Christmas in September

Drawing of a decorated Christmas tree, with the caption: "Why are we having Christmas now?"

Christmas in September short story by Iris Carden

“Why are we having Christmas now?” the small child asked as they decorated the tree.

“Because Grandma loves Christmas,” her mother answered.

“Can’t Grandma wait for regular Christmas?”

“Not this time, no. This is a special Christmas for her.”

“Will we all get presents?”

“Grandma will get presents, you will get something, too but not as big as regular Christmas. You can wait until real Christmas.”

“Why can’t Grandma wait?”

“She won’t be here for real Christmas,” the mother said sadly.

“Is she going away? Is she having a holiday?”

The mother put down her decorations, and pulled the child close. “She is going away, but not for a holiday. The doctor says Grandma is going to die. You know what that means, don’t you?”

“Like my goldfish died.”

“Like your goldfish died, and we will probably all be sad, like you were sad then. But for now, we need to try to be happy, and to have the best time we can with Grandma. We want her to be happy even though she’s sick. We want to try to be happy, even though we’re going to be very sad. We want to have special things to remember.”

“I already have special things to remember.”

“That’s good. It’s always good to remember special things. Right now, we’re trying to make things that will be special to remember, to help us have some things to be happy about, when we know we’re going to be sad.”

“Can you be happy and sad at the same time?”

“Feelings are complicated things. Sometimes you can be a little bit happy even if you’re a big bit sad. Sometimes you can be a little bit sad, even if you’re a big bit happy.”

“So we’re making a happy Christmas for Grandma to be happy, and so we can be happy when we’re sad. It’s a good-bye Christmas.”

“I guess it is. A good-by Christmas, for someone we love very much and who loves us very much.”

The little girl picked up a piece of tinsel. “We’re making a special Grandma Christmas. We’ve got work to do.”

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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