There's Something About That Christmas Magic
Void Delirium


"There'll be much mistletoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When loved ones are near
It's the most wonderful time of the year!"
'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year' by Garth Brooks


When I got the phone call a few days later from Aiden asking me to join him and his family for Christmas Eve dinner, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. And so I agreed.

That day I bustled around my kitchen preparing a salad to take with me and, by the request of Natalie, another dozen cookies. Apparently the dozen I'd given her earlier that week had disappeared within hours. That made me smile just a little bit more.

On that Christmas Eve night, I found myself standing in front of that same decorated door to that same white two-story house. But this time I wasn't dreading my entrance. I was excited to see Natalie once again, to hear James laugh, to watch Jack gripe and complain about everything, and to spend all of this time with Aiden.

The only reason I was the least bit hesitant about entering the house this time would probably be because I was dressed up for the occasion. I, for one, had no idea that Christmas Eve dinner was supposed to be a nice and formal event – when I lived with my parents, we usually just ordered pizza or takeout. Grungy sweatpants and an old, torn up t-shirt was the attire for such an event, seeing as we normally were scrambling around on Christmas Eve decorating our tree and wrapping gifts once my parents got off work. So I felt overly dressed in my blue skirt, white shirt and a pair of black wedge shoes.

I mean, really, who wore skirts and heels on Christmas Eve?

But when I saw the rest of the family in nice khakis, sweaters, and skirts as well, I didn't feel so superfluous anymore.

In fact, I felt right at home; a feat I didn't think could be accomplished without spending time with actual blood relations.

Immediately I was yanked from Aiden's arm and dragged into the kitchen by an adamant Mrs. Marks, making sure that my salad and cookies made it into the large assortment of foods. And wow, was there a lot of food or what! I was pretty sure my jaw hit the floor as I saw enough food on the table to feed an army or two.

"Are we actually going to eat all of that?" I whispered curiously to Mrs. Marks, who was now dressed in a festive holiday sweater, and the old lady just laughed.

"You obviously haven't seen how much food Aiden, Jack and Stefen can pack down. And that doesn't even include all of the older males or Leanne's four kids. Honey, I just hope we have enough food!"

Trying to keep a running list of all the family members in my head, I nodded to Mrs. Marks and, when she gestured for me to pick something up, I grabbed a large platter of assorted fruits and carried it into the dining room where I placed the food onto a long mahogany table. The table was decorated with burning red candles, poinsettias, and holly branches, and a long Christmas striped runner went across the length of the table. I'd never seen so many Christmas decorations in my life.

It was beautiful.

I jumped suddenly as I felt a warm hand slip into mine, but soon relaxed when I realized it was Aiden. Settling into his embrace, I smiled up at him as he leaned down to whisper in my ear.

"You keep disappearing." he mumbled softly into my ear. Lacing our fingers together, I turned around so I was facing him before replying.

"I'm sorry."

"I mean, every time you walk in here, you're always being pulled away from me."

"Everyone just likes me better."

"But that's not fair! I want you all to myself!"

"Whiner..." I teased, about to lean in and kiss him when I saw other people starting to enter the room. I then reluctantly broke out of the embrace and motioned to Aiden for us to sit down at the table. He willingly obliged, but not without kissing me first. And even with the catcalls and laughter of the family members around us, that infamous most definitely creeping up my cheeks, I still returned the kiss with equal fervor until Jack interrupted us.

"Alright, you sick lovebirds. Save it until after we eat. I don't wanna lose my damn appetite because of you two."

I soon found out that it was nearly impossible for Jack to lose his appetite over anything, judging by the enormous amount of food he consumed. The Christmas dinner was delicious and left me with the content feeling of being so completely full that I couldn't possibly consume one more bite.

After we finished eating, the whole family curled up in the living room, just sitting with each other and talking. I had never talked this much with people in my entire life, so the experience was almost frightening at first – I almost never know what to say in an awkward conversation – but it turned out not to be an awkward experience at all.

"So, how is life for an art major?" Aiden's aunt Leanne asked me as I sat on the couch, braiding Natalie's hair, which proved more difficult than I originally thought because she kept squirming in my lap the entire time.

"Not too bad, I guess."

Leanne gave me a hum of approval before continuing on.

"What do you plan on doing once you graduate?"

"I was actually hoping to become an art teacher, if none of my shows gain any huge popularity, but I would need to get my teaching degree at another school once I graduate from here. I'm not positive about it, but I would very much like for that to happen – that's why my minor is in education."

"Sounds like you've got everything sorted out."

I laugh, looking up from the hair-braiding to smile at Leanne.

"Let's hope it all goes to plan."

"Well, it's going to take a lot of effort. I mean, I always wanted to be a photographer for the New York Times when I was your age, but that didn't work out as planned. But I wish you the best of luck – no one in this family is artistic at all, so it's great to have someone to talk to about it."

"I wholeheartedly agree. I come from a whole family of doctors and lawyers, so my parents never really understood art that much."

"What a shame that is."

I nod in agreement, giving Natalie a small pat on the head as I finished off the braid. She then bounced up into my lap, giving me hug, and then giggling loudly.

"I love you, Jade! You're my favorite!"

Blushing at the sweet words so honestly spoken by someone so young, I gave her a hug in return.

"You're my favorite too, Nat."

But at this she frowned, that little round face scrunched up in confusion. It was adorable, really, but I couldn't help but wonder why she was so confused I had said that to her.

"I thought Aiden was your favorite!" She said, to which I replied with laughter.

"No, you are. But don't tell him I said that – he might get mad!" I continued on, joking as both Natalie and now Leanne continued in laughter.

"Or he would get sad," Natalie said in a more somber voice, "like when those other girls he brought home left him."

Then it was my turn to frown, arching a questioning eyebrow in Leanne's direction, but I didn't press the matter any further because Aiden was on his way over to the three of us.

"Hey look, if it isn't my three favorite women in the house!" He exclaimed loudly before scooping Natalie up from my lap and sitting down on the couch beside me. The laugher erupting from Leanne and I did not go unnoticed by him, but he never commented on it because Natalie was speaking.

"Look! Grandma turned the tree lights on!"

All of our attention was then focused on the huge, gleaming Christmas tree in the corner of the living room. It was beyond description – probably the most breathtaking sight I had ever witnessed – as I found myself staring at the tree. Soon, someone turned off all the downstairs lights and the tree seemed to glow like never before, a soft white light like that of a candle soon warmed the room with such joy only to be found this time of year.

"Wow." I breathed, not able to tear my eyes away from the sight. Other people in the room also gave their hum of approval, all drawn into this sight. I felt Aiden's hand slip into mine, squeezing gently, and our fingers locked together. He then pulled me close to his side and placed a small kiss on my hair.

"I'm glad you're here." he mumbled.

"I wouldn't have missed it for the world." I said back, smiling at him before leaning and kissing him. His hand reached up to cup my cheek gently as he reciprocated the kiss, but we soon jumped apart when he heard the click of a camera.

"That one's going in the Album." Leanne said happily, laughing at my shocked face and Aiden's distressed one.

"No! Not the Album!" He groaned, running a hand through his hair and muttering to himself under his breath.

"What album?" I questioned, curious as to why Aiden was so worked up about it.

"Oh, the album!" Mrs. Marks interrupted into our conversation, since she had been walking by the group of us just as I had voiced my question. "I think it's time to pull that out now, don't you think, Holly?"

The Album, as I later learned, was a photo album filled with all sorts of pictures of their family, some even dating back to before Aiden was even born. Apparently Christmastime was also reminiscing time for this family, because we all huddled onto the couch together and laughed at all the pictures contained in the Album. It was most amusing for me to see Aiden as a little kid, but one picture of him and a man I didn't recognize made the entire family tense up. I wouldn't have known any better to ask why they suddenly all tensed, but I then remembered Aiden telling me about his father when we had gone on our date.

So this is Aiden's father, I mused, looking down at the man that was a spitting image of Aiden. It was somewhat hard for me to look at it, feeling the pain of a family member no longer there, so I imagined that Aiden was having difficulty looking at it as well. And, being the one person not all tensed up and most likely being flooded with sad and mournful memories, I reached across the Album and turned the page. Then we continued on like nothing had happened at all.

The rest of the night we spent talking, until the fire had died down and people were starting to get sleepy. I then rose from the couch, giving Leanne and a bunch of others a goodbye hug, and then walking over to the door with Aiden.

"Here, let me walk you out to your car," he told me, helping me into my jacket and then opening the door for me.

Outside, I was greeted with bitter winds and a vast blanket of thick white snow. Sighing quietly, I then realized I would have to scrape the snow off my car and then attempt to drive through the massive pileup of snow surrounding it. Great.

Aiden and I walked through the snow in silence, both not really sure of what to say. What would happen if I couldn't get to my car

And then, I saw in the distance, a snow plow coming down the road, answering all of my prayers.

Except not.

Yes, it plowed through the snow on the road, clearing it, but since m car was parked on the side of the road, the car was suddenly surrounded by at least three feet of snow.

Not good.

But I didn't say anything to Aiden except for goodbye. We shared a kiss before he walked back up to the house – and then I was left with my car problem.

I walked to the door, and managing to pry it open. Sitting down, I shut the door again and put the key in the ignition.


Growling, I tried it again.


In annoyance, I banged on the steering wheel, accidentally honking the horn.

Then I let out a scream of frustration – the car was dead.

Hopelessly, I attempted to start it again and again and again, but it stubbornly refused to work. My mind reeling and my heart thumping wildly, I tried to fight off the wave of panic and think of a rational solution but nothing was coming to me.

The only thing I could think of is to walk back into that house and get Aiden to drive me back home in his truck.

So that's what I did – I barged right back in there, explained the whole situation to him, and then begged him to drive me back home.

He refused.

Instead, he called out for his mother to make up the bed in the guest bedroom for me.

He wanted me to stay.

So there - it's finally up! I'm not sure if you guys really care to hear my excuses for why this wasn't posted when I said it would be, so I'm not going to waste any room ranting about it. I'm under a lot of stress for upcoming exams, so you're lucky they're even up!

If there are any spelling/grammar mistakes, I'm sorry but I didn't have as much time to look over it as I wanted.

Love you guys! Your reviews have been so encouraging lately! Keep it up!
Void Delirium