Melonie followed Patricia through the living room, only half-listening as her hostess chatted about Starlight Lodge’s plans for the week. The rooms passed in a flash of green, red, and gold. Melonie hoisted her suitcase higher and walked up the wooden steps, her elbow brushing against the garland that wrapped around the banister. Little red ornament balls hung tastefully from the greenery.
“It’s beautiful in here!” Melonie inserted when Patricia paused in her monologue.
“Why, thank you, dear.” Patricia twisted her head slightly toward Melonie and gave a genuine smile. “Decorating for Christmas is one of my most favorite things of the year. Richard set his foot down, and I can’t pull out any of the boxes until after Thanksgiving, which I’m fine with. I get all decked out for the fall too. But Christmas…” She gave a happy sigh as she walked up the last few steps. “Christmas is my season.”
Melonie had thought Christmas was her season too. Differences were always pushed aside for Christmas, wrongs made right. Holiday cheer hid all of the dirt and grime of daily living. At least, it was supposed to. She had been cheated of her joy this year.
(From "Finding Christmas Joy" by Amanda Tero;