Monday, October 24, 2011

Harvey and Lori Ferguson Ch. 10 Christmas Eve

Harvey and Lori had been looking forward to Christmas Eve—their close friends Melanie and Gareth Caswell would be coming over for a good dinner by Lori, gift opening and maybe even some carol singing. Lori planned to make crown roast of pork for supper, with all the trimmings. She’d had the house decorated for some time and now that the evening was here she was really excited.

When Gareth and Melanie arrived it had snowed that day and they were stomping their boots to shake the moisture off as they came in the door.

“Merry Christmas!” Melanie cried.

Of course, immediately she just had to pat Lori’s baby bump and talk to the baby.

“She’s feeling Lori’s belly like a housewife who’s guessing if a melon is good,” Harvey joked in a low voice to Gareth.

“Eh, women,” Gareth replied, “They just have to have these little rituals.”

Harvey had noticed that for some reason Gareth seemed a little irritable tonight. Normally quite even-tempered it was odd for him to exhibit such behavior, at least when getting together with friends. But Harvey shrugged, everybody had their off days, even Gareth, he supposed.

“Hmm,” Melanie said shrewdly as though she were a midwife who’d been through this many times, “You’re carrying the baby all out to the front, must be a girl. Now if your hips were wider and your butt kind of spread out it would more likely be a boy…”

“What? If my hips were wider or my butt any bigger I’d kill myself!” Lori laughed.

“Say, Melanie, would you forget the crystal ball stuff—we want to open presents and eat,” Gareth complained.

Melanie rolled her eyes but smiled and sat down by Gareth where Harvey had placed Lori’s present to her.

After opening and exclaiming over the gifts they had exchanged, Lori went to the kitchen to finish her preparations.

"Should she be on her feet so much?" a concerned Gareth frowned as he asked Harvey.

Harvey replied,

"You know Lori. It's hard to keep her from anything she's determined to do and she's been planning this dinner for two weeks," then he only half-joked, "What's the matter--don't you think I take good care of her?"

"I'll go see what I can do," Melanie said quickly and headed to the kitchen, calling, "Hey, lady, could you use some help?"

Glenn glanced at Harvey and then looked away saying,

"Sorry, man, it's just that I know how tired Melanie got when she was pregnant and overdid things."

"No problem, I think Melanie will get the kitchen situation under control," Harvey paused and then added quietly, "Considerate of you to worry about Lori, though."

Gareth shrugged and changed the subject to the recent college football game he'd attended at Sim State U.

Finally the four of them sat down to supper, which turned out to be excellent, the pork was succulent and the apple-pork stuffing delicious. Glazed carrots, along with herbed roasted potatoes, cider gravy, tomato-onion relish, broccoli casserole and hot, fluffy biscuits completed the picture.

“This is to die for, Lori,” Gareth marveled while Harvey beamed with pride.

“You have to tell me how you did it,” Melanie agreed.

Lori shrugged,

“Actually everything I cook or bake is usually from my mother’s books or her show, but this happens to be my mother-in-law's recipe. I have her family recipe for ribs too, I'll have to make you some this summer.”

“Honey, you outdid yourself,” Harvey told her, “But not all your recipes are from your mother or my mom—what about that chicken and stuffing thing you made for me? And the Ambrosia cake?”

“Yes, you’re right, but I got those from magazines, sweetie. I’m learning a few new
tricks now and then, though,” she grinned.

After they’d praised Lori’s meal for a while the two couples  moved conversation out by the Christmas tree and it became a discussion of Gareth’s job. He’d just been promoted to Director of Athletics for the Tri-County schools. Melanie brought out the latest pictures of Scarlett they’d had done at the photographers and they gave a nice 5 x 7 one to Lori and Harvey, and told stories of how adorable and intelligent the baby was. The Fergusons didn’t mind—they knew that soon they’d be doing the same thing; assuming that no other baby was as cute or as smart as theirs. In fact, they couldn’t wait to be doing that.

Suddenly Melanie said, “Let’s have some music! Lori will you play?”

So they gathered by the new piano and sang Christmas carols for almost an hour.
They didn’t even hear it when Santa Claus sneaked in and delivered some gifts, but then Melanie finally glanced out to the living room and saw him just as he was leaving. She jerked on her jacket and ran to catch him, calling to the others as she did so,

“There goes Santa!”       

But she was too late. As she came down the steps to the walk Santa melted away at the edge of the property. Where his reindeer and sleigh were Melanie did not know but he was gone, surely to the next house on his list. She wondered who it was…

“It’s time we got home anyway, baby,” Gareth grinned, “Maybe we’ll catch him there—unless you haven’t been a good little girl.”
After they had gone, Harvey hugged Lori and told her what a great night it had been. Then he helped her with the cleanup before they went to bed.

Early, early the next morning while she thought Harvey was still sleeping Lori crept downstairs to turn on the Christmas lights and she leaned way over to tuck a few last gifts for him in the pile under the tree. As she straightened up with a grunt the baby gave her a good hard kick for what she'd just done thereby squishing him or her.

“Awww, poor little nubbins,” she crooned, rubbing small circles over the area where it felt like there was a little baby butt pushing against her skin, “Mommy’s sorry for cramping your style.”

Harvey heard her and smiled to himself. He was awake and pulling on his robe.

“I’ll be right down,” he called.

“Okay, I just turned on the coffee.”

Lori really didn’t care for regular coffee; she preferred to drink creamy sweet psuedo-coffee drinks with flavors like hazelnut or French vanilla, but because Harvey was a coffee purist she’d learned to make really good regular coffee from freshly ground beans. Harvey joined her downstairs.

“Honey, look up there,” he pointed to the living room ceiling where they’d hung mistletoe.

Lori took the bait—she’d forgotten about it—and he held her close and kissed her.
They actually did not have much time this morning—as soon as they opened their gifts they would have to get ready to go over to Harvey’s parents house for breakfast. So they had planned to only open up one gift each in the morning and then open the rest later that night. 

When Lori thanked Harvey for his gift: her favorite highly expensive designer perfume in a gift set (she’d given him an I-pad), he pulled her on his lap and put his arms around her.

It was probably the best Christmas either of them had known yet in their young lives, even including their first Christmas together as man and wife. Because this year they knew that their baby would be here soon.

“Just think, Harvey, next year at Christmas our child will be with us—and all excited about Christmas I'm sure!”

He smiled,

“Yes, and we’ll be showing photographs to everyone we meet whether they want to see them or not.”

“Oh, you’re so bad. I’m glad they showed us the photos and even more glad that we have our own photo of Scarlett.”

“I’m teasing, honey, I think she’s a beautiful baby.”

“I know. I just like to remind you how mean you are and that I’m really nice to make up for it,” she admitted with a laugh.

“I see. Well, what was that song your mother used to sing to you?” he reminded her.

“Why did my mother have to tell you that? It wasn’t a song anyway, it was a nursery rhyme.”

When she was a little girl her mother used to read the rhyme to her out of Lori’s Mother Goose book. Then, any time that Lori was misbehaving or pouting, Melora quoted it to her.

“There once was a girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good she was very, very good.
But when she was bad…

“That’s okay, honey. I love you when you’re good and I think I love you even better when you’re horrid,” he gave her a wicked smile which, with his slanted eyebrows, made him look like a satyr—at least Lori claimed it did.  And it always made her giggle.

“Well, Daddy finally told me that it was the same song Grandma Elaine sang to her when she was a little girl--so this apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Anyway, I’ll get your coffee, and then I’m taking my shower—we’re running late now.

They would have to be getting ready to leave soon, and it would be hectic but merry over at their parents’ homes, but for this short while beforehand, the day was cozy and quiet.


Sim Girl said...

Love it love it ! So nice to have a Christmas dinner, very lovely. I am glad they had a good time and everything went smoothly. It was considerate to be worrying about Lori. So sweet. I can not wait for the next one!

Vee said...

Ooh, I can't wait to see the rest of their presents!!

Lorelei said...

Ah, yes, extremely thoughtful of Gareth, was it not? .......

Lorelei said...

Er, um, I didn't show them opening their presents exactly (when I wrote this I didn't have the custom content that I do now which includes neat, OPENED Christmas presents). The next two chapters are about Christmas Day at her mother's house. Might be able to insert a few gifties later :D Or at least tell what they were...of course, the baby is due any moment...

Brianne said...

I'm catching up (sort of) on your legacies, going back a few pages so I somewhat know what's going on, starting here. Your Christmas stuff is so neat! Is it all custom or is it an expansion that I don't have? I think I have all of them except for a handful of "stuff" packs.

Lorelei said...

Brianne, when I did this chapter I had the Holiday Stuff pack loaded, also OFB, Seasons, Freetime, and Bon Voyage. I had the stuff packs: H&M Fashion, Kitchen and Baths, Mansions & Gardens, Ikea, and Teen Style.

I did NOT have Nightlife, Glamour Life, Pets, Apartment Life, or Celebration Stuff yet.

I have a lot more custom content loaded now but I don't think I had any then, so all the Christmas decorations were from Happy Holiday. But if you are wondering about something specific, let me know and I'll identify it because maybe I DID have some custom content then.

If you are having trouble knowing where to begin one of my followers needed to know how Brian's story began and how it figured with Lori's and and I believe she started with Chapter 6 of the Lassiters "The Twins Are Growing up". She read through just the Lassiter chapters and then read Brian's chapters. Don't know if that helps or not.

Brianne said...

Thank you very much, I'll check that out! Does Santa come with the holiday pack?

Lorelei said...

Yes, Santa comes with that and new menu items including the Christmas cookies (let me know if you get the pack because there's a trick to getting Santa to come). Also the trees, lights, etc.