Under the Mistletoe!

Welcome to Flash Fest December!

I have some author friends who have joined me in this challenge, and are contributing to the prize baskets!

This week’s prize basket:

  • $5 Amazon gift card
  • Free e-book for Red Wine & Roses, contemporary romance
  • Swag bag
  • e-book of What We’ve Unlearned: English Class Goes Punk (The Writerpunk Project Book 4)
  • e-book of Holiday Fling, contemporary romance

This is how the prize giveaway will work:

Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post ( or rather Tuesday as it’s been lately, since my internet connection has been sketchy.) That person can contact me on Facebook or email me at: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com.

The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me,  my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

by Amy Winehouse

Under the Mistletoe

by Carol Gyzander

I stamped my feet in the snow and eyeballed the decorations all around me as I waited outside my little sister’s school. Some of them I remembered from when I myself had been a third-grader there, ten years ago—the wreath over the door, red and green lights wrapped around the entrance. Non-denominational snowflakes, the kind you make by folding a piece of paper and cutting bits out of it and then covering it, and everything nearby, with glitter.

But the longer I waited, the more new things I noticed.

A Star of David made of blue lights was mounted on a post in the courtyard. Looking inside I saw a menorah on the front desk in the office. Nice, not just Christmas decorations anymore.

A multi-colored green, yellow and orange banner with another line of candles painted on it hung in the hall. Ah, Kwanzaa. Cool.

No Krampus to punish the bad children the night before Christmas—perhaps that was just as well. How about Festivus? No?

Oh well, being away at college had enlarged my world—enough to likely put me on the naughty list. At least it was good to see the old narrow view of things had expanded a bit back home.

When did they get out? Three o’clock, right? One semester in college had totally thrown my memories of grade school schedules out the window. I could stay up as late as I wanted, now, and frequently did. It was just weird being home for the holiday.

I’d slept in late that morning after helping Mom vacuum the house from last night’s family party. She’d been a bit annoyed that we had to hold it the Sunday night before Christmas because that was the only time that Aunt Marge could make it.

I’d told her I thought it had been fine, and I couldn’t believe Dad had still come in Santa Claus costume. She’d actually giggled. What the hell?

Finally, the bell rang, and I stepped back with all the parents and nannies who were picking up the kids after school as a stream of children came running out the door. No Mary. Where was she?

I waited a few minutes and was about to go and look for her, when I saw her trudging slowly down the hall, holding hands with another little girl whose red eyes showed she had clearly been crying.

“Hey! Mary, over here!” I waved my arm over my head because she wasn’t even looking around to try and find me.

My little sister hugged the other girl, who wiped her eyes and trudged off down the street with her nanny, shoulders down.

“Hey bug, how was your day? What’s with your friend?” I hugged Mary and got little response in return.

“Fine. She’s sad.”

Dang. That didn’t sound like a kid right before Christmas. “Why is she sad?” The two of us started walking down the street toward our house.

“She said her parents are getting divorced. Her mom was doing the S – E – X thing. With somebody that wasn’t her daddy.”

“You…you know about sex?” Holy crap, when did they start sex ed in school? I couldn’t remember.

Mary sniffled. “Yeah, we just had a lesson on it in health class. You’re not supposed to do it except with your partner or spouse. Not with other people.”

Ah, so that’s what they’re telling people now. “Well, I’m sorry for your friend. How was your day?”

We had reached the corner house with the big holiday display that I always loved to see, but Mary didn’t even stop and look. She didn’t answer.

“Hey bug, you seem awfully upset, too. Is something else wrong?”

After a silence, I could barely hear the next words from her. “I saw Mommy.”


“You saw Mommy what?”

“I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night, under the mistletoe. After he came to the party and gave out all the presents. Mommy kissed him and Daddy wasn’t there. And that means they’re going to have to get divorced.”

Oh crap crap crap. She still believed in Santa Claus—didn’t she know that was Dad dressed up? What the hell did they tell me when I’d asked if Santa was real? I took a deep breath and spun her around to face me.

“Oh bug, it’s time you learned the truth. You know the whole thing about Santa traveling all around the world in one night, giving toys to all the good kids? That doesn’t make sense, does it? I mean, even with magic, how could he do that, right?”

She sniffed. “I’ve been wondering about that. Even with reindeer.”

“Exactly. See, there’s more to it than you’ve been thinking. Somebody needs to fill you in on the real truth. Do you think you’re ready for it?”

She wiped her nose with the back of her hand and nodded.

“Santa can’t do it all himself. We all have to help—those of us who believe in Christmas, at least. You know how the family gave each other presents last night? It wasn’t Christmas yet. We were just helping out with the spirit of Christmas. The same thing happens on Christmas Eve. All the moms and dads—even the sisters—who believe help Santa by putting the presents out under the tree. It’s like there’s a little bit of Santa in all of us.”

She thought a few minutes. “What does this have to do with them getting divorced?”

“Well, sometimes parents get so excited to help Santa that they even dress up in a Santa suit. And when daddies do that, mommies want to kiss them.”

She turned it over in her mind. I could see the light bulb forming over her head—then she burst out laughing, yelled, “Eeeew!” And ran down the street toward our house, shrieking with laughter the whole way.

I figured I deserved a spot on the nice list after all.

About the author:

Carol Gyzander writes under her own name, even though few can spell or pronounce it (think “GUYS and her”).

She was a prolific reader of the three “A” writers in her early days: Andre Norton, Aasimov, and Agatha Christie.

Since they moved every two years, Carol had lots of reading time on her hands as the perpetual new kid. But she became adept at people-watching in order to fit in at each new school, and followed this up by studying anthropology—the study of people and their culture—and lots and lots of English literature at Bryn Mawr College.

Now that her kids have flown the coop, she has gone back to her early loves and writes cyberpunk and steampunk stories, with a thriller/detective novel and more science fiction in the works.

She lives in New Jersey with the writer’s requisite cats. You can see some of her work at: Carol Gyzander

Be sure to leave her a comment to let her know how you liked her story!

Write on my friends, write on!