Driving Home for Christmas – December 2021

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The thing about motion is that it distracts.

Whilst driving he seldom conceptualises his arrival. 

Nor does he visualise the downhill trajectory after the initial “great to see you” moments.

And it would be plain heresy to anticipate leaving… at least not until the first morning waking in his old bedroom.

So what looked like a good idea in Manchester now has all the appeal of root-canal work in Bognor as the familiar landmarks loom into view, and he tells himself ‘one day I’ll nostalgically savour these memories’.

Which makes him wonder…

… just how bad can Christmases possibly get?

As I may have said in previous years, I’m not a great fan of Christmas. But once again I set myself the task of writing some uplifting festive schmaltz for the penultimate Friday Fictioneers session of 2021.  And once again, as you can see… I failed miserably.  Still, happy Christmas to all my fellow Friday Fictioneers, in particular our trusty leader, Rochelle.  See you on the other side.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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44 Responses to Driving Home for Christmas – December 2021

  1. neilmacdon says:

    The true spirit of Christmas, Sandra. Or, a true spirit of Christmas anyway, and one we all agree not to talk about. Well done for talking about it

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Anita says:

    Attempt to spread festive vibes.
    Christmas is about hope and positivity- ‘one day I’ll nostalgically savour these memories’.
    As long as we resolutely tell ourselves this, all will be well!
    Best wishes to all for creating and storing memories to savour.


  3. michael1148humphris says:

    Root canal fillings? In my view, it would be better to stay at home and keep warm. Greetings from a chilly Yorkshire


  4. Dear Sandra,

    Family has a way of making Christmas somewhat less than fun at times. I know we’ve had a few uncomfortable ones along life’s highway. Honest and well written.




  5. Tannille says:

    Christmas is one of those things, easily it can be miserable, a chore, and a waste of time. I made the choice to embrace Christmas a handful of years back and put in the effort. But some years, I’d rather skip the holiday…


  6. Sandra says:

    I’ve found it helps to be in a different country at Christmas time. And I don’t mean that in any bitchy way. Some of my least fraught Christmases were in South Africa, but then summer would be in full swing at that time. Maybe that’s where it goes wrong for me …


  7. Sue says:

    Ah, the elephant…. Like you, I’m not a great fan of Christmas


  8. The festive upbeat bit got lost somewhere along the way! Have a good one anyway, Sandra X


  9. Dale says:

    How true this is in so many families. Thankfully not in mine.
    I think too much pressure is put on to create the perfect holiday. I’m thinking going elsewhere is not a bad idea for some 🙂
    And, by the way… mine ain’t too uplifting either!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. msjadeli says:

    Like Neil said, good description of some families’ toxic holiday gatherings that nobody likes to talk about.


  11. Great line: “Nor does he visualise the downhill trajectory after the initial “great to see you” moments.” Expectations dashed as families’ gather, unfortunately, are common during this time of year. Not all, but many. Excellent storytelling as always, Sandra!


  12. Bill says:

    Great one, Sandra. These days one can text, “Can’t make it this year. Had a COVID exposure and must follow quarantine protocol.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. James McEwan says:

    I have to agree that the best Christmastime is spent at home.


  14. Hopefully it’s not the worst.


  15. I try not to expect too much from Christmas, so if something good happens I appreciate it all the more!


  16. plaridel says:

    we’ll always believe what we want to believe. 🙂


  17. pennygadd51 says:

    I’m sorry you don’t like Christmas, but I’m glad you write like you do. Your stories – even this one! – give me a great deal of pleasure, because they’re so well constructed.


  18. elmowrites says:

    I have to say, Christmas as an expat is a much simpler affair than any of the previous years’ get togethers. We miss the people, of course, but not the dramas.


  19. GHLearner says:

    I like this a lot more than the schmalz. It’s honest and true. That’s precisely how it often is.


  20. draliman says:

    The joy of a family Christmas encapsulated in 100 words 😉


  21. i b arora says:

    root-canal? even the thought sends a shiver,


  22. ahtdoucette says:

    I might actually like the afterward better than the story itself: “failed miserably” has such a fun tinge or irony to it. Definitely not a failure as a story, because the misery is so true. I’m also generally glad when the holidays are – finally – over. But I save that for fiction and comments on fiction that my “loved ones” will probably never read. Probably. If so, I am obviously kidding. Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. jillyfunnell says:

    Like others here, it was the “downward trajectory” that got me. That and the waking in his old bedroom because he doesn’t belong in that world anymore. So well-written.

    Liked by 1 person

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