Author Archives: Jo Ann Schneider

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Random Act of Fiction: Yes, You’re in the Bad Place

This is the first version of one of my favorite stories that I have ever written.

It started as a writing group challenge in which we were supposed to have our character interact with several different personality types.

I feel like I nailed it.

The heat in the small room was oppressive enough to bring most beings to tears but Dem hardly noticed it.  He waited for a moment before speaking.  “Name?” he asked.

“Lance Morris,” the tall man said with a cocky smile as he looked around with interest, “but most people call me Lancer!”  The man’s dark eyes sparkled with something akin to mischief.

Dem ignored the sparkle and turned to the M section in the table sized list.  “Morris, Kyle.  Morris, Lana.  Morris, Lisa.”

“That’s too far,” Lance pointed out helpfully.  He did not flinch when Dem raised his glowing red eyes and glared.  “Well, it is,” the man insisted.

Snorting in irritation Dem turned his attention back to the list.  “Morris, Lance.  It looks as if you’ll be with us for a while,” Dem plucked a quill out of a smoking inkwell and put a check next to Lance’s name.  The mark burned into both the parchment and the back of the man’s hand.

Lance studied the check mark for only a moment before apparently completely ignoring it.  “Listen man,” he said, glancing around to make certain no one else was listening, “has Mike Lee checked in yet?”  Lance went on before Dem could answer.  “Because if I know the guy, and believe me I do, he’s already got a party started down here somewhere and I need in!”

“Mike Lee has indeed checked in,” Dem said carefully.  The demon remembered everyone who had checked in.

“Sweet!” Lance pumped a fist, his grin widening.  “Can I have my key?”

Dem stared at the outstretched hand before he conjured a heavy, rusted key from the hot air.  “Your room number is on…”

Snatching the item from Dem’s clawed fingers Lance moved around the desk and towards the bell-demon that had just appeared.  “Thanks,” he waved back at Dem, “I’m sure I can find it.”

The demon sighed.  “Next,” he motioned the next murky form out of the darkness and into the glow of the entry room, “name.”

The figure stopped before Dem’s desk and after a moment resolved itself into a woman.  “Name?” She asked.  “My name?”

Looking the woman over Dem could tell this was going to be one of those cases.  She was attractive, for a human, and obviously used to getting her way.  He gave her an impatient glare.

“Oh!” she looked around, “since I’m the only one here I guess you mean me.”  Plastering on what was surely her most alluring smile the woman said, “my name is Darla.  Darla Gray.”

Dem found the G tab and began his search, claw going down the page.

“Excuse me,” Darla said sweetly, “but could you tell me where I am?”

“You’re in the entry room of Hell.”

“What?” Darla’s smile faded for the briefest of moments before returning, wider than ever.  “There must be a mistake.”  She leaned over the table towards Dem.  “Do I look like the kind of girl that should be here?”

The demon did not bother to look up.  He could hear the pout in her voice and did not need to see it.  He quickly found her name and checked it off.  “I suggest,” he held Darla’s key between them, “that you leave those antics of yours behind you.  According to the record that sort of thing is the reason you’re down here in the first place.”  Dem smiled, showing his black, pointed teeth.  “And it seems you will be here for quite a long time.  I hope you enjoy your stay.”

The woman glared at Dem when she looked up from the mark on her hand.  He motioned her towards the now waiting escort.  Something from the record book caught his eye and Dem noted that Darla Gray’s stay had just been extended.

“Next,” Dem waved his tail, admitting another fuzzy form.  He waited long enough for the man to blink.  “Name.”

“Why should I give you my name?” the newly materialized man demanded in a gruff voice.  “Maybe you should tell me where I am, why I am here and what your name is.”

“You could not pronounce my name unless I cut your tongue in two.”  Dem said flatly.

“Well that’s not very nice, now is it?” the man asked, slamming a massive fist down on the stone table.

To Dem’s satisfaction the man grimaced with the impact.

“What is this place?” the man demanded.

The demon told him.  “So if you will give me your name we can get this whole thing started.”

“Forget it,” the man crossed his arms across his chest, “I don’t belong here, there has been a mistake!”

“Fine,” Dem let the venom in his voice drip onto the mortal, “then we shall do it my way.”  Faster than any human could follow Dem’s clawed hand shot across the table and fastened around the man’s throat.  The man went rigid as the demon’s hand began to glow, pulling information directly from his brain.

“Baxter,” the man sputtered, “Jim.”

“That’s better,” Dem purred, releasing Jim, who slumped forward onto the table.

Ignoring Jim’s gasps of pain Dem turned to the B’s and quickly found Baxter, Jim.  “My, my, you have been awful, haven’t you?”  Dem asked, eyeing the unusually long list of infractions by Jim’s name.

“What do you know about it?” Jim glared and straightened, some of his courage returning.  “There is no way I ended up here.  You’d better check your names again, buddy because I…”

Dem listened to the man rant for a few seconds before emitting a growl.  “It appears you are not quite ready to check in, sir.”  With a flick of his pointed tail the floor under Jim disappeared and the man fell into a black and orange abyss, his screams fading as the floor returned.

“Next!” Dem snapped, rubbing the spot on his forehead between the horns.  Before the demon had a chance to ask for a name the person spoke.

“Oh hello, how are you today?”

Dem cringed.  Was that courtesy that had just been directed at him?

“Name,” the demon growled at the meek looking man.

“My name is Bartemus Snow,” he smiled, “what’s yours?”

Flinching at the niceness Dem began to flip through the S’s.

“Excuse me,” the man’s sincere smile never faded, “but could you tell me where I am?”  He looked around, “this is nothing like the last place I stopped at.”

“The last place you stopped?” Dem inquired flatly.

“Oh yes,” Bartemus nodded, “a very fine place to be sure.  The sun was shinning, the sky was blue and the birds were even chirping!  Two rather wonderful gentlemen directed me into a waiting room and when I went through the door I ended up here.”

Dem ground his black teeth together, “these two gentlemen, were their names perhaps Lee and Brockmeier?”

“Oh yes!” Bartemus’ blue eyes sparkled, “do you know them?”

“Unfortunately,” Dem grabbed a silver lever behind him with his tail, “I’m sorry sir, there has been a mistake,” with that the demon pulled the lever.  Part of the ceiling rolled back letting in a column of bright light.  Dem flinched and tried not to look at it.

“Thank you for your help!” Bartemus said with a wave as he ascended.

Dem waited until the door was almost closed again before roaring, “Very funny!”  The sound of angels laughing floated through the door just before the light faded away.

“I hate it when those two are on duty,” Dem muttered.  He glared at nothing in particular for a moment before yelling, “next!”


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18-Dec-2020

Welcome to today’s installment of Holiday Flash Fiction Friday!

I swear, I can write warm and fuzzy things, but for some reason this combo made me go a bit dark. Again.

Christmas after the Apocalypse

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
Watching Favorite Holiday Films
Wooden Christmas Signs
and
Christmas Kibble

I jumped when I heard the scrape of boots on gravel. My heart raced as the footsteps grew closer. It took most of my strength to lift the shotgun and aim it at the doorway of our hovel. The barrel shook.

“Addie?” a familiar voice asked softly. “It’s me.”

Relief pulled the already meager strength from my arms, and the shotgun fell onto my leg.

“Addie?” This time fear laced my name.

“I’m here,” I said softly.

A plank of plywood moved aside with a hiss. Gray light from the sun filtered in, giving me just enough illumination to see Mark’s silhouette.

“Thanks for not shooting me,” he said. I could hear a smile in his words.

An actual smile.

“What did you find?” I made an attempt at pushing myself into a seated position, and mostly failed.

Mark moved to my side and helped. At one point in my life I would have told him not to bother. I weighed too much for anyone to manhandle me, but there wasn’t much left now. His strong hands slid under my shoulders and knees, and he lifted me and put me back down without so much as a grunt.

I knew I looked and smelled wretched, but Mark gave me a kiss anyway. His lips lingered on mine, as they had done so many times now, giving us a brief moment free of the end of the world.

“How are you feeling?” he asked.

“I can’t move my legs.”

He nodded as he lit a candle.

My latest infirmary wasn’t a surprise. It was the natural course of the Conclusion, as people had started calling it even as they had died.

The yellow light hit Mark’s face, giving me a clear view of his square jaw, now covered by a few inches of black beard, his dark eyes, and his lips.

“What are you smiling about?” I asked, unable to keep from smiling myself.

“I found a few things for tonight.”

“Tonight?”

He grinned. “It’s Christmas Eve.”

“Is it?” I’d stopped counting the days months before.

“It is.” His eyes glittered.

I fought back tears. Christmas had been our thing. A huge tree, lights on the house, Santa on the roof, and nativity out front…I swallowed hard and made sure my voice would be even before I said, “And?”

Mark pushed the plank back in place, and set his pack on the floor. “And we’re going to celebrate.”

I raised my eyebrows.

He pulled a small wooden sign from his pack. It said “Have Yourself A Merry little Christmas” in red and green letters with faded holly designs painted around it. Mark had attached a piece of twine through the holes on the top and hung it from a hook in the ceiling. The words glittered as it turned back and forth.

“Very nice,” I said.

“But wait, there’s more.” He wiggled his eyebrows and reached into his bag again.

I couldn’t help but sit forward. “I didn’t get you anything,” I said.

“This is for both of us.” He pulled a small, black box-ish thing out of his pack. His lips had pulled into an even bigger smile that practically went from ear to ear.

“What is it?” I asked.

Mark opened it to reveal a computer screen.

“You know that won’t work, right?” I asked.

“It’s a DVD player. Fully charged. Still operational.”

A bubble of excitement filled my stomach. “Really?”

“I figure there’s enough juice to watch a couple of movies.”

“We don’t have any movies.” I pointed out.

“We do now.” Mark retrieved a flat, plastic container from his pack and handed it to me.

I opened it to find several old Christmas movies. I let out a gasp. “You actually found The Year Without a Santa Clause?”

“Who’s a good husband?” he asked me.

I grabbed him by the coat, pulled his lips to mine and let him know just how good of a husband he was.

After a breathless minute he let out a contented sigh. “There’s a storm coming.” He gave me another kiss before he stocked our make-shift stove with wood and climbed onto our bed made of wood pallets and shredded blankets.

Right before he put his arm around me, he snapped his fingers. “Forgot, one more thing.”

The crackle of plastic filled the air as he got a package from his bag. He then grabbed a flat board, cuddled up next to me, put the board on our legs and placed the DVD player on top of it. Only then did he show me the package.

“Muddie Buddies?” They had to be well past expired.

“Christmas Kibble,” he said.

“Sort of,” I said.

“Beggars can’t be choosers. Now which movie do you want to watch first?”

“Duh.”

He handed me the Muddie Buddies while he started the show.

It felt strange to be ripping the plastic bag apart. To have food in there simply ready to eat.

The smell of the peanut butter and sugar filled the air, and we both breathed it in.

“Ladies first,” he said.

“You mean I’m the tester to see how bad it is.”

“It’s all in how you look at it.”

I laughed and took a single sugar coated Chex square out and put it in my mouth. Was it stale? Yes. Did I still moan in pleasure? Yes.

Mark gathered me in his arms and we sat and watched the movie and slowly ate the Christmas Kibble.

I couldn’t stop smiling. He must have scavenged for miles to find this stuff. Halfway through Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Mark began to snore. I gently reached into his pocket and pulled out the calendar.

I wouldn’t last until New Years. I felt bad about that.

Then my suspicion was confirmed. Christmas was still two weeks away.

I wouldn’t last until then.

A tear trickled down my cheek, and I lay my head on Mark’s shoulder. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” he muttered.

Holiday Flash Fiction Categories!

Tradition:

  1. Decorating cookies
  2. Picking out a Christmas Tree
  3. Driving around looking at lights
  4. Staying up until midnight to hear the church bells ring
  5. Going into the woods to cut down your own tree
  6. Watching favorite holiday films
  7. Taking one of the men playing around with the deep fryer (while trying to cook an additional “better” turkey) to the ER for 2nd and 3rd degree burn
  8. PJ pictures on or near the stairs of all the kids Christmas morning
  9. The family sleeping around the Christmas tree the Friday before Christmas
  10. Christmas stockings made by grandma

Object:

  1. A Rabid Snowman
  2. Reindeer
  3. An old nutcracker
  4. Grandma’s crotched snowflakes
  5. Advent Calendar
  6. Krampus’ switch
  7. The heirloom tatted ornament that has been dunked in sugar water, starched, , and modge podged so many times it’s hard to tell what it originally was…(resembles an oblong Easter egg that’s been scrambled) but it’s been out for every Christmas since the oldest family member remembers, it’s tradition
  8. Wooden Christmas signs bought at Ensign
  9. Christmas village on the fireplace
  10. Death Star tree-topper

Food:

  1. Gluten Free Gingerbread
  2. Fruitcake
  3. Cranberry Jell-o Salad
  4. Homemade divinity
  5. Christmas crack chocolate
  6. Christmas Kibble (a cookie that looks like kibble)
  7. Aspic Salad
  8. Wild Rice
  9. Raspberry cream cheese desert
  10. Christmas sugar cookies

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Random Act of Fiction: All the Cookies!

Pretty sure this gem was for a writing group.

Where else would I come up with a story involving a business merger between the Keebler Elves and Cookie Monster?

Okay, fine, I might have come up with it on my own. Especially considering how quickly things go awry.

“Blabber-arbra Waters here.  We’re back with a most unusual mix of, err, creatures.”  Blabber-arbra smiled at the camera before turning to her guests.  “Welcome to the show!”

Three of the Keebler elves, Ernest J. Keebler, Flo and Buckets respectively, were seated on very high bar stools.  They waved and smiled politely.  “Thank you Blabber-arbra!  It is a pleasure to be here.”  They said excitedly, their short legs dangling far above the floor.

“Yes, a pleasure!”  Cookie Monster said from where he was seated in a pink overstuffed chair.

“I am so glad that you agreed to come on the show this morning!  After all, this is going to be a big day for all of you.”  She directed this last comment to the Ernest, the head elf.

“Oh yes!”  He squeaked happily.  “A very big day.”

Blabber-arbra nodded and consulted her notes.  “If I am not mistaken, the Grand Opening of your new Cooike Super Store in downtown Manhattan is in just a few hours.”

“That’s right.”  Buckets answered.  “CCC’s opens this morning at 10am.”

“Now I know that everyone is dying to know this:  What significance does the name CCC’s have?  What does it mean?”  Blabber-arbra waited expectantly.

“Chocolate Chip Cookies.”  Cooke Monster said with a rather proud smile.

“Yes!”  The head elf nodded.  “Cookie Monster actually named the shop.  We wanted to keep it simple and to the point, so we turned Chocolate Chip Cookies into CCC’s.”

“Will you specialize only in chocolate chip cookies?”  Blabber-arbra inquired.

Cookie Monster’s hand flew to his mouth as an involuntary gasp or horror escaped.  “Only chocolate chip cookies?”  His bottom lip began to treble.  “No!”  Tears welled in his glass eyes.  “We couldn’t leave the others out!  They would be so sad.”  He sobbed.  “So lonely.”  With this Cookie Monster buried his blue face in the arm of the pink chair and wailed.

Flo leapt from her barstool and landed next to Cookie Monster.  “There, there.”  The little elf comforted.  “Of course we won’t just make chocolate chip cookies.”  She glared at Blabber-arbra.

Blabber-arbra shifted uncomfortably and directed a question to the Ernest.  “Can you tell us what else your product line will include?

“Well of course we will have our classic cookie line, along with a complete milk bar right in the store!”  The head elf turned on the twinkle in his eyes.  “There will also be a few surprises.”

Blabber-arbra leaned forward.  “How did you decide to combine the might of Keebler with the advertising power of Cookie Monster.?”

“Might of Keebler?”  The elves blushed.  “Oh my, you are too kind.”

Blabber-arbra forced a smile.

“Actually it was his idea.”  Flo, who was still sitting with Cookie Monster piped up, pointing at the furry blue creature.

Cookie Monster nodded; apparently back in control of his emotions.

Reluctantly Blabber-arbra turned her attention to Cookie Monster.  “How did this idea come to you?”

Sitting up straight Cookie Monster cleared his throat.  “I love cookies.”  He put a hand to his chest.  “Cookies are beautiful things.  I wanted everyone to love cookies too!  So I ask elves if they want to be partners.  They say yes!”  The elves beamed.  “And we decide to open store where everyone can have cookies!”  The elves nodded their full support.

“I hear there have been low-carb demonstrators harassing this project since you broke ground on the store.”  Blabber-arbra stated.  “Do you foresee this as a problem?”

Cookie Monster snorted.  “Low-carb?  Low-carb does not make you happy!  Cookies make you happy!”

“What about the declining health of the people in this nation?”  Blabber-arbra pushed.  “Have you considered that?  Do you think that CCC’s will contribute to our nation’s health crisis?”

Ernest J. Keebler held up his hands.  “Please, there is no need to get carried away.  We have no desire to force anyone to eat cookies!  Of course it is everyone’s individual choice if they want a cookie or not.  And besides, we will have a whole line of Low-Carb cookies for those who are watching their carb intake.”

“Everyone should have one cookie a day!”  Cookie Monster proclaimed, jumping up from his chair.  “If everyone has one cookie a day we have less grumpy people!  Just one cookie!  Just one, round, delicious cookie…”  A glazed look came over Cookie Monster and if it were possible for him to drool he would have been doing so.  “Her hair look like cookie.”  He pointed at Blabber-arbra whose hair did indeed resemble a frosted sugar cookie.

“Quick!”  The head elf jumped up and stood on the chair.  “Emergency distraction!”  The three elves began to spin around.  When they stopped they were in what looked like assault gear for a force that was going to attack something with cookies.  Grasshoppers and Animal Cookies hung from their belts like grenades.  Vanilla Wafers and Soft Batch cookies were in bunches that looked as if they could be loaded into the cookie launchers each elf had slung over their shoulders.  Around their biceps they each wore a band that read ‘Disaster Prevention Team’ with a bronze E.L. Fudge cookie below it.

Before anyone could move two of the elves threw themselves between Cookie Monster and Blabber-arbra.  The other elf, Buckets, attached a Fudge Stripe to what looked like a fishing pole.  In one swift move he cast the cookie and had it dangling in front of Cookie Monster.  The monster stopped, cocking his head to one side.  Then, looking around to see if anyone was watching, he snatched it up and ran back to the pink chair.  He noisily devoured the cookie.

Blabber-arbra stared in astonishment and fear.  The music to go to commercial finally snapped her out of it and she forced a very small smile.  “Well, thank you again for joining us this morning.  And good luck with CCC’s.”  All of the elves bounded onto her lap and waved as the camera faded out.


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11-Dec-2020

Welcome to today’s installment of Holiday Flash Fiction Friday!

Warning: This might be a crying one for some of you.

Hormones and the Holidays

Today’s Holiday Flash Fiction is brought to you by:
Going into the woods to cut down your tree
Grandma’s crocheted snowflakes
and
Homemade Divinity

“Why isn’t this working?” My wife’s voice shrieks from the kitchen in a tone that I know means she’s about to lose it.

I wince. I’d offered to help make the whatever it was she was making—some candy recipe from her great-grandmother—but she refused, saying she wanted it to be a surprise. When I’d offered to hang out in the kitchen, she banished me.

It wasn’t like her to be this emotional unless it was her time of the month, something I wasn’t allowed to suggest, mind you. One glance at my phone told me that it could be hormones.

Or it could be the fact that she was suddenly trying desperately to make Christmas perfect this year.

A growl comes from my wife, and I sidle up to the doorway that leads into the kitchen. She’s standing over the stove, looking down into a saucepan that may or may not be smoking.

Hopefully it’s just steam from something cooking.

She looks from the pot to the cook book on the counter. “It said to make it a hard ball. How am I supposed to pour a hard ball into the whisked eggs?”

The tremor in her voice is not a good sign.

I have a decision to make. Either I back away slowly, not letting her hear me, and go watch TV, or I can enter the kitchen and steel myself for whatever explosion is about to come out of my wife.

I’m not going to lie, the TV was oh, so tempting. But it was Christmastime, and she was doing this for us. Or something. I took a deep breath and walked through the doorway.

My ankle wails, and I do my best not to limp. If she sees that she’ll go ballistic for sure. “Honey?” I ask.

Her head whips up, and she turns to look at me.

Even in all of her irrational anger she’s beautiful. Curly brown locks have escaped her ponytail and frame her heart-shaped face. Her eyes flash, and her expression hardens, but all I can see is the woman I love in pain. “Everything okay?” I ask.

“No,” she grumbles and returns her gaze to the cookbook.

Melissa doesn’t get this angry very often, so I continue with my cautious approach. “Anything I can do to help?”

She straightens and snorts. “This stupid recipe says to boil the mixture until it’s to hard ball stage. Now it’s a hard ball and I’m supposed to pour it in there?” Her voice rises again. She points to the mixer where I can see a white substance in the bowl.

Guys fix things. It’s what we do. My body moves of its own accord, and I go to the cookbook and read it.

The first time through I’m with my wife, then I notice a little note that’s been added. “Did you boil it until it reached 250 degrees?”

“What? No.”

I point to the recipe.

She pushes me out of the way, reads it, glares, and that’s when her lower lips trembles.

Uh-oh. We’ve skipped the yelling stage and have gone straight to the crying stage.

“Honey.” I put my hand on her back.

That’s all it takes. She lets out a wail and sinks to her knees. The water works turn on, and suddenly I’m kneeling next to her, patting her back. “It’s okay. It’s just candy.”

“Nothing is working!” Now she’s doubled over on herself.

“It’s fine.”

This is apparently the wrong thing to say, because she sits up and glares at me. Impressive, considering she’s still sobbing. “First you sprain your ankle getting the tree.”

I shrug. “Merely a flesh wound.”

“Then my grandma’s crocheted snowflakes.”

“It’s not your fault they’d been put in a yellow box that got wet and now they look like they’ve been peed on.” I meant for it to be a joke. She’d said it herself the day before.

Wrong choice again. Her voice reaches the upper end of shrill. “I’m just trying to give us Christmas traditions.”

So that’s why she’s been so keen on all of this craziness. “We have Christmas traditions. I particularly like our Christmas Eve tradition.” Five years married and I still look forward to seeing my wife in nothing but a couple of bows.

The tears are really flowing now, and she has to sniff before she can speak. “We can’t do that if we have a baby.”

“Sure we can, we…wait. What?” I stare at her. The world stops when she meets my gaze.

“I’m pregnant.”

This announcement puts her into worse hysterics.

I continue to stare as the words sink in. “Really?” We’ve been trying for three years, and decided to stop after a bad experience with a fertility clinic. “Are you sure?”

She nods. “I took three tests.”

Where she seems to be sinking, I’m floating off the floor.

A baby?

Us?

We’re going to be parents?

Joy like I’ve never felt it before fills me, starting from my core and working its way out into my fingers and toes. I’m light as a feather. I’m as warm as a fire.

Then I look at my distraught wife. Doesn’t she want this? I have to know. “Are—are you happy?”

She nods and cries some more.

“Are you sure?”

She looks at me and forces a smile. “I just wanted everything to be perfect. I was going to tell you on Christmas Eve.”

I grin and gather her to me. “Honey, this is amazing news. The best Christmas present ever!”

For a moment she stiffens, then she leans into me. She’s shaking. I enfold her and whisper in her ear. “We’ll make new traditions. Maybe not involving the woods or divinity.”

She laughs.

I laugh.

Then we’re kissing, and all I feel is love for this woman and the baby that will soon be ours.

Holiday Flash Fiction Categories!

Tradition:

  1. Decorating cookies
  2. Picking out a Christmas Tree
  3. Driving around looking at lights
  4. Staying up until midnight to hear the church bells ring
  5. Going into the woods to cut down your own tree
  6. Watching favorite holiday films
  7. Taking one of the men playing around with the deep fryer (while trying to cook an additional “better” turkey) to the ER for 2nd and 3rd degree burn
  8. PJ pictures on or near the stairs of all the kids Christmas morning
  9. The family sleeping around the Christmas tree the Friday before Christmas
  10. Christmas stockings made by grandma

Object:

  1. A Rabid Snowman
  2. Reindeer
  3. An old nutcracker
  4. Grandma’s crotched snowflakes
  5. Advent Calendar
  6. Krampus’ switch
  7. The heirloom tatted ornament that has been dunked in sugar water, starched, , and modge podged so many times it’s hard to tell what it originally was…(resembles an oblong Easter egg that’s been scrambled) but it’s been out for every Christmas since the oldest family member remembers, it’s tradition
  8. Wooden Christmas signs bought at Ensign
  9. Christmas village on the fireplace
  10. Death Star tree-topper

Food:

  1. Gluten Free Gingerbread
  2. Fruitcake
  3. Cranberry Jell-o Salad
  4. Homemade divinity
  5. Christmas crack chocolate
  6. Christmas Kibble (a cookie that looks like kibble)
  7. Aspic Salad
  8. Wild Rice
  9. Raspberry cream cheese desert
  10. Christmas sugar cookies

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