Normally I spent Christmas drunk in a ski resort with whatever girl I was dating at the time and some friends. It was my go to place for the holidays. Growing up my mother didn’t decorate a tree or bake cookies. I had only seen those kinds of things on television.
The smell of pine trees, apple cinnamon, and cookies filled our house. The biggest ass Christmas tree I could find in Rosemary filled our living room and was decorated with bright colorful decorations and twinkling lights. We had live garlands and berries on our mantel and three stockings monogrammed with the letter F hung by the fireplace. Two big wreaths with red velvet bows decorated our front doors and the house was filled with Christmas carols as they played through the sound system. Blaire had found a Christmas station on the satellite radio and she threatened me if I touched it.
Gifts with colorful paper and sparkly bows were piled up under our tree and I couldn’t get rid of my friends. They were always here. Eating the sweets that Blaire kept making and drinking the apple cider that she never let get low. It was like Santa Claus had thrown up in our house. A year ago this would have sounded like hell to me. Now, I couldn’t imagine ever doing Christmas any other way. This was Christmas done Blaire’s way and I liked it. No, I f**king loved it. She sang along off-key to the Christmas carols as she pulled cookies out of the oven and rolled those peanut butter balls in powdered sugar while I waited for her to put one in my mouth.
This was going to be what my kids grew up believing Christmas was all about and I loved it. Cuddling on the sofa watching Christmas movies and drinking hot cocoa while I laid my hand on Blaire’s stomach and enjoyed feeling my boy kick. This was something money couldn’t buy. Not this kind of happiness.
“Do you think we’ll see your dad before Christmas?” Blaire asked, walking into the living room where I stood enjoying the tree while listening to Blaire sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
“Doubt it. He just left last week,” I reminded her. She frowned then nodded. “Okay. I guess we need to mail his present then. I have Harlow something that I need to mail too. I was hoping you’d help me think of something for your mother and Nan. I don’t know what to buy them. I’ve never spent time with them.”
My mother and Nan? She’d bought my dad a present? And Harlow? Damn. All I’d done was buy things for her and the baby. I hadn’t thought to buy anyone else something.
“Uh, yeah, um, I guess. But they won’t be expecting anything. We don’t really exchange gifts. It’s not really a holiday we celebrate as a family.”
Blaire’s face fell and she looked at me with sad eyes. I didn’t like seeing her sad. I liked the off-key happy singing she had been doing just minutes before. “But it’s Christmas. You buy the people you love things on Christmas. Doesn’t have to be much. Just something. It’s fun to give things.”
If she wanted to give my evil mother something and my sister then I’d f**king go buy them whatever the hell she wanted me to and ship it off with a smile. “Okay, baby. I’ll find them something and we can ship it off with the other things.”
That seemed to appease her and she nodded. “Oh good. Okay.” She started to turn around and stopped. “I have Kiro something too. We need to mail that when we mail the other things going to LA.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. She’d bought Kiro something. Everyone was going to think I’d lost my mind when they all got packages from me. “Kiro too. Got it,” I replied.
The one good thing about Blaire’s endless shopping was that it gave me time to prepare her surprise. She kept saying that after Christmas we needed to think about a nursery. I kept agreeing with her. But I also kept the last room on the left, the one with the view she loved, locked.