Christmas Wrapping

Ethan sat in the living room surrounded by yards of silver, red and green wrapping paper. There was scotch tape resting on different surfaces hanging on for dear life while Ethan attempted to wrap an oddly shaped present. Annabelle sat at the kitchen table with her laptop in front of her. Her fingers were poised over the keys as she watched Ethan struggle with his task.
“You know. For odd shaped presents, I usually just put them in a beautiful bag. It makes life easier.” Annabelle said to him trying to hide her amusement. Ethan, losing space to place his tape, put it on his forehead.
“NO. I will figure this out.” Ethan defiantly proclaimed to Annabelle. Her nose crinkled at the tape that decorated his forehead.
“Do you need me to hold the tape or…” Annabelle offered. Ethan raised his hand dramatically in response. Annabelle made a noise and went back to her writing.
Lena sat on the couch surviving her domain. This was the first time she had complete control over the Christmas decorations. At least the inside decorations. The tree glimmered with color lights that twinkled around all the Lenox ornaments. The angel that graced the tree had been her grandmothers. It had officially been passed down to her this year. She smiled at it proudly as he reigned over the tree. She liked to pretend that the angel was keeping all the different decorations in line when she was not in the room. The thought made her laugh aloud.
“No matter how many times I have seen this it is still weird,” Ethan said to Annabelle as he watched Lena stand in front of the tree laughing aloud. Annabelle’s eyes snapped from the screen to the sight in front of her. Annabelle shrugged and turned her attention back to the laptop screen.
Lena stopped laughing and crossed her arms. She could hear J.D. come through the front door. She turned to look at him.
“How did it go outside?” She asked him as she turned. She gasped at the sight she saw. J.D. had grass stains all over his clothes and pieces of greenery stuck in his hair. She rushed over to him.
“NOT THE WRAPPING PAPER!” Ethan bellowed as Lena ran through a freshly cut sheet of paper. Her feet crumpled the fine paper as she brushed past. Lena didn’t stop, though. She was under Annabelle’s control.
“I’m sorry!” Annabelle yelled out in response. She watched as Lena rushed over to J.D. stopping at her destination. “I sincerely didn’t expect that to happen.”
Ethan huffed and waved his hands in the air. “It’s ok. I’m ok. It will be ok.”
Annabelle let out a snort of laughter. “What was that?”
Ethan took a deep breath and made the gesture again. “You worry about your children. Please just watch the wrapping paper next time.”
Annabelle bit her lip as she started writing again.
“Are you ok? What happened?” Lena asked as she tried to brush some of the tree needles off his clothes. J.D. kept a stoic stance.
“I fought a tree and the tree won. Lesson learned kids, fight mother nature and Mother Nature will always win.”
“That is so true,” Ethan commented as she snipped a piece of ribbon. Annabelle stopped typing and looked up at Ethan. She smiled and continued writing.
“That is so true,” Lena said to J.D.
“Funny,” Ethan called out wrapping the ribbon around the present.
“Either way I got the lights up. Our little piece of land is going to be cooler than the top of the Chrysler building!” J.D. proclaimed. Lena looked at him puzzled.
“That sentence makes no sense honey.” Lena looked at him concerned.
“I understand it. Isn’t that what matters?” J.D. responded taking off his jacket. Lena looked at his head in response.
“Did you hit your head?” Lena asked him pulling him close to look over his head. J.D. tried to brush off her concerns.
“I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m positive.”
Lena did not look so sure. She let go of him and watched him go to the kitchen to grab some coffee.
“Are you sure?” Lena asked again still concerned for J.D.’s safety. J.D. huffed and took a big swig of the warm coffee.
“I’m PERFECTLY fine. I think the author is just trying to pad out her word count while she decides where she is going with this.”
“I’m with you J.D. I have no idea where you two are going with this either. It’s like your mom is distracted or something.” Ethan said as he moved onto a new present to wrap. He didn’t need to turn around to know that Annabelle was going to retaliate for that remark.
“Do you know what? I think dad needs to mind his own damn business. Just awkwardly wrap your presents and watch your slightly creepy religious movies on Hallmark. Mom has this. She just needs inspiration.” J.D. said defiantly taking another big gulp of coffee.
“Don’t disparage the Hallmark Christmas movie. They are awesome. You just wanted to hurt me.” Ethan said to Annabelle while he tried to tape one side of the wrapping paper to the present.
“You know what else? Right now he thinks he has it down. Some might say that he is the master wrapper.” Lena said sweetly winking at J.D.
“Oh. OH. I’m not even going to touch that one. Dirty. ” Ethan declared as he looked over his shoulder and gave Annabelle a wink. As he did this, he pushed the scissors down onto the wrapping paper in front of him. Or so he thought. Annabelle had looked back down onto the keyboard when she heard the yell.
Both Lena and J.D. yelled out gibberish. Annabelle’s fingers had pressed down on the keyboard in surprise as Ethan yelled out in pain. She jumped out of her seat and ran over to Ethan’s side. She forced his hand up so she could get a better look. He had sliced his finger but not enough to cause any real harm.
“Hold on. I’m getting the first aid kit.” Annabelle told him as she got up to walk to the bathroom.
“Not through the wrapping paper!” Ethan yelled out. Annabelle smiled to herself as she jumped over the haphazardly placed paper around him. She did not have the heart to tell him that his precious wrapping paper had some blood on it. She grabbed the kit out of the bathroom and rushed back over making sure not avoid the paper. She sat next to him and opened the case. She looked up at him and noticed that his eyes were trained on the cheesy Hallmark movie. She smiled and gently grabbed his injured finger. He winced at her touch.
“This is one of my favorites. Hallmark has done a ton of rags to royal Christmas movies, but this one actual earns its payoff.” Ethan said as calmly as possible as Annabelle applied some pressure to the finger to make sure the bleeding stopped. She listened to Ethan babble about Hallmark movies as she splashed some water on the wound before putting some antibacterial spray. He hissed.
“I have a tiara,” Annabelle said to him trying to distract him from the slight pain. He looked over at her with a smile.
“I’m sure you do. I think you would like this movie. Everyone is normal. Except for the royalty part.” Ethan told her as she started to place gauze on the cut.
“All the good ones have a royalty subplot,” Annabelle said back as she taped the gauze to his finger. “I should have J.D. and Lena go down the same route.” She finished up and gave his finger a quick kiss. “You will live for now. Don’t let the scissors ruin your wrapping dreams, my dear.”
Ethan laughed and looked down at his finger. Annabelle sat back on the couch and watched Ethan inspect his finger. He looked up at her.
“Are you going to leave them like that?” Ethan asked her. Annabelle looked over her shoulder and the frozen J.D. and Lena. She turned back and hummed to herself.
“If we are going to make J.D. and Lena royal I have to do my research,” Annabelle told him trying to get herself conformable on the floor. Ethan stared at her letting a small smile grow on his face.
“Good to know you do your research. Thanks for the finger.”
“Thanks for wrapping my gifts for me.”
“What? Have I been wrapping yours too?”

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