I lie back on the couch patting my stuffed belly and gazing contentedly at my two chums, Elsa and Trinalin. Santa Trinalin passes out the presents from under the twinkling tree. Fake embers glow not too unconvincingly in the fireplace. O Holy Night plays from speakers on the mantle. Patty lies on the rug, watching us fling wrapping about. A scrap falls across her nose.
Elsa hums to the music. “Have we heard this before?”
I shoot her a look. “Maybe…”
I open a packet containing a collector’s edition of Rolling Stone’s magazine with Thorin on the cover. Entertainment Weekly with Thorin. The Hobbit storybook – more Thorin. I sense a pattern and smirk at Trina.
Trinalin grins. “It’s so good to feed your fandom for once, Judi.”
I feel a slight cringe and am not sure why. They both know that I blog and about whom. What’s the problem? My inner trio, id Jodi, supergo Jada, and ego Quiet One, all chuckle.
Jada sighs and rolls her eyes.
Jodi whispers. “Fangurrrrrrrrrrl.”
Quiet One giggles.
Elsa seems to read my mind, smiling knowingly.
The playlist offers up a another version of O Holy Night. Uh oh.
Trina smirks. “I’m pretty sure we’ve heard this before.”
I blithely ignore her. More wrapping paper flies. It’s a 5 inch Thorin action figure. My 50+ year old self is ridiculously pleased. I rip him out of the packaging and play with his little Orcrist and dagger.
Jada inspects it. “Oh, all his parts move!”
Jodi guffaws. “All? Are you sure? He’s kind of small. Is he fully functional?”
Quiet One giggles. “Hey, his cloak moves too.”
I can’t help myself. I’m 9 years old again, playing with my Skipper dolly. I furtively lift the cloak and peer under.
Trina catches me and laughs. BUSTED. She snaps my picture and tweets it. Me and my little Thorin doll. Sigh.
O Holy Night dials up a third time. Damnit.
Both Elsa and Trina pounce. “So, got any other Christmas music or what?”
I protest. “Look, I only had about 36 versions when I checked. Last year.”
Jodi is ever observant. “Say, we’re missing Rudolph in here.”
Jada nods. “Yes, you haven’t had him sing this year.”
Quiet One chuckles.
I fetch Rudolph from the den. He’s an animated red-nosed reindeer that sings tunes from the beloved Christmas special from my childhood. I activate the singing by squeezing his ear.
Rudolph suddenly sings in a deep baritone. “Are you going to laugh at my nose too?”
We all blink at the not so childlike sounding little reindeer. His batteries have run down.
Trina shrugs. “Well, guess his balls have dropped.”
I gape at Trina. “What! You’ve just ruined my childhood!”
Everybody bursts into laughter.
Merry Christmas Eve, all.
Here is an excerpt from the special. Enjoy.