12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar – December 12

December 12 – Hannah Talbot


I work real estate, so I don’t just have to find that “Christmas”-y feeling for myself. I have to find a way to make empty houses feel warm and inviting. Otherwise, it’s just a wide open, empty building with cold rooms and naked walls. So I stretch the truth a little. I put up a little Christmas tree next to the window, I bake some cookies in the oven and let the scent waft through the house, and I put a Christmas CD on repeat. I usually go for something modern like some big musician’s latest Christmas album, without thinking too hard about who it is or what they’re singing.


Most years, that was enough effort for me. I was happy enough to go into some stranger’s house and put up the set dressing, make the place look like home sweet home, then go to my little apartment and maybe sip eggnog while I watch Rudolph on TV.


This year will be different, though. Thanks to Kira. I’m going to be spending my Christmas with a woman I really care for. This could be the start of something really, really big. And for the first time, I got weepy listening to a Christmas song. It was an old standard: I’ll be Home for Christmas. For the first time since I was a little girl, I’m going to have a home. Not just a house, not just a place to keep my stuff, but a real home.


I’m at a total loss for how I’m supposed to decorate for keeps. I’m mainly only good at the quick and easy way to fool people for a half hour at a time. But Kira will help me. We can figure it out together. We’re actually getting pretty good at this ‘learn as we go thing.’


I wish everyone out there a happy holiday with their loved ones,


– Hannah Talbot appears in the short stories Everything for Time, Better Sorry than Safe, and Peace in Rest.