So, I decided to do this story on Facebook, posting excerpts with updates. Sadly, I can only post 420 characters at a time, which amounts to about 130-140 words, depending on spaces. The parts will be posted each day starting today and going through Christmas Eve.
But, wait, AJ, I said to myself. What if folks don't use Facebook? Well, then they are out of luck. Ah, but Mr. Self wouldn't allow that. Other egos stepped in, I was beaten 48 times with a wet noodle--that actually hurts, by the way--and finally, the powers that be gave in to the masses and said post the story, in parts, on Blogger and MySpace.
So, here we are, myself and all of my other selves (one of them looking over my shoulder making sure I do this right) bringing you some Christmas cheer.
The story is titled 'Not Like It Use To Be.'
Enjoy and come back tomorrow to read more.
I'm AJ and I'm out and here is the beginning of 'Not Like It Used To Be.'
Families line the streets, kids bundled in coats, hats, gloves and blankets. Adults stand or sit in folding chairs, hands in pockets or laps, their excitement matching the children's. A chill hugs each person tight. Teeth clatter, legs shake and dance, trying to stay warm. Hot chocolate and coffee work for a while but fade, leaving shivers along spines.
"How much longer, Momma?" they asks, young eyes and hearts waiting, hoping to catch a glimpse of an elf or reindeer or Santa Clause. Maybe some candy will get tossed their way.
"Not much longer," mothers and fathers announce, some happily, others with a chagrin that sits in their stomachs like heavy rocks. Christmas isn't like it was when they were kids, back when December meant presents and eggnog and feasts, parties and family get-togethers, Christmas lights and holiday specials on television. Snow-filled streets meant sledding and snowmen, snow angels and snow ball fights.