MONDAY: An Eight-Year-Old’s Christmas


Copyright is held by the author.

1962. My mother on the toilet groaning. Maybe sick from eating a nut, she says. My sister and I throw the remaining nuts in the incinerator, just in case. A slip of a Christmas tree in the living room, plucked from a farmer’s field. A bedraggled wreath on the front door, long past its expiration date. Strings of green lights looping over the front window and door. Late on Christmas Eve an ambulance takes my mother away instead of bringing Santa. Just me and my sister and my father then. A silence in the house.

Christmas morning comes huffing and puffing with snow and wind. The scent of oranges and pine. My father listening to the radio, a few presents under our tree. A plastic doll for my sister and I to share and some Halloween costumes wrapped in Christmas paper  — a witch’s dress and a clown’s yellow wig.

“Sorry,” Dad says, “I screwed up the holidays.”

Canned pea soup and bologna sandwiches for Christmas dinner. A snow ball fight in the backyard afterward. And then, in the still of Christmas night my father whispers, “You have a new baby brother.”


Image of Connie Cook

Connie is a retired social worker who lives in Southern Ontario with her partner and cat. She has a Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Sociology, as well as a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Her hobbies include bike riding, gardening and travel. She belongs to a local Writer’s group and has had stories published in anthologies and online zines. Summer 2023 she was a finalist in the South Georgian Bay Story Slam. She is currently working on her first novel. Connie is a long-time fan of and has had several stories posted here.