since I commented about his blog and his toolbox… I’m rambling. Anyways, I have ideas in the works. I still need to attempt more flash fiction, but it seems to have escaped me this month. Ironically since I want to write Christmas flash fiction! I had this thought about being snowbound at Christmas, a la Hallmark-y film with the Bing wallpaper that was the other day’s…..SJMountainCabin_EN-US11195673674_1920x1080 I just have ideas I need to work on!  Now that I don’t have sewing projects, I might be able to finish or start some writing things.

So, I hope you all are having a great Christmas wherever you are. North, south, east and west.

Kate

Christmastime Rewind A La Charlie Brown

charlie brown christmasIt’s the second of December and tonight A Charlie Brown Christmas will be playing.  I’ve yet to watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!  I feel like I am horribly behind with these Charlie Brown’s. I think he’d be proud.

I seem to be quite behind with certain things. I haven’t watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade….. Yes, I dvr’d it. This seems to be my MO for a lot of holiday things. I record them then get back to them when I can.

Sometimes I wish life was like this. I wish I could record something or put something on hold till I had time to get to it.  Pause a part of my life so I could skip forward to what I want to do or need to do.  Rewind if I make a mistake. Fast forward when I really want to get out of the icky parts.  Not that I’ve had a ton of ick, but you know, sometimes it happens.

Life hurries by to quickly, but then not fast enough sometimes. I’d like to be able to stop and savor or fast forward at will.  For instance. I’m a 32 year old woman who lives at home and is waiting on Mr. Right.  (I am not willing to settle for Mr. Right Now) Years ago, this would be okay, but by societies standards, it’s not.  Yes, I run the family business with Mrs. B, since Mr. B can’t, but still, I am a 32 year old woman living at home.  My parents would like me gone, but at the same time they tell everyone they couldn’t do it without me.  They tell me I can go at any time, but they also are getting up there with health issues that I am not ready to help manage.  I feel like I can’t even manage myself.  Heck, I can’t even find a guy who will take me. (that sounds really weird when I write that out….)tumblr_luwdgfhdkp1qb9pa3o1_500

I’d like to fast forward this part of my life.  I want to speed by and get to the point of where I meet Mr. Right (if that ever happens)

But then if I were to do that, I’d miss all the other things in life. It’s the unknown that get’s to you.

And if I could I wish I could rewind to moments in my life when it was really good. So that I could go back and savor.

But then, you are living in the past, before you knew what you know now. Was it really better?  Probably not. We think life would be easier if we were kids again, but that only works if you don’t know anything that you know now. If I were a kid knowing what I know now, I’d go insane.  Ignorance is bliss, and that is so true.  Yet, saying that, I don’t want to be ignorant. I want to know as much as I can and keep learning….

And all of this because of Charlie Brown. (This was not where this post was going at all. I was going to talk about Christmas music. Another time, I guess) But a rather morose post. Sorry, dearies.  But on a brighter note, this is my 400th post. Whoo Hoo!

Signing off

Kate

Plenty To Be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving dear friends. I want to wish you all the best hope and joy for this coming holiday season.  I’m so thankful for all your comments, likes, and follows. I’m thankful for my dear friends and family, and every new day I greet.  I have my general health, a wonderful dog, and my family.

As Bing Crosby said it best, “I’ve Got Plenty To be Thankful For”

Here’s to Thanksgiving

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via Weheartit

Here’s to the day

to the parade of parades

to the family

to a tradition ripe with history

to the start of the holiday season

to pumpkin pie

to turkey

to the football games and scores

to the men and women who have made this country great

to the ones that sacrificed to make it ours

to the Native Americans who made it possible

to the Pilgrims who believed

to God who gave us this great nation

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!