On the 12th day from Christmas, Trudy Love was once again the butt of many office jokes.  It was like that every year….”hey Tru Love, it’s 12 days from Christmas, what’re gettin’ for me?”…and then hysterical laughter.  If there was ever a time that she regretted inheriting her Grandmother’s name, it was during the holidays.

Because of the ridicule that she received growing up, Trudy swore that she would legally change her last name when she became an adult.  However, her parents always gave her “the look” when she talked about changing it.  “It’s your birth name.  Are you ashamed of your heritage?”  The usual guilt-ridden questions.  So, she relented and kept the name, but silently dreaded Christmas.  This year was going to be no different.

It was December 13 and she was walking home from the bus stop, squinting from the glare of the holiday lights along the street on which she walked.  Her tiny home was the only one on the street that had no holiday lights.  It never did.  One year, some neighbors, thinking she could not afford decorations, surprised her by stringing lights on her porch.  She smiled kindly and thanked them, but took them down in the dark of night.  They never tried again.

Inside her house, she hung her coat on the hall tree and left her boots on the rug by the door.  Her evening meal consisted of canned soup and a cheese sandwich as she read a mystery novel.  She never watched television or read a newspaper after October 1, since they all contained stories and advertisements for Christmas.

It’s not that Trudy WANTED to hate Christmas…but she could never remember a happy holiday moment to bring her from her deep harbored resentment of such a magical time of year when most people were overjoyed.  She continued to wish that the next 12 days would pass quickly and quietly and that she could get on with the normal 9 months of her life.

To be continued…