Der Weihnachtswunsch

The Christmas wish

Dec 03, 2023Heike Felber

“Is it still okay!?” Lisa was shocked. Did she just say that out loud? Apparently that was the case, because the woman who was reaching into the frame a little way down the aisle looked at Lisa disapprovingly. Then she saw Lisa looking at the display in front of her, nodded at her in understanding, and hurried off with her purchases. Lisa turned her head back to the object of her outrage. She was standing in the supermarket to buy her lunch. Outside, children in shorts were playing ball, and dozens of boxes of Christmas baubles were stacked in the high rack in front of her. It was the sixteenth of October.

Lisa had gotten used to the fact that week-long sales battles followed each other in the supermarkets year after year: the Epiphany cakes seamlessly transitioned into the carnival cakes, and these into the Valentine's Day chocolate hearts, Easter bunnies and Mother's Day chocolates. Then followed the grilled sausage weeks, national holiday fireworks weeks, and school enrollment weeks. So that it didn't take too long until the Advent, Christmas and New Year sales, the Halloween weeks were introduced a few years ago. Lisa had come to terms with it. It was clear to her that companies wanted to make money off people's customs and sentiments. But she found the business of Christmas bitter every year.

The following weeks flew by for Lisa; her daily routine was meticulously organized and that also included the weekends. She hardly noticed the Christmas displays in the supermarket anymore. There was still so much to do before the end of the year, especially at work! “What do you want for Christmas?” The question from Tom, her partner, tore her out of her thoughts. She looked up in surprise. They were at dinner and Lisa hadn't noticed that Tom had been looking at her for some time. “We don’t give each other anything for Christmas, you know that,” she replied harshly. His left eyebrow rose. "I'm not talking about a gift, I want to know what your wish is," he said softly. Since they became a couple before Christmas, each of them had made a wish for the first Advent that would come true on Christmas Eve. Lisa felt caught. A furtive glance at the calendar confirmed: Today was the first Advent! She looked at Tom, expecting a disapproving expression. But he smiled and asked the question again as if nothing had happened. “I don’t know,” Lisa replied quietly, because she hadn’t given it any thought yet. How could she have forgotten that! She felt very miserable. But then she blurted out: “I want the Christmas of my childhood back: feeling the anticipation, spending afternoons baking cookies, choosing a huge Christmas tree at the market, decorating the tree with decorations from the attic, cooking a feast together, in Go to midnight mass.” Before Tom could say anything, Lisa added: “Yes, I know, my Christmas used to mean unwanted presents, tense Christmas music, and strenuous gatherings with dear relatives. I'm not talking about that. I wish for a Christmas like it says on the greeting cards: quiet, contemplative, blessed. The Christmas season becomes more stressful, more stressful and noisier every year. Yes, especially noisier. I hate this!” Lisa had stood up in excitement. She almost screamed the last sentence, then she started to cry and couldn't stop for a long time even in Tom's embrace.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve, Lisa had mixed feelings. Tom had taken her emotional outburst surprisingly calmly, shown understanding and then said no more about it. For him the matter seemed to be over. Lisa was relieved about this, but she hadn't asked Tom what he wanted for Christmas. The first time in over twenty years. Every day she didn't ask the question, she felt worse. But Tom didn't seem to be expecting her. Lisa relaxed and soon forgot the incident in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The pre-Christmas period was the busiest of the year at the company where she worked and she spent many hours there. At home, she and Tom didn't have time for each other; they only discussed what was necessary. Every evening Lisa fell into bed dead tired.

Then Christmas Eve came. At work, Lisa completed the last orders, dutifully attended the Christmas party for a moment, and then hurried home. Tom had assured her the night before that he would organize everything for Christmas Eve since he didn't have to work. Lisa was looking forward to him preparing something delicious in the casserole like every year and decorating the table festively. But when she entered the apartment, it was dark and no Tom was there. Had something happened? Worried, she turned on the light and looked around. No Tom. But then she saw a trail of tinsel leading to the uncovered dining table. Leaning against a wine glass was a ticket and a card: 'Trust me and use the ticket. Your train leaves at 5 p.m.'

Half an hour later, Lisa leaned her flushed face against the cold pane of the train window. It was raining heavily. She had rushed to the station to catch the train and in her haste she had forgotten her handbag. With a ticket but no money, she was now sitting on the train to the mountains. At least she remembered to dress warmly and grab her cozy scarf when she left the apartment. She was excited about the surprise Tom would have waiting for her. When the train finally pulled into the small mountain station after two hours, Lisa jumped up impatiently and pushed for the exit. Tom stood on the platform, his eyes lighting up at the sight of her. “I knew this would be an adventure to your liking and that your curiosity would bring you to me,” he said amused as Lisa threw her arms around his neck. “I have rented us a cozy chalet where we will spend the Christmas holidays. Quiet, contemplative, blessed – just as you wished.” Lisa, touched, buried her nose in his fluffy jacket collar, but then she jumped up. She didn't want to ruin this wonderful moment, but she definitely had to ask Tom something: "Yes, but what about your Christmas wish?" He smiled and took her hand. As the first snowflakes fell, Lisa heard him say: “My wish has just come true – you are with me again.”

Written by: Manuela Klemenz

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