“I’ll just die if we don’t have a Christmas tree,” Trixie wailed and threw herself on the long narrow bed in the dorm room she shared with her best friend, Honey Wheeler.

“If I had a nickel for every time you said you were going to die,” Honey replied, “I’d be a millionaire.”

Trixie scowled at her friend and said, “You’re already a millionaire.”

Honey sobered, “No, I’m not. My father is.”

Not wanting to get into a disagreement with her best friend or to take away from her diva moment, Trixie said, “Well, I’m still going to die if we don’t have a tree.”

“I don’t know what the big deal is,” Honey said. “It’s December seventh, we have a week of classes and then finals. We’re not going to have time to get a tree, much less decorate it. You’ll have plenty of time to admire the trees at your house, my house, the Lynches and even the outdoor Christmas tree Mr. Maypenny decorates for the birds and the wildlife.”

“It’s not the same,” Trixie pouted. “This is the first year that I’m not at home to help set up the tree, and it’s my first place. We need a tree.”

Honey laughed, “I wouldn’t call a dorm room your first place. And we’re going to be busy. Don’t you have a big paper to finish for English Comp? And all semester you’ve been complaining about how close together your finals are. How about if I draw you a picture of a Christmas tree? And I have all kinds of Christmas music downloaded on my computer. You can listen to that.”

Trixie glared at her friend. “It’s not the same. I want a real Christmas tree. I don’t care how big it is, I want a real one. I know it’s finals but I want something to remind me of Christmas this week. And before you even suggest it, listening to Jim Reeves sing the Merry Christmas Polka is not going to cut it. My brain is forever scarred with the memory of Mr. Lytell dancing to that song through his store with a broom as his partner. It wouldn’t have been so bad except when he finished, he dipped the broom and made some remark about Miss Trask being his sweetheart.”

Honey couldn’t help but laugh at the image that brought up. She hadn’t been present but every time Trixie told the story it became more horrific. Frankly, she thought it was rather cute that Mr. Lytell had a crush on her former governess.

“Okay, how about ‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas’?” Honey teased. Trixie groaned.

There was a knock on the door. Trixie ignored it but Honey went over and opened it.

There stood Jim and Brian, goofy grins on their faces, with a four-foot tall pine tree between them. “Merry Christmas,” they announced stomping imaginary snow off of their boots.

Trixie took one look at the door and rushed over to it. “It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s the best tree I’ve ever seen.”

Honey looked at Trixie rather dubiously. “You need glasses,” she said. “That tree makes Charlie Brown’s look like it should adorn the cover of House Beautiful.”

“Charlie Brown’s tree should adorn the cover,” Trixie insisted. “The one at the end of the show is wonderful.”

“I’m not talking about that tree and you know it,” Honey replied. The tree had several holes in it and when you shook it needles dropped by the handful. “Where did you find this lovely piece of nature?”

She opened the door wider to let the two guys into the room. A trail of pine needles followed them.

“We went to the preserve and picked it out,” Jim volunteered.

“When did you have time to go to Sleepyside?” Trixie asked.

“Oh, we cut this Thanksgiving weekend,” Brian said matter-of-factly. “We’ve been storing it in our living room for two weeks.”

Trixie’s and Honey’s eyes widened to the size of saucers.

“You cut that tree two weeks ago? And you didn’t put it in water?” Trixie asked in shock. “No wonder it’s dropping all those needles.”

Jim blushed and added sheepishly, “Well, we wanted to surprise you. You were making such a fuss at the open house about not being able to help with the annual Christmas tree decorating. How were we supposed to know that keeping a tree in the living room would dry it out?”

Brian looked hurt. “We were only trying to do something nice, after all,” he defended.

Honey put on her diplomat hat and said, “And we appreciate it. It will be the best Christmas tree ever. Decorating it will be a good break before we have to hit the books for the last week of classes and then finals.”

Slowly, Trixie realized the import of what Jim and Brian had done. “I’m sorry for sounding so ungrateful,” she said. “I really appreciate this. Let’s get this tree in a stand and put some lights on it. Where are the decorations?” Now that the tree was here she was excited to get to decorating.

Brian and Jim looked at each other in bewilderment. “We thought you had that covered. The way you talked about wanting a tree we thought you brought stuff from home,” Brian said.

Trixie’s face fell. “I didn’t end up bringing anything. As much as I wanted a tree, I didn’t think we’d really get one.”

“We could go out and buy some,” Honey suggested.

Trixie tried to be optimistic but it didn’t seem to be working. “I’m tapped out. I have a few dollars but I don’t get paid from my work study job until next week and I need that for Moms and Dad’s present.”

Getting into the spirit, Jim said, “That’s okay, we can make a run to Wally World. Decorations are on me. Consider it a late St. Nicklaus present.” The four friends grabbed their jackets and headed out the door.

They returned two hours later, laden down with several bags of tree lights, glass bulbs, and tinsel garland. As they turned on the lights, they were shocked to see the tree completely decorated.

A closer look showed the decorations were very non-traditional. Instead of a string of lights, someone had hung glow sticks on it.

“How did this happen?” Honey asked. From the door, giggles were heard. They turned to see two girls sticking their heads around the door, barely able to contain their laughter.

“Misty!” Trixie exclaimed. “Are you responsible for these lovely decorations?”

“I’ll never tell,” she said, not so innocently.

“Then it must be Katie,” Honey insisted. Katie started to reply until Misty elbowed her and gave her the evil eye.

The two girls turned to go but before they left, Misty turned and said, “Revenge is sweet, saccharine sweet.”

Brian and Jim groaned. “What did you do to those girls that deserved this?” Jim asked.

“Nothing really,” Trixie insisted innocently. “Unless you count short sheeting their beds and wrapping the entire room with Christmas paper something.”

Brian and Jim started to groan and then when they visualized it began to laugh as well.

The four friends walked over to the tree. “You know,” Trixie said. “I think I like it. It is rather creative.”

She picked a plastic monkey off of the tree. “Hey, we scored,” she said. “When we get bored during studying we can take a break and play Barrel of Monkeys.”

“I kind of like the star on top of the tree,” Brian said, pointing to the lampshade with dangling braid that adorned it. They had taken several glow sticks and placed them under the shade so it glowed.

“I would have preferred an angel,” Trixie said.

Honey looked around the back and started to giggle. “You have your wish.” She held up an angel that was made from a binder clip and a maxipad with wings.

There were paper clip chains, empty pop cans and several Slim Jim meat sticks hanging from the tree. “At least you won’t go hungry,” Brian commented.

“What is this?” Jim asked holding up a silver square package. Brian and Honey blushed but Trixie wasn’t deterred.

“Don’t tell me you don’t know what that is,” she pushed. Before Jim could clarify his question she continued. “It’s a Trojan, better known as a condom or rubber.” She spoke slowly as if she was talking to a first grader. “They are placed on a man’s…” She stopped for a second and blushed a little. “You do know what that is, don’t you?” Jim’s faced turned as red as his hair.

Not deterred she continued, “It’s used for prevention of pregnancy and sexual diseases when a man and a woman have sexual intercourse. I hope that your father or someone has explained that to you.”

Finally, Jim was able to get a word in edgewise. “I know what they are used for. What I want to know is why they are on the tree?”

“Well,” Honey began to explain. “It might have something to do with the tampon ghosts we decorated their door with in October.”

Brian looked at his sister and well, girlfriend, in amazement. “What kind of vendetta do you two have against Misty and Katie?”

“Nothing,” Trixie said with wide eyed innocence.

Jim started to put the condom back onto the tree but hesitated. “Somehow I don’t think it was nothing,” he said.

Trixie grabbed the silver wrapper and hung it prominently on the front of the tree. “Well, it really is nothing. It’s all in good fun. Misty and Katie are two of our best friends. Ever since the first weekend after we moved in, we’ve been one upping each other. It started with Misty taking all of my underwear and freezing them. We’re careful that we don’t cross the line to being vindictive.”

“I wonder how long they’ve been planning this,” Honey said.

“Or how they knew we would have a tree,” Trixie replied still staring at the tree and chuckling.

Honey scoffed, “That wasn’t hard. All you’ve talked about since we came back from Christmas break was getting a tree. I just wonder how they knew we had one and how they got into our room.”

Jim opened the door and pointed to the needle laden carpeting in the hallway. “Some detectives you guys are. We left a trail that a blind man could follow.”

“But how did they get into the room?” Brian asked.

Trixie thought for a moment and started to say something. Then she thought better of it. “I’m not sure,” she said looking away from him.

Jim’s head snapped and he stared at her. “I don’t like the sound of that. It sounds like there might be a security issue.” He started to head toward the door.

“Where are you going?” Honey asked.

“To talk to the RA,” he said matter-of-factly. “It sounds like someone broke into your room.”

Trixie grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back. “It’s not like that. I didn’t lock the door when we left. Remember, I had to come back and get my student ID. I don’t think I re-locked the door afterward.”

Both Jim and Brian put on their Mr. Responsible hats, took a breath and prepared to give both girls a lecture.

Honey held up her hand and said, “Don’t even start with the lecture. It hasn’t happened before. We’re always leaving our doors open when we’re going between rooms on the floor.” She paused and when Jim started to speak again she continued, “And don’t tell me you never did that when you lived in the dorms.”

Brian started to say something and then thought better of it. Jim started to sputter as well, but kept his mouth shut.

Not wanting to hear another lecture, Trixie said, “I can’t wait to take pictures of this and post them on the Lucy website. I can’t wait to see what CPA2B thinks about it.”

“Yeah,” Honey agreed. “It was her pictures of the towel incident that inspired our first prank.”

Once again, Jim started to say something and then shook his head, mumbling under his breath something about “They’re eighteen.”

Responsible Brian couldn’t hold back. “You post pictures on the internet. Don’t you know how dangerous that could be?”

Trixie didn’t take offense but instead laughed. “Brian, do you have any idea what the Lucy board is?”

Brian thought for a moment, “A message board all about I Love Lucy?”

“Wrong,” Trixie exclaimed. “Remember those Lucy Radcliffe books we used to read?” Brian slowly nodded his head. “Well there’s an entire online community of people who grew up loving those books as much as we do. They write fanfic and discuss the stories but it’s much more than that. While our common bond is Lucy, we talk about all kinds of things. In fact, they get together once a year. Some people have become really good friends over the years.”

Brian’s and Jim’s jaws dropped. “Do you realize how dangerous that is?” Jim exclaimed.

Honey jumped in. “I’m sure there are stalkers out there, but the administrators on this board have some pretty strict rules about being respectful. You have to participate to become a full member and certain forums, like the picture forum, are limited. It’s not like we’re a bunch of axe murderers or something.”

Jim started to say something but Trixie jumped in with a mischievous gleam in her eye. “Well, we could post a picture on Facebook with the caption ‘Look what our brothers helped us decorate this weekend.’”

Honey giggled, “And of course we’d tag you in the photo for sure. Isn’t Regan one of your Facebook friends? He’s one of mine.”

Brian and Jim sputtered again, a look of horror on their faces. Trixie and Honey just laughed, enjoying their speechless brothers.

Jim looked up at the ceiling as if to ask, “Why me, God?” and gasped, “What is that?”

Hanging from the ceiling, right in front of the door was what appeared to be a toe sock stuffed with something. Hanging from each toe were some sort of paper pieces that looked like rockets, kind of. It was an interesting looking mobile.

Jim walked directly under it, trying to get a better glimpse of the work of art.

Trixie walked over to him examining it as well. Then she burst out laughing.

Honey joined Trixie and Jim. She stared at it a while. Finally, she realized what it was as well and started to laugh. The two girls laughed so hard they doubled over and tears rolled down their cheeks.

Brian, who had been examining it from farther away finally walked over. “I just don’t get it,” he finally said.

In unison, the girls exclaimed, “It’s mistletoe.”

Jim and Brian still looked dumbfounded.

Trixie placed one hand on Jim’s shoulder and then pointed to the mobile. “See, those are supposed to be missiles hanging down from the toes of that sock. Get it? Missile Toe.”

As the meaning of the mobile dawned on the guys, the gleam in Trixie’s and Honey’s eyes shown brighter. As if they had choreographed the entire episode, Trixie turned Jim toward her and Honey did the same with Brian. Then, without hesitation they both planted kisses on their boyfriends’ lips that would have required a red star rating on the Lucy message board.


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Author Notes

Merry Christmas, Misty!!! I hope you enjoy this little fluffy story. I hope you can find some of the traditions and favorite things you mentioned. I’m not going to mention all of them here. You will know them.

Just a few notes, thank you Diana B., Beverly and Kellykath for editing this story. Every year I swear I’m going to get my story written sooner and every year I seem to be running later than ever.

Thanks to Mal for doing the graphics and hosting my stories. I ‘heart’ you.

Wally World is what my oldest dd calls Walmart. For some reason it’s her favorite store.

I couldn’t resist using the screen name CPA2B since Misty made a comment about not wanting to take that exam.

Word Count, 2,568


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