Don't forget to check out the other Christmas offerings from the Wednesday Briefers, whose links follow my tale.
A Gift For Jesus
The night is chill. Not surprising for December, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I’m cold. And I’m disgruntled, which only serves to exacerbate this feeling of discontent that wells within me.
I’ve no reason to be unhappy. I’ve gotten everything I’ve ever wanted in him. In my husband. My Jesus. So why am I troubled?
Because this is going to be our first real Christmas together, first since we got married that is. And while it’s never been a serious problem before, now I find myself asking the question—what’s the perfect gift for the perfect man? Especially as this day is a celebration of his birth—even if it’s not held at the right time of year, but it’s the thought that counts, right—so that makes it doubly special, and yes, I know I’m being a wet blanket and I can’t help it.
What am I so afraid of? We got through Hanukah just fine, didn’t we?
Just damn. I so don’t want to fuck things up, and I’m so afraid I will.
I know, right? Judas Iscariot fearing something. I’m only human, despite those who claim otherwise and who shall go unnamed right here and now.
Off in the distance, I hear the sounds of occasional traffic, but here we are isolated from that, off the beaten track. We’re still on tour, of course. That hasn’t changed, naturally. But next year, I swear I’m going to make sure that when Christmas arrives, we’ll celebrate it in a warmer climate. This year I’ve had to settle for putting space heaters in the tent. That will have to do.
Of course, I’ll keep Jesus warm myself, rest assured about that.
Right now, he’s inside, talking with the others, while I’m communing with nature out here. Trying to sort out my thoughts, and not doing very well, I have to admit. The Kaplans have come to visit. It’s always good to see them.
“Problems in Paradise?”
I glance up, startled. Not like I expect him to herald his approach, but I hate to be taken by surprise. Especially by his Infernal Majesty, Prince of Annoyance. Aka Lucifer.
“Like I would tell you?” I snort.
Yes, he’s a pain in the ass but—and I’d never admit this to his face—he’s not quite the demon people make him out to be either. No pun intended. And yes, I did find out about the bet he lost with my father-in-law, and I was very gratified to learn that God had bet on Jesus and me. Serves the serpent right.
He rolls his eyes, drama queen that he is.
The next words out of my mouth surprise even me. “Have you ever been married?”
“Married? Me?” He looks as startled as I feel. “Do I look that stupid? And no, don’t seriously answer that…”
I’m taken aback, not by his words, but by a glimpse of something in his eyes. But then whatever I saw is gone, and they’re simply a glacial blue.
“You should try it. It’s…” I’m at an unaccustomed loss for words, trying to describe this feeling inside, the one I wake up with on a daily basis. I had no idea until I married Jesus that love could be so… amazing, all-powerful, and… I mean, I knew it was powerful, but damn…
He eyes me for a moment, making no retort, but before I can add anything to what I’ve said, he’s disappeared. Guess I hit a nerve. I shrug and go back to my thoughts.
All I ever wanted was Jesus, and I have him, but what does he want that I can give?
I tuck my robes closer as I turn to the sound of Kathy Kaplan’s voice.
“Just thinking,“ I fudge. Stubborn ass that I am, I don’t like to admit to being flummoxed by anything.
“Mr. Jude, Mr. Jude!’
Another country heard from. I bend down as a small body hurtles itself into my waiting arms. Sarah Kaplan, Kathy’s young daughter. I scoop her up and hug her tight, grateful for the momentary reprieve.
“Santa Claus is coming!” she squeals.
“I know, honey.”
“Don’t worry.” She pats my cheek tenderly. “He’ll get you something nice. You’ve been good this year, right?”
Out of the mouths of babes.
“He’s been very good this year.”
That voice. It never fails to make me shiver, even after two thousand years.
With a quick kiss on my cheek, Sarah wriggles so I set her down and she runs straight to my better half. My much better half. He tosses her in the air and she giggles in delight.
“Hey, let’s get some punch!” Kathy reaches for her child, who protests, until she adds, “And cookies.” And then she’s content to go inside.
That leaves me alone with my husband.
He closes the distance between us, his lips brushing over mine. “What’s troubling you, my love?”
Another shiver chases down my spine; I can’t help myself when I’m around him.
I can’t lie to him. I just can’t do it. “I don’t know what to get you for Christmas,” I admit.
“Don’t be silly, I have everything I could ever want,” he protests, as I surely knew he would. His hand cups my cheek, and he looks into my eyes, and I lose myself in him, as always.
“But… but…” I sputter. “This is our first one. Our first real one. I want it to be special for you—”
“It will be,” he interjects smoothly, “because you are in my life, and in my heart and soul.”
Oh mercy, he makes me puddle so much.
“But if you would like to do something…”
“What it is? I’ll do anything!”
“Sing with me. On stage.”
I hadn’t expected that.
“On Christmas?” There’s no concert planned that night.
“On New Year’s Eve,” he whispers.
I hold him close and nod my assent. Anything for him.
Merry Christmas to him, and to everyone else.
to be continued
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