The Hustle Before Christmas

For a first time ever, it felt a lot like a hustle before Christmas for the both of them. Nothing really went as planned or at least not as every year before that. It was just different.

They were together for decades and happily grew old together. They were never blessed with an offspring or even a pet, so Christmas was the time for them to channel the inner child in both of them.

Late in October every year, they would sit down and draw a plan on which Christmas markets to visit between the first and fourth advent. Then they would book the bus, train or plane and make the necessary arrangements to stay with friends or in a hotel. Then when the time comes, the cameras’ shutters would snap, Glühwein would be drunk and a small toy for the tree would be bought. A picture of the two of them at a market would be also featured in their next year’s desk calendar.

But this year, many things happened at ones – right around the first advent. She felt under the weather, he was a bit busy and plans were dropped. They missed a couple of the markets. Instead, they opted for staying in the city and move through local gatherings and shopping streets.

Apparently, there were so many people doing the same thing they did every year, but travelling to their hometown to visit their markets. The streets were bustling with jingles and not so merry faces. In fact, the only merry faces were the ones sipping from the hot wine. Everyone else was focused on last-minute shopping, shoving people out of the way or simply calculating the shortest trajectory to a full checklist satisfaction.

Except for the weekend of the fourth advent, that is. By then people have already reached the peak of their hustle before Christmas and the spirit was high. Santa was about to visit young and old and leave something for each one under the tree. Them shops were still packed with last-minute shoppers trying to sort dinner out.

And in this city’s cacophony, the old couple couldn’t help but notice that all the Christmas markets were gone by December 24. Why? Why would anyone do this to the good old citizens of the city? Why would rob everyone from a Christmas feeling right before Christmas Day?

Every craftsman’s stall was gone. Every Glühwein Hutt has disappeared. A Wurstsemmel was nowhere to be found. There were just the lights hanging from the street lamps and the shops’ windows, them and the hustle before Christmas.

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

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