25: My White Christmas Sleigh

25: My White Christmas Sleigh

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada

My White Christmas Sleigh

A good time to laugh is any time you can.

~Linda Ellerbee

It was the night before Christmas Eve, an ideal night for shopping, with large soft snowflakes floating down and Christmas music drifting from every doorway. The air was crispy cool and you could see your breath. Sidewalks creaked with every step and the coloured lights blinked a Merry Christmas greeting as the sparkling snowflakes blinked back at them.

If I was ever going to be in the mood for Christmas shopping this was the time! I still had last-minute gifts to purchase and I talked my husband into going with me. We began adventurously elbowing our way through the masses of shoppers.

Last-minute shopping was not my husband’s idea of a great way to spend an evening, so he finally said he’d wait for me in the car. We owned a white Dodge 600 in those days and he had parked at the meter in front of the downtown department store where I was spending my last few dollars. I went about my task, humming along with the music, threading my way through the throng or waiting in long checkout lines.

Eventually I could buy and carry no more, so I decided to join my husband and head for home. I pushed open the doors, spotted the white Dodge with the patient male behind the wheel, and crawled in with my load of parcels. Reaching blindly over the top of the front seat, I unceremoniously dumped the packages on the seat behind me and proceeded to adjust the bungled fabric of my long winter coat. When I had it comfortably in place, it dawned on me that the key had not even been turned in the ignition.

“Well? What are you waiting for? Christmas?” I asked as I adjusted my over-wadded shoulder bag on my lap. Still no response. I turned quickly to look at — a stranger!

“Oh, no!! I thought this was our car,” I blurted as, red-faced, I began to paw for the packages on the back seat.

The strange driver was looking at me with a peculiar half-smile on his face and it was obvious he was having difficulty holding back a chuckle. Two car lengths behind, my husband was sitting in our identical car splitting his sides with laughter. From this vantage point, he had watched the entire episode unfold in front of him from the moment I came out of the store.

~Joyce MacBeth Morehouse

Ripples, New Brunswick

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