It's a white Christmas. Crumpled wrapping paper, empty boxes, and gifts are scattered around Christmas trees in homes all over the neighborhood. Video games, dolls, and all sorts of toys for the children. Clothes, tools, and lots of items ranging all along the spectrum from practical to frivolous for the adults. Just down the street, Mr. Clemens is waiting for his parents to take their grandkids to see a movie, so he can unwrap his wife. It's one of the more naughty traditions of the holiday, but certainly, nothing that would get the two of them put on any list.

All along cozy little May Street people are happy and content except for one household. That's right, in one house near the dead end is a family that didn't wake up early to unwrap their presents. In fact, the Christmas lights on the house and tree haven't been lit up in quite a while. No cookies and milk were set out for Santa the night before and the cat hasn't eaten in almost three days. No plumes of smoke can be seen coming from the chimney. If anyone intends to stop by today they will have to park in the street; no one has shoveled the driveway recently.

The delicious scents of turkeys and hams waft from ovens all along May Street. The Smiths and the Rogers have just set out freshly baked Christmas cookies. "Don't touch those yet, Jimmy," says his father, "they're still too hot to eat." A bubbling red sauce is cooking on the stove in the Mancini household while spicy meatballs sizzle in the oven. No wondrous scents are floating through the cold kitchen towards the end of the street. Nothing but a strange smell that even the most inexperienced person can recognize immediately.

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The decorations are all laid out, but no one is there to enjoy them. Eventually, someone will come along and peek through the window. Some curious neighbor or worried family member will stop by sooner or later. The presents under the tree lie there untouched. The decorations have been set up so carefully, but just sit there unadmired and collecting dust.

Someone very soon is going to wipe the frost away from the front window and look into the living room. They will see everything in its proper place, especially the Stockings. They will peer into the cold little house on May Street and see Mr. and Mrs. Stocking and their two children, Elizabeth, and Jacob. They have been hung by the chimney with care.



Written by Kolpik
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