“Of Magic & Mistletoe”, Ch. 06:  Christmas Day Magic, Part 2, by Gratiana Lovelace, December 28, 2020 (Post #1355)

(All rights reserved; An original story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2020)
[(1) cover story]

Author’s content note:  My 2020 Christmas short story here is a gentle romance mostly rated G for all, with some dramatic moments. I will serialize my story here and on my Wattpad site.  I’ll continue with publishing new chapters almost every day through New Year’s Eve.  I hope that you enjoy my new story.

Illustrations:  I cast my stories as I write them, with Richard Armitage as Luke Wharton, Erin Krakow as Diana Groves, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Benjy Groves, Helen Hayes as Martha Lesley, Anna Knyazeva as Heidi Wharton, Betty White as Granny Wilma Wharton, and others as noted in the references.


Ch. 06:  Christmas Day Magic, Part 2

After Luke and Diana come up for air with their first lovely kisses in Luke’s kitchen on Christmas Day early afternoon, they gaze caringly into each other’s eyes.  It has been a long time since either of them has experienced love and romance—since each of their spouses died, four years ago and two years ago, respectively.  Luke slowly pulls back from Diana, his hand clasping hers in his larger hand and bringing her hand to his lips for a kiss.

Luke:  “Shall we take some coffees into the family room and chat some more?”  And snuggle and kiss some more, he thinks.

Diana: “Yes, and let’s peek into your bedroom to make sure our kids are still asleep.”  Diana blushes, her wondering if Luke wonders if she hopes their kids are asleep, so that she and Luke can canoodle on the family room couch.

Luke: “Yes.”  His voice is deeply soothing, like a velvet rose brushing against her heart.  And she wonders if his huskily tender voiced yes, implies more than drinking their coffees.

So Luke and Diana collect their coffee mugs and walk out of the kitchen, past the dining room, and into the family room–setting their coffee mugs on coasters on the coffee table.  Then they peek into Luke’s master bedroom where he has their kids napping on his big bed.

Heidi and Benjy are lying on top of the comforter on Luke’s bed, with large folded blankets on top of each of them for  warmth.  And though they are each sleeping on their own pillows, they are lying on their sides and turned toward each other—with their hands clasped together between the pillows.  Luke and Diana smile at their sleeping kids and then at each other.

Luke holds a finger up to his lips as he and Diana quietly back away from the bedroom and go to sit on one of the family room couches together.  The arrangement of the room has two long couches facing each other in front of the fireplace, with a shorter futon couch opposite the fireplace—each covered in the same ivory colored slip covers.  The family room is inviting for conversations, as well as, for unexpected extra guests due to the snowy weather.

Luke and Diana sit together on the long couch next to the Christmas tree, at the fireplace end [(2) above] —them enjoying its cozy warmth.  They each take a sip of their generously sweetened hazelnut coffees, then set their mugs back onto the coffee table.  Luke interlaces the fingers of his right and of her left hands together and they gaze tenderly at each other.

Luke:  “Well, shall we consider this our first real date?  Since we’re alone together?”  He smiles cheekily.

Diana: “I don’t know, Luke.” She purses her lips while trying not to smile.  “I don’t kiss on the first date.”  Then she can’t help it and smiles warmly up at him.

Luke:  “Did I say our first date?  I mean our fourth date.”  Luke’s voice and gaze smoulder tenderly at Diana.

As Luke begins to lean in to kiss her again, Diana places her finger against his lips to delay their kissing.  But he mischievously kisses her finger

Diana:  “It occurs to me, Luke, that there might be some pertinent background information about ourselves that we should share with each other—if we hope to get to know each other better.”

Luke raises a saucy eyebrow as his left arm laying upon the couch back touches her shoulders and she leans back into him.

Luke:  “Such as?”  Then Luke gently cups Diana’s left shoulder in his left hand as he smiles cordially down at her.

Diana:  Feeling Luke’s warmth envelop her, Diana sighs.  “Hhhh! Well, I’m 34 years old.”  She pauses and looks up at him.

Luke:  “Ah!  You look younger than your years, but you are also wise beyond them.”  Diana smiles up at Luke.  “And I’m 41years old. Hmm.”

Diana: “That’s nice.”  She nods.

Luke:   “So are you pleasantly surprised, or thinking that I’m well preserved for my years?”  He asks her impishly.”

Diana:  “Oh, both!”  Then Luke leans in and passionately kisses Diana on her lips.

Luke:  “There! I think if we kiss after each pair of questions to each other, then we will keep the romantic mood going.  Don’t you?”  Luke smirks enticingly.

Diana: “Works for me.”  Diana whispers breathily. And somehow, their kissing has pushed Diana’s next question about Luke completely out of her thoughts.

Luke:  “Nothing to ask?  Shall we kiss some more, then maybe it will come to you.”  He purrs before he kisses her again, and again, and again, and again.

Diana:  “Somehow, your kissing me doesn’t help my remembering what I wanted to ask you.”

Luke: “Well, we have the weekend to chat more.”  Then he kisses her some more.

Diana: In mid kiss, Diana taps Luke on his shoulder.  He looks into her eyes.  “I remembered what I wanted to ask you.”

Luke: “Hmm?  I guess my kisses aren’t that successful in distracting you then.”  He pouts impishly.

Diana:  “Oh no, Luke.  Your kisses are a lovely distraction.”

Luke:   “Well then …”  Luke leans in to kiss her again, but Diana puts her hand up—covering his mouth.  And of course, he kisses her palm, sending tingles through her arm.

Diana:  Then Diana states a bit breathily.  “Luke, before we continue with our lovely kissing, we need to share more about ourselves with each other.  Such as, what do you do for a living?  What are your interests? Etc.”

Luke: “Well, let me see. I am self employed managing our family crop farm—which makes a tidy profit each year, supporting all of us.  So much so that though my sister Sharon and my baby nephew Eric will eventually return to her cottage home on our property with her husband Gary—leaving her bedroom here empty—I still want to expand our home here.  A few years ago, I had added the fire place to our family room here.  So, my next thought is possibly doing an extension on the fireplace side of the house—creating a pass through fireplace to a new family and game room—then running  along the length of the house front to back with a half bath and another master bedroom and bath” [(3) above].

Diana: “I think your home and its layout are perfect!”  She says genuinely.

Luke: “Thank you. Yet, we need a guest half bathroom and a less formal family room than this living room is—to have a family and games room where the kids can play, with their not having to worry that their toys and games are picked up all the time.”

Diana:  “Ha ha ha!  I take it that your Mother Wilma is a neat freak?”

Luke:  “Oh yeah!”  He nods exaggeratedly.  “And I would like to add a small pool table to the new family and games room, too—with a temporary ping pong top we can place on it for the kids. What about you?”

Diana: “I would like more children, and to go back to school for my master’s degree in gerontology.  Ultimately, I would like to continue to be involved in working with the elderly—perhaps as a homecare services director or a facility’s recreation director.”

Luke: “Good for you!”  Then Luke becomes more circumspect.  “I would like more children—and to possibly give you more children.”  Luke is getting a little ahead of himself, but Diana does not seem to shy away from the suggestion—though she does blush prettily.

Diana: “But?”

Luke: “But with my late wife dying due to childbirth complications, the thought of that possibility happening again is very scary to me.  I wouldn’t survive losing you, too.”  Luke’s eyes are filled with tears that he has held back for many years—him coping with his wife’s death by trying to push his emotions away.  But with Diana coming into his life, all of his emotions are at the forefront again.

Diana: “Oh Luke!  I’m so sorry for your loss again.  I can’t imagine having a new baby to raise, but not with your partner.”  Diana believes that, at least, she had that blessing—with Benjy’s Dad Ben alive for the first two years of their son’s life.  Then Diana rests her head on Luke’s shoulder and embraces him comfortingly.

Luke: “Mom helped me with caring for baby Heidi. That is, until she felt that I wasn’t engaged enough with Heidi.  I had pushed myself to doing so much around the farm as a distraction for my loss, that I was dog tired when I got home each evening.  All I could do was take my shower, eat dinner, then fall asleep afterward.”

Diana: “I sense another but is coming.”  Diana smiles gently at Luke.


Luke:  “Yes, but my Mom wouldn’t let me get away with the excuse that I was exhausted.  And my Mom insisted that I hire more farm workers and start tending to Heidi myself when Heidi was about 4 months old.  Or she said that she would move out and force me to be Heidi’s father—by myself, without her as a safety net.  Well, I can tell you that really scared the heck out of me.  Heidi was so little, I was afraid I would drop her or feed her something wrong.  And because I hadn’t actually held Heidi much up to that point, she always seemed more fussy and skittish when I did hold her in my arms. My own daughter didn’t recognize me as her father.”  He bemoaned.

Diana: “What did Wilma do?”

Luke: “She left Heidi and I together, cold turkey—for a very long 3 day weekend as she visited a friend in another town.  I was terrified, but I knew my sister Sharon was only a phone call away.  But, I needed to care for Heidi myself.  And when baby Heidi seemed to realize that first night that her Granny Wilma wasn’t around to kiss and cuddle her, and to make her feel fresh and clean, and to give Heidi her bottle, baby Heidi went on an endless crying jag, the poor little thing.”  Luke shakes his head in remembering it.

Diana: “What did you do, Luke?” Diana knows how helpless a parent can feel when their baby is in distress and not knowing how to comfort them.

Luke: “Well out of pride, I didn’t want to call Sharon, I needed to figure this out on my own.  But I had a crying baby on my hands, literally.  So I made sure baby Heidi was clean and warm, and I walked her around the house. I also tried turning on the kitchen faucet and letting it running continuously.”

Diana: “Uh huh, rushing water simulating womb sounds of rushing blood.” She nods knowingly.

Luke: “Exactly.  But that didn’t work—none of it did.  And after Heidi cried for 1 hour straight, I knew that I had to get her calmed down so I could give Heidi her bottle.  So I plopped myself in that rocking chair in the corner there and started rocking.  Her crying became a little less, but Heidi needed something more.  So I began to sing to Heidi the lullaby that Mom used to sing to us when we were little—the “Coventry Carol”—and that I had sung the lullaby to my late wife’s pregnant belly before Heidi was born.”  Diana smiles as Luke’s face brightens.  “And miraculously, Heidi calmed down, her looking up at me with a pensive expression on her face—that quickly proved to be gas.  Ha ha ha!”

Diana:  “Ha ha ha!”

Luke: “But Heidi was calming.  So I slowly stood up as I continued singing to her, we went into the kitchen for her bottle and I warmed it up a bit.  In the meantime, I’m continuing to sing to Heidi as I walk back to our family room and that rocking chair in the corner to give Heidi her bottle feeding.  When she was done messily slirping her bottle, I cleaned up Heidi’s tiny mouth and put her baby burping cloth over my shoulder.  Then I gently laid Heidi onto my shoulder, and I soothingly patted and rubbed her little back.  Then she burped quite loudly for me and she instantly fell asleep.  I continued rocking Heidi in my arms, my watching over her as she slept for the next two hours.  Then I realized that I was hungry.  So I laid Heidi in her bassinet in the kitchen as I made myself a sandwich, ate it at the table.  And then I took her back to her crib in my bedroom for her to nap.  And I dashed in the bathroom and took the shortest shower and clothing change in my life and came back to her, finding her still sleeping soundly in her bedroom crib.  So I checked her diaper and changed her into a fresh one, then we went back to the rocker in the family room here and we rocked together that afternoon.  Then three hours later, the whole bottle feeding and lullaby singing activities repeated on an every four hour schedule.   And Heidi and I have been best buddies ever since.”

Diana: “Oh Luke!  That’s a wonderful memory you have of bonding with baby Heidi.”

Luke: “Heidi is my wonderful little sweetheart, and I hope to be a wonderful father for her.”

Diana: “You already are, Luke.  I have never seen such a happy and well adjusted child as Heidi is, except for my Benjy.”

Luke:  “Thanks, Diana.  Sorry that I’ve droned on, but parenting is such a big responsibility that I sometimes feel like I’m in a quicksand as Heidi is on the precipice of the next stage of development.”

Diana: “It sounds like you read some of the Dr. Spock books, huh?”  Diana smiles warmly at Luke.

Luke: “And other respected child psychologists. I try to stay informed and really reflect upon how I’m raising Heidi. I want her to always be happy and know that she is loved and encouraged.”  Luke smiles, but there is a sadness, in his eyes, too.

Diana: “Well you’re doing a wonderful job.”

Luke: “Thanks, as are you with Benjy.”  She smiles and nods her thanks. “Diana?  May I ask you a question?”

Diana:  “Sure.”

Luke: “Benjy speaks so clearly, while Heidi still has trouble with her r sounds.  Did Benjy ever have any speech issues?”

Diana: “Well first, let me say that Heidi sounds adorable—and her speech is very understandable.  So her speech therapy sessions must be helping.  But Luke, I wouldn’t worry too much about her speaking skills, if I were you.  Kids develop their speech and movement and their cognitive abilities at their own paces.  Though with little ones, their first five years are like a whirlwind of discovery and exploration as they move from little baby lumps that we cuddle to walking and talking toddlers with a growing awareness of the world around them.  And even with Benjy and I spending time with you and Heidi over the last several days—and most of the day today—I can see that Heidi’s speech is less hesitant when she is around people whom she knows and feels comfortable with, like you and your Mom—and now, also Benjy and I.”

Luke: “Thanks, that makes me feel better.  Hhhh!”  Luke sighs in relief.

Diana: “Say, we still have singing Christmas songs to do when the kids wake up.  And I’ve noticed that people who sometimes stutter in everyday life, can often sing clearly without stuttering—like the country singer Mel Tillis.  It’s amazing really.  Some other area of their brain kicks in as they sing flawlessly.  So, I’ll bet you a chocolate chip cookie that we brought with us, that Heidi singing will be the same and she’ll not have an accent on her r sounds.”  I hold out my hand.

Luke: “That’s a great idea, Diana. And I’ll raise you one peppermint candy cane frosted sugar cookie.   It’s a deal!”  I shake Diana’s hand and bring her closer to me.  “This seems like a we gotta seal this deal with a kiss moment.”  Luke grins cheekily.

Diana: “Absolutely!”  Diana responds enthusiastically.

Then Luke and Diana kiss [(4) above] and embrace each other sweetly and tenderly sitting next to each other on Luke’s family room’s couch—their being oblivious to everything around them.


And having woken up from their naps and each pottied themselves in the master bedroom’s bathroom—and washed their hands as they have been taught to do–Benjy and Heidi peek into the family room from Luke’s master bedroom’s doorway and see their parents kissing each other.

Heidi: “Hhhh!”  Heidi [(5) above] sighs softly and squeezes Benjy’s hand.

Benjy:  “What?” Benjy [(6) above] whispers to Heidi as they step back into the bedroom.

Heidi:  Still whispering, Heidi explains.  “My Daddy and yow/your Mommy kiss so nicely!”

With Benjy being a little boy–and his play time and stories have less romantic plots in them–he can be excused for not understanding Heidi’s romantic sighing.  Whereas Heidi is all into Princesses and their Princes.

Benjy: Whispering indifferently, Benjy just agrees with Heidi.  “Sure.  I’m hungry.  Shall we go see if your Granny will give us a snack to eat? We brought cookies with us today.”

Heidi: “Okay!”  Heidi smiles and nods her head excitedly.  She likes having someone to play with like Benjy.

Then Benjy and Heidi peek out of the bedroom door, still seeing their parents kissing.  So they quietly and slowly walk into the dining room and then dash to the kitchen.  Not finding Granny Wilma there, they go to her bedroom’s door that is slightly ajar.  Heidi knocks softly as her Granny has taught her to do.  Then Heidi enters her Granny’s bedroom and motions for Benjy to follow her in, and he does so.  But Benjy stays near the doorway.

Granny Wilma’s bedroom isn’t dark, but it doesn’t have any lights on.  So with only one window drape open and facing East, there isn’t much light in the room at the current 3pm afternoon time.  Heidi walks around the bed and over to her Granny lying in bed asleep with her back to the doorway.

Heidi: Heidi lightly touches her Granny Wilma’s shoulder.  “Gwanny/Granny, may Benjy and I please have a cookie snack?”

Granny Wilma: “Hmmm?”  Granny Wilma responds drowsily to her granddaughter.  Then she wakes up more and sits up on her bed in her robe over her undies.  She had changed so that her holiday clothes wouldn’t get wrinkled.  “Oh!  Sure, Heidi Dear.  And we’ll have to take our annual Christmas picture with the tree.”

Heidi: “With Benjy and Benjy’s Mommy, too?”  She asks politely

Granny Wilma: “Of course.”  Then she stands up and turns around and sees Benjy also in her room.  “Hi again, Benjy!” She waves at him.

Benjy: “Hi again, Granny Wilma!”  He also waves.

Granny Wilma: “Benjy, we’re all wearing red for our Christmas Day picture today.  Would you like me to find you a red sweater to wear in our picture?  And you might find it nice and warm for sledding tomorrow.”  Granny Wilma has already made the assumption that Diana and Benjy Groves are staying overnight.

Benjy:  “Okay, thanks!” Benjy looks down at his blue shirt, and nods.

Granny:  “Well you kids go tell you’re parents that we’re doing the picture, then singing, then snacks.”

Heidi: “Hhhh!”  Heidi sighs happily again, thinking of her Daddy Luke kissing Benjy’s Mommy Diana. Her granny looks quizzically at Heidi.

Benjy:  Interpreting Granny Wilma’s quizzical facial expression as a question, Benjy provides the answer.  “Sure!  But should we wait until my Mommy and Heidi’s Daddy are done kissing?”  Benjy’s Mommy Diana has encouraged her young son not to interrupt her when she is doing tasks, like balancing her checkbook.  So Benjy is just applying that request to him not interrupting her kissing Heidi’s Daddy Luke.

Granny Wilma: “Kissing?”  Granny Wilma asks excitedly.

Heidi: Nodding her head up and down several times, Heidi smiles effusively.  “Vewy/very nicely kissing.”

Granny Wilma:  “Lovely!  Kids, why don’t you go back and sit at the kitchen table.  I’m going to powder my nose and change back into my Christmassy clothes.”

So the kids leave for the kitchen, and Granny Wilma gets changed.


Granny Wilma walks into her kitchen to find her granddaughter Heidi and Heidi’s friend Benjy sitting quietly talking while waiting for directions. Granny Wilma likes that little Benjy is just as well mannered as her little granddaughter Heidi.

Granny:  “Hi kids, I hope that I didn’t take too long for you.”  With her senior years upon her as an 82 year old, Granny Wilma Wharton moves a bit more slowly these days.

Heidi: “No Gwanny/Granny Wilma.”  Heidi smiles sweetly at her beloved Granny.

Granny Wilma: “Let me see if I can get Heidi’s Daddy to find the red sweater for Benjy that I’m thinking about.” Then she walks into the dining room with several fine china plates that are now dry from being used and washed at lunchtime, and starts stacking them into the glass china cabinet—a bit more loudly than usual to alert her son Luke and Benjy’s Mommy Diana that they needs to stop kissing before the kids come looking for them.

Meanwhile back in the kitchen, Benjy asks Heidi a question.

Benjy:  “Heidi, is Gwanny your family nickname for your Granny Wilma?”

Heidi: “Yes.  She likes to be called Gwanny/Granny, and not Gwandma/Grrandma.”

Benjy:  “Okay.  But I meant how the word sounds.  Should I call her Grrrr-anny  with a Grrr sound, or Gwanny like you do, too?”

Heidi:  “Grrrr-anny?”  Benjy nods his head.  “Grr-anny.”  She repeats.

Benjy: “That’s it, now say  Grr-anny faster, like Granny!  Benjy encourages.  So Heidi tries that.

Heidi:  “Grr-anny.  Gr-anny. Gr-anny. Granny. Granny!” Heidi opens her mouth and her eyes wide.

Benjy: “You did it!”  Benjy gives her a hug.  “Let’s go show your Granny Wilma.”

And in the dining room.  Granny Wilma is trying to be tactful in getting her son Luke to join her—when he is done kissing Diana.

Granny Wilma:  “Oh Luke, will you help me fetch one of your old red kid sweaters out of the attic for Benjy to wear in our Christmas Day picture?”

Next door in the family/living room, Luke is startled out of his very pleasant snuggling with Diana after their kissing by hearing his mother Wilma call to him, and her stacking the dishes.

Luke: Giving Diana another quick kiss, Luke says bemusedly.  “Well, back to our parenting responsibilities.  Ha ha ha!”

Diana: “Ha ha ha!”

Luke and Diana stand up from the couch and brush their hands down their clothes to straighten out some wrinkles. Then they walk into the dining room just as Heidi and Benjy dash in there.

Granny Wilma: “Well!  The gang’s all here, I guess!  Ha ha ha!”  And they all laugh. “Oh!  Let’s take our annual Christmas Day picture before singing and treats. So Luke, please go up into the attic and look for the box marked Luke 5 years old, it should have a red sweater in it that will fit Benjy for our red themed picture this year.”

Luke: “Your wish is my command.”  He states humorously as he walks to the pull down stairway to the attic in the 2nd & 3rd bedrooms bathroom foyer.  Their home is compact and very functional.

Heidi: “Yes, Daddy.  Gwa…” Heidi looks to Benjy, who purses his lips and mouths the Grrr sound for Heidi.  “Grr… Grr-anny, Gr-anny, Granny Wilma wants you to loan Benjy yow/your old sweat-a, sweat-rr, sweater to waya, waa-rr, wear!  Heidi is very pleased with herself in producing the r sound right almost every time when she spoke just now.

Standing at the base of the attic pull down stairs, Luke watches Heidi spellbound to hear his little daughter  saying her r sounds on three different words out of the four r words that she spoke.  He rushes to Heidi and kneels down, embracing her and praising her, with tears rolling down his cheeks.

Luke: “You said that so beautifully, Heidi Sweetheart.”  Luke caresses Heidi’s grinning little face.

Heidi: “Benjy taught me the rrr sound.”  Heidi smiles happily at Benjy.

Benjy: Bursting with pride, Benjy smiles and praises Heidi. “Thank you, Heidi.  But you did the talking work.”

Diana also has tears in her eyes—for Luke’s daughter Heidi starting to speak her r sounds correctly and for her son Benjy for helping her.

Luke: “Thank you, Benjy.”  As he stands up again, Luke pats Benjy on his shoulder.  And Luke is amazed with the breadth of children’s abilities and the power they have to help each other.

Benjy: “Oh, I just wanted to make sure that I was saying Granny Wilma’s name right.”  He smiles.  Then he remembers something.  “Oh Heidi, since you’re learning your r sounds, you could make a word tree on your bedroom wall of words with the r sound in it.  That’s what Mommy does for me on new words that I’m learning about–what they mean and how to say them.

Heidi: “Ohhh! Good idea, Benjy!  Thanks!” She smiles at Benjy and gives him a hug.  Then she looks up at her tall Daddy.  “Daddy, don’t forrrget to find the rrrred sweaterrr for Benjy, to wearrrr in the Chrrristmas picturrre.”  Heidi is now elongating her r sounds a bit exaggeratedly—when before, she replaced them with w sounds.  But she is now applying the r sounds correctly to each word as needed.  Progress!

So Luke heads up to the attic, finds the red sweater and brings it down for Benjy to wear in their annual Christmas picture that they take in front of their Christmas tree–with Luke’s camera on a tripod and a time delay picture taking function, since they don’t have an extra person taking the picture for them.  Snap!


And there is one more surprise this Christmas Day–this time, for Benjy’s Mommy Diana.  Before Granny Wilma sits down at the spinet piano piano bench in the dining room to play the piano for their Christmas songs, she pulls out an old Christmas song book from the piano bench storage—identical to a Christmas songs book that Benjy has seen before.

Granny Wilma: “Benjy, as our guest, do you want to pick our first song to sing?”

Benjy:  “Yes!”  He smiles. Then he whispers into Granny’s ear and she invites him to sit on the piano bench with her—to her right—on the high notes side of the piano keys.

Granny Wilma: “Benjy wants us to sing Jingle Bells.”  She says while flipping through the song book.  But she goes too far because two pages are sticking together. But Benjy gently turns the pages back until he sees the page he remembers because of the colorful pictures of horses, a sleigh, and sleigh bells on it.

Luke:  Luke leans over to Diana and whispers.  “Does Benjy play the piano already?”  He asks incredulously, since Benjy is only 4 years old.  But then it was a 4 year old Mozart who began his foray into music centuries ago.

Diana: “No.”  She winces because though she played the piano growing up, she can’t afford a piano for Benjy to practice on—nor can she afford to pay for lessons for Benjy to take from a real teacher.

Granny Wilma: “I’ll play the first part as we sing together.”  And she starts with “Dashing through the snow…”  and ending with   “…A sleighing song we sing …”

Then Granny Wilma lifts her fingers off of the piano keyboard, and Benjy takes over, using just his index fingers on both hands on the “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells part”.  Benjy sings, but no one else does.  They are so astonished by Benjy playing the piano.

Diana: “Benjy sweetie, you sound wonderful!  But how did you learn how to play the piano?” She has tears in her eyes.

Benjy: “Old Mrs. Stoffer at the apartment building taught me.  Martha and I were going to surprise you at the apartment building lunch yesterday.  But there were so many people, I chickened out.”  Benjy sheepishly shrugs his shoulders.

Luke: “Well, Benjy,  we are honored to hear your  first piano performance.” Luke smiles cordially at the little boy.

Benjy: “Thanks, Heidi’s Daddy!”  Benjy grins from ear to ear.  “Let’s sing!”

And Benjy starts up the Jingle Bells part again and everyone joins in singing.  They go on to sing several songs with Granny Wilma providing piano accompaniment. Then they eat some cookies snack before playing more table top card and board games in the family room.  And bowing to Luke’s Mom Wilma’s concerns thinking Heidi has the sniffles, they decide to wait on sledding until tomorrow.

So after more yummy Christmas leftovers at dinner that evening, then Christmas storytelling and more games, the tuckered out Heidi and Benjy are bathed and tucked into bed on the pull out futon in the family/living room—the kids insist that they want to camp out in the family/living room, as Heidi suggested earlier was fun–with Luke and Diana each sleeping on one of the long couches facing each other and their children.

It has been a lovely and magical Christmas Day, full of fun, surprises, and heartfelt moments.  And tomorrow and more days in the future will bring Benjy’s Mommy Diana and Heidi’s Daddy Luke even closer together

To be continued with Chapter 07


References for Ch. 06  of “Of Magic & Mistletoe”, December 28, 2020
by Gratiana Lovelace

1) “Of Magic & Mistletoe” story logo cover that I/Gratiana Lovelace created, is comprised of several elements:

a) Luke—at full height, is Richard Armitage smiling at the 2019 Sundance Festival wearing red & black plaid overshirt_Dec21-2020 viaPinterest-Grati; image edit; original image is found at https://i.pinimg.com/474x/61/da/41/61da418236dba7895c883c32074e0e12.jpg

b) Mistletoe image and history found at https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tillamookheadlightherald.com%2Fcommunity%2Fthe-history-of-holly-and-mistletoe%2Farticle_6d7751e2-9aab-11e5-ac05-cfbfafc221da.html&psig=AOvVaw0pTsPU6tMlqIj1Mh8qHTco&ust=1608640745445000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=2ahUKEwis-PLyi9_tAhVnhXIEHSmEDVAQjhx6BAgAEBI

c)  A textured red background that I/Grati created.

2) Wharton home  family/living room tree designed for a “cozy lodge” was found at https://inspiredbycharm.com/christmas-tree-decorations/

3) Wharton family’s Pillsbury farm home exterior view (in Spring) and floorplan were found at:
https://impresamodular.com/design/pillsbury/ and https://impresamodular.com//Designs/design_1141/Floorplans/DT-8507%20-%20firstfloor.jpg

4) Luke and Diana kissing image is represented by a BW N&S2004 cap of Richard Armitage & Daniela Denby-Ashe_Jul2016viaSueli

5) Heidi Wharton is Anna Knyazeva with bangs; original image was from https://www.allure.com/story/6-year-old-called-most-beautiful-girl-in-the-world

6) Benjy Groves Cls is Thomas Brodie-Sangster, found at https://i.insider.com/59a58d7db065da44008b47b0?width=750&format=jpeg&auto=webp, via a Games of Thrones actors article.

The link for Ch. 06  on my Wattpad  site, will be found at:

About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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