They continued for over an hour with incidental barbs and jokes until a few decided to shower and dress for the day.

Snow had begun falling while they ate breakfast and now a considerable amount of snow covered the ground.  Massive fluffy snowflakes fell softly and everyone was eager to get outside and enjoy.

Emma decided to forgo a shower but dressed hurriedly, threw her hair into a pony applied a skiff of makeup and hustled outside.  Daniel had beaten her outside and the second the door opened a snowball whizzed by her head.  Dragging a toque onto her head and warm gloves on her hands, the fight and race were on.  Nathan dressed and was returning to the front room when he saw Emma nail Daniel in the back of the head with a big soft snowball that smashed upon impact and slid down his back.  Through the window, he listened as muffled taunts were thrown back and forth along with snowballs that lacked form but were on target.

Jake appeared at his side.  “Kids at heart, the two of them.”

“They are having great fun.”

“You can expect the others will engage the second they see what’s going on.”  He was right.  Within minutes, the entire house had emptied out and everyone was out front engaged in the best snowball fight Nathan had witnessed.  He doubted anyone would come out unscathed.

“You coming outside, Jake?”

“No, this is for the youngers.  I’m young at heart, but the old bones aren’t up to racing around like I used to.”

“I’ll talk to you later then.  I’m in.”  Nathan hurried out the door with Jim in hot pursuit.  He packed a large snowball and it sailed across the yard and nailed Daniel who turned and immediately fired back.

Before long they broke up into two teams and built small walls to hide behind.  It stopped snowing long enough for the sun to emerge and turn the setting into a glowing arena.  The walls they build were more like half igloos and didn’t look like they’d stand up to much, but it was the thought that counted.

As soon as it appeared there was enough wall for everyone to use, the snowball fight was on in full force.

Jim chose to head over to the enemy camp with Jenna, Daniel, and Fran which left Nathan, Emma, Angeline and Jackson.  By the end of the marathon fight, there wasn’t a soul left standing that wasn’t soaked head to foot.

A truce was called since it was impossible to declare a conclusive winner and they raced each other to the back door and shed their gear which they carefully hung to dry before racing into the living room prepared to sit around a dazzling fire.

Sarah appeared immediately with a tray of hot chocolate complete with marshmallows.  She was nobody’s fool, she knew what the gang appreciated. They took turns bringing everyone up to speed on the happier moments of their lives and that which they’d appreciated most during the year.

Nathan was touched as was Jim by the humble and worthwhile events that each was most proud of.  When it was his turn, Nathan looked directly into Emma’s eyes.  “I doubt any event was more fortuitous more delightful and more special than the day Emma walked back into my life.  She’s a gift beyond compare that I will treasure forever.”  He kissed her lips with a resounding smack that had everyone in attendance either smiling with amusement or with a look of endearment on their face.  His sincerity was unmistakable.

When it was Jim’s turn, he glanced around the lot of them, “Emma has dibs on Emma, but I have dibs on her family.  This has been one of the most fun, special and enjoyable Christmases I’ve ever enjoyed.  Thank you all.”  He raised his cup and saluted them in turn which brought cheers and yays from the group.

Jake replied, “Likewise, Jim, likewise.”

Page 104                                                                                                 Page 102

 

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