Merry Faris and a Happy New James
I found Faris in our living room with a tape measure, pad and pencil. He had the stepladder propped against the wall. I watched as he climbed up and stood there measuring from the floor. I decided to ask him what he was doing.
“Oh my God, Faris – is the place shrinking?”
“Christ!” Faris stumbled, and lunged for the wall to support himself, he looked around. “James, you need a bell.”
I just stuck out my tongue at him.
“Seriously, James, I could have done myself an injury.” Faris stood with his hands on his hips and leered at me. “Is that tongue busy? I have a suggestion if it’s not.”
Oh I bet you do! “Later, Faris.” I walked toward him. “What are you doing exactly?”
“James, later is like tomorrow, it never comes. But I’d like to.” He climbed down the ladder and put his arms around me.
With my head buried in his shoulder and Faris’ hands on my ass, I asked again, “What are you measuring?”
“The wall, James.”
“Yes Faris, but why are you measuring the wall?”
“Why, for Christmas, of course.”
Of course. “But why do we need to measure the height of the walls because Christmas is coming?”
Faris released my now well massaged cheeks, and after a quick kiss said, “So we know the maximum height of Christmas tree we can buy.”
I stared at him. He wasn’t joking. “Faris, we have a tree.”
Faris looked at me liked I’d suggested he turn straight. “It’s a plastic tree, James. I’ve read recently that plastic trees leave a huge carbon footprint. So this year we’re getting a real one.”
Somewhere in that was some deep Faris logic.
“Babe, but we’ve bought the tree; what can we do with it that won’t further increase our carbon footprint? Won’t we just add to the problem if we throw it away?”
“Oh, I’ve thought of that, James. We’ll donate it to the Salvation Army or somewhere. So some people who’d like one can have it and we can have our real tree.”
“But Faris, for Pete’s sake, we spent almost $200.00 dollars on that tree! I like it. It’s a no muss no fuss, no watering-needed tree.” I crossed my arms and sat on the couch – okay, yes – in a huff.
Faris stood in front of me and said, “You are responsible for decorating the tree, James. I’ll get it in and out and up and down.” He grinned broadly at his silly jokes. “I’ll make sure it stays wet so all its needles are moist.”
I sighed. There wasn’t much else I could say. “Fine, okay Faris, we’ll do it your way.”
He joined me on the couch and put his arms around me. “You know, James, doing it my way is always the most fun.”
Christmas was a month away when I told Faris I was going to bake my usual fruitcakes. I was measuring out the fruit when he came into the kitchen.
He pinched a glace cherry and popped it into his mouth and said, “James, are you just making a small batch of fruitcake and then a small batch of shortbread?”
“Yes Faris, and stop eating the fruit! Why do you ask?”
“Well, I thought this year we could invite some friends over, and maybe people we like from work. You know, have a little party.”
I measured out some rum to pour over the fruit. “So, does this mean that you want me to make extra?”
“Well, it might be a good idea.”
“Okay, well I guess I can do that. I’ll need more ingredients though.”
“Write me a list, my darling, and I’ll fetch whatever your heart desires.”
Everything was ready – the decorations were out, wreath on the door, candy around the house in Christmas tree shaped dishes; the cakes, cookies and fudge were all made and packed.
There was a week until Christmas and we still needed to get the tree. We were cuddled up in bed when I thought of asking Faris something I should have much earlier.
“Faris, baby?” My head was on his shoulder and I ran my forefinger up and down his sexy belly and black treasure trail.
His eyes were closed and he opened them slowly and looked at me. “You know James, you don’t have to drag that finger back up, just let it keep going in a southerly direction. Something’s down there for you.”
Hmm, I wonder what that could be.
“Faris, this tree you want to get. Where are we getting it and how will we get it home?” Please do not say we are going to chop it down ourselves.
He pulled me up on top of him and kissed me. Oh my God, that never fails to ….
“James, we’re going to chop it down ourselves.”
I pushed up on my hands to look into his eyes. “Where? Do you know how to chop down trees?”
“Oh how hard can it be, James?” Then he smiled and flipped us both over, before rubbing against me. “It can’t be harder than this. I know you enjoy a bit of Yule log.”
Shaking my head, I giggled and reached for him.
We rented a van and were now driving, somewhere north, to find the Christmas tree farm, Faris had found. Of course, we’d brought Larry, our chocolate lab with us. He loved a good road trip, did Larry.
We were armed with an axe and a chain saw. I was fairly sure that Faris had used at least one of them before. He’s a plumber and they do need to cut things sometimes. At least that’s what Faris told me.
As we drove we chatted about various things and Faris decided to drop the first Xmas bomb. “James, my mother and father are coming for Christmas.”
What? What did he just say? I can’t speak, so I just stare at the side of his head as he’s driving.
He glanced at me quickly. “Did you not hear me, James?”
“I heard you.” I don’t believe it, but I heard you!
“So … you’re okay with this, then?”
“Does it matter what I feel, Faris?”
“Ah, James, I only just heard from them.” He glanced at me again. “Last night they texted me, I read it this morning.”
Oh, why was I upset? It’s Christmas; Faris hasn’t seen his family for three years. “Oh, babe, I’m sorry. Of course, they’re welcome. I’ll tidy the spare room – while you put up the tree.”
Faris drove on, grinning like the Cheshire Cat’s understudy – suddenly I had a bad feeling about this.
Finally, we found the Christmas tree farm, parked and trudged through endless woods until Faris had his eureka moment. There it stood, a seven-foot tall Balsam Fir. It was a beautiful tree.
Before we’d walked out to search, the farmer had explained to Faris various cutting techniques. And while I held Larry, Faris whipped out his chain saw, fired it up and felled the tree like he’d been doing it all his life.
We wrapped the tree in a tarp and tied it up and hauled it back to the van. Larry galloped around us happily with his lolling tongue and wind-milling tail.
Once home, I helped Faris raise the tree. We cleaned and readied the spare room, and then over roast beef sandwiches, boozy eggnog and Christmas carols, we put the lights on the tree, before decorating it with the ornaments we’d bought when we had our first Christmas together.
The house looked beautiful and we stood together in our living room admiring all our hard work. Faris poured me another eggnog, added a good splash of rum, and handed it to me.
“James, truly, it’s all beautiful. You’ve outdone yourself. Thank you.” Faris tossed back his nog, put the glass down and pulled me close. His kisses were cool and sweet. He took my glass as well, and after placing it next to his, held me and kissed me deeply. Things were getting heated. We moved to the couch and I’d started to unbutton Faris’ shirt when I noticed something bad – a very bad odor.
And the Christmas lights flickered – then flickered again, and then they went out.
We broke our kiss and looked up, our tree was dark and Larry was just lowering his leg!
Oh my God! Larry!
I jumped up, and yelled at Faris, who was laughing.
“Faris, unplug it while I get towels!” I ran down the hall to the linen closet. Larry ran after me, enjoying the game.
I grabbed towels and ran back, threw them down and walked on them to absorb Larry’s strong smelling urine. Great! Larry still thinking this was a doggy game, started to tug on the towels I stood on.
“No Larry, bad dog!”
Faris had unplugged the tree, dried everything as well as he could. As I took the stinking wet towels down to the laundry, Faris did his best to scrub the carpet. Finally, after another unexpected hour of work, I sat down on the couch again. Faris, satisfied things were dry, plugged the tree back in. I closed my eyes – afraid to look but it was all okay. The tree was perfect!
“Here’s a fresh nog for you sweet, baby James.” Faris joined me on the sofa.
I smiled at him as I took the glass and sipped it – I could feel the alcohol rush through me. I put the glass on the coffee table and kissed him.
He smiled at me. “Oh yeah, where were we?”
“Here.” I said as I undid the next shirt button.
Faris watched me undo it and grinned. “Mmm, yes I remember. Now come here and please your man.”
After some excellent naughty fun on the couch, then in the hall, in the shower, and finally in the bedroom, we fell asleep.
Only to be awoken again by the phone ringing. I was tangled up with Faris, who elbowed me in the chest in an effort to reach the ringing handset.
“Hello?” Faris grunted as he pulled his leg out from under me. He sat up. “What? Where are you?”
Something was wrong; his Scottish brogue had gotten thicker. He held his hand over the receiver and said, “They are here, and in a cab!”
What? I sat up. Seriously? “How far away? We need to shower, walk Larry, make sure the tree works, put on coffee and tea, make food, put gifts out … Oh My God!”
Faris said a few more things and hung-up. I started to open my mouth, but Faris put his hand over it. “James, get in the shower. I’ll walk Larry quickly. Then I’ll shower. Once you’re out, you put on coffee and tea, start to make sandwiches. Don’t make a huge number of them. Cheese and beef are fine. Put out some pickled onions. Then I’ll be in to help you.”
They arrived just as I was putting the pickled onions back into the refrigerator.
In the hall I could hear happy voices. Larry was barking joyously at the new people, but who kind of smelled like one of his.
“He’s in the kitchen. Come on, I’ll show him to you.” I heard Faris say.
He walked in following by two happy looking people. “Mum, Dad, this is my intended, James Walters. James, these are my parents Margery and Dougal McDonald.”
We all shook hands and said hello. Margery noticed the food on the kitchen table. “Och, James, you dinna have to make us lunch. Oh, but it does look lovely.”
I looked at Faris. “Should we take it through to the living room or …?”
“Oh no, here’s lovely. Let’s all sit, shall we?” Margery said, and so we did. We had a wonderful time. Seeing Faris with his parents was fun. They all truly seemed to care for each other and they made me feel included too.
Later, we went out for dinner, and then we walked around the town afterward to see the lights, Christmas decorations and store windows.
Once we returned home, had a final cuppa and some shortbread, we decided bed would be the best place. The next day was Christmas Eve and we were having a little get-together so there were lots of preparations to make. Margery said she’d help me – I thought it would be a great way to get to know her.
Christmas Eve day was filled with cooking and prepping for that night’s party. We’d decided to dress up for it, to make it even more special.
Margery and I had everything ready. The tree was okay and well-watered by Faris. Larry was dressed up too, and had his sleigh bells on. Guests invited by Faris began to arrive, as did my friends from work. Our home was filled with family, friends and laughter.
About 8:00 pm, Faris made his way over to me to give me a kiss. “Lovely party, baby.”
I smiled and was about to say something when the doorbell rang. Faris said, “Can you go? I’m going to mix more eggnog. It’s going down a treat.”
Nodding, I made my way down the hall and opened the door. My jaw dropped.
“James! Merry Christmas!”
“Mom, Dad, wow! Come in. What are you doing here?” I stood aside and let them pass. But that wasn’t the end. They were followed by my brother and his wife. “Terry, Maria? Hello, come in.”
Faris came down the hall. “Oh, hello and welcome! Merry Christmas!” He was herding the latest guests down the hall, when the doorbell rang again. I opened it and there stood Santa Claus!
I looked at him, but it was a lovely costume and I couldn’t tell who was under it. So I invited him in. “Come in, Santa.”
“Ho Ho Ho, thank you James. Merry Christmas.” Santa walked past me and into the living room.
I watched him go and then realized the door was open. I looked out and noticed it was snowing – slowly – beautifully – perfectly. Smiling, I closed the door and walked back down the hall.
When I got to the living room, I saw Santa there with a guest on his knee. People were enjoying themselves and laughing. Faris arrived beside me and took my hand. I looked at him and mouthed: ‘I love you.’
Finally, it was my turn on Santa’s knee, and as I sat down, Faris joined me, sitting across from me on his other knee.
The room got quiet and people gathered around us. Larry sat. Santa looked at Faris and asked him what he wanted for Christmas. Faris leaned forward and whispered in his ear.
Santa smiled and said, “I can grant that wish.” He looked around and put a hand on each of our backs. “Ladies and gentlemen, dearly beloved we are gathered here this evening to witness the marriage of Faris McDonald and James Walters.
I looked at Faris as tears fell from my eyes, he smiled at me and said “I love you, James.” I remember Terry handing me a ring, which I placed on Faris’ finger and he did the same to me. I said “I do” when prompted, and I remember Faris saying it too.
Santa said, “I now pronounce you spouses forever. Please kiss your beloved.”
Faris stood and helped me to my feet. He pulled me into his arms and kissed me.
Then we were surrounded by family and friends, kissing us and shaking hands. Santa asked us to join him in the kitchen with witnesses to sign our Marriage Certificate.
“So, James what name do you want?” Faris asked me.
“Yours baby, I want yours.”
“Do you want me to change mine?” He looked into my eyes.
I shook my head no. “I want to be James McDonald, husband of Faris McDonald.”
After signatures we returned to the living room and our party began in earnest. Someone wheeled in a lovely cake and we toasted with champagne.
Several hours later, with family coming back the next day to celebrate Christmas, Faris and I were alone.
We stood in the living room watching the snow fall.
“Faris, that was beautiful and amazing. How did you do it?”
We unplugged the tree and turned out the lights and wandered back toward our bedroom.
“Well, James as I said before, doing it my way is always more fun.”
He picked me up and carried me over the bedroom threshold. I kicked the door shut. If Larry could read, he would have seen the sign on the door said: