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2015 Advent Calendar - 25 December

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1 2015 Advent Calendar - 25 December on Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:29 pm



Click HERE for your Christmas Surprise!:

(Please remember that A New Family's Christmas is a serial, and the parts are best enjoyed when read in order from the start).

It had been a relaxing day.  In some ways, it felt like a million years had passed since Thanksgiving.  In others, it felt like I'd been living with the boys for no time at all.  But here it was, Christmas Eve.

All my boys were finally home.  Lane and Mark had both 'hung out' with friends for a while.  Ross and Todd had been invited to join the Gisbournes for a special showing of The Santa Clause, followed by Putt Putt.  

We'd all slept in, then enjoyed a big breakfast like we normally didn't have time to prepare.  Everyone had bummed around until time for the little guys to get ready to go.  Then Mark and Lane had made a few phone calls.  

It was fun with Lane.  Ricky was still grounded from last weeks little episode, and, while Blake's mom was notoriously lenient, she'd been ticked off enough to park him at his grandparents for most of the vacation.  That left Lane spending a lot of time with Brandon and Scott.  As rough as it had been on him, I think he was coming to appreciate the benefits of a sore butt over alternatives.

As for me, it had been such a nice day that I took my regular bike out, ridden my regular, five mile route, and then just kept going for a while.  I'd come home, showered, and had a light lunch (knowing I was going to be doing a week's calorie intake over the next twenty-four hours or so).  After that, I'd sat out on the porch swing, reading and enjoying the unseasonable, and slightly depressing weather.

Yes, depressing.  You might get tired of snow, but this Texas boy only remembers one White Christmas in his entire life, and Mark is the only one of my boys who remembers that.  We're more like 'imagining' then dreaming, so - yeah, a high of seventy-three on Christmas Eve was a bit depressing.

Now that the boys were home, the last hints of sunlight were fading away, and the temperature was starting to drop, it was time to get started.

I wandered inside, feeling like.. Well, like a kid on Christmas morning.  I didn't want to rush things, but I felt like I couldn't wait any longer.  I couldn't concentrate to read, so I just wandered around the house for a few minutes, then puttered in the kitchen until I decided we could start a bit early.

While I waited for everyone to answer my call into the great room, I looked around one last time.  I was as nervous as a virgin bride, and I hoped everything was perfect.

When Lane came wandering in, trying to make sure I understood how much important texting I was interrupting, I issued the marching orders.

"Okay guys, I've got plans for tonight - no, we're not going anywhere - stay home plans.  First of all, I want all you guys to go get showers - make sure you wash your hair, Ross - yes, Todd, you and Ross can use my bathroom."

"Why do they always get to use your bathroom?" Lane complained.

"Because there are two of them."

"Yeah, but I'm bigger than them."

"Can we use the big tub?"

"No, Todd, you can use the big tub tomorrow.  If you get in there, you'll want to stay for an hour playing with your toys.  And you two use your bathroom tonight, so Lane can..."

"Nah, that's all right, I'll use ours."

I find it ironic that teens have a reputation for rolling their eyes, when they're actually the cause of so much of it.

"Okay, great.  After your showered, then put on your Christmas pajamas and come back here."

"We don't have Christmas pajama," Ross and Mark both explained.

"Did I forget that?"

I stepped into the kitchen and lifted the four, red bags, with furry white lining, and a black belt around the middle.  Checking the tags, I handed them out.

"NOW you have Christmas pajamas.  Go get your showers, guys."

"Hey," Ross protested.  "How come you don't have to take a shower."

"Because I had one after my workout, Alec."

"Why you calling me Alec?"

"'Cause you're a smart alec," Mark and Lane both answered for me.

As soon as I was sure the guys were all getting cleaned up, I got to work.  The kitchen first, pausing only to set the thermostat a bit cooler.  After a couple of minutes in the kitchen, setting things out and setting the oven, I rushed back into the living room,  lit the fire and candles, turned on the tree lights, and started Manheim Steamroller on the stero, then raced back to the kitchen.  Yeah, I'd spent part of my quiet day home reading and relaxing, but I'd made a few preparations as well, and now I started warming everything that needed to be warmed.  

Lane was the first one back, obviously unshowered.  He was wearing nothing but his boxers, and carrying his pajamas.  

Not worried about his near nudity (which, honestly, is how he ran around the house ninety percent of the morning and evening anyway), he gave me the fish eye.  

"Seriously?" was his only comment, as he held up the pajamas.

"Please, Lane.  As a favor to me, just do it."

He shook his head.

"For your brothers?" I suggested.

He shook his head again, but acquiesced, but not without having to add, "You owe me, big time!"

As soon as Lane was gone, I finished prepping everything else, then ran to get into my own pajamas.

I heard Ross and Todd first.  Even showering together, they managed to finish up faster than their big brothers did.  

"I c-c-can s-s-see your bu-butt," Todd managed to choke out between giggles.  

I should have known that would be the first thing they noticed, and I just hoped they'd get it out of their system.  

I have to admit, they looked cute as button quail, in the light blue one piece pajamas, covered with snowflakes and penguins.  Both boys had even donned the stocking caps that were included with them.  I loved the sound the feet made as the boys padded down the tile floor from my room.

Of course, Ross had his seat flap undone, mooning his little brother.  I fasted it for him, suggesting another purpose for which it could be used.

He tuck his tongue out at me.

Lane and Mark did cut their showers shorter than normal, and pretty soon they joined us.  Lane had refused to wear his cap, but neither boy complained too much, after they saw we were all wearing the same thing.  

The kitchen drew them all to see what was giving off all those odors: most of it was the cinnamon toast, but there was also peanut butter toast, sausage balls, potato pancakes, and slices of cheese and sausage, with some crackers.  I was just putting the food on platters, and had mugs ready to fill with hot cocoa.

They guys had forgotten any and all complaints about the pajamas as they took in the snacky feast.

"How about some Uno," I asked.

Two hours later, there was nothing left on the platters but one lonely slice of pepperoni and some crumbs.  We were all sated, and everyone had managed to win at least one game of cards.  Jaws were cracking wise with yawns.

"I guess you guys are too tired to watch Muppet Christmas Carol?"

Yeah, I didn't really think so.

Finally, it was nearly midnight, but everything was done.  I paused to look around, and caught Mark doing the same thing.  Manheim Steamroller was playing in the background again, but a bit more quietly, since the little guys were in bed.  

We'd had to carry the little guys to bed, but Lane had been awake enough to help us clean up a bit, before we chased him off to bed.

"I KNOW why you're sending me to bed," he'd complained.

"Because we want to have wild monkey sex until Santa arrives?" I suggested.

Before I could finish 'Santa', Lane had clapped his hands over his ears.

"Lalala, I can't hear you!  I'm going to bed now!"

Mark had laughed so hard I thought he was going to hurt himself.

Now, a large screen TV and PS4 were sitting to one side, clearly labeled for the living room.  

On the hearth, next to where Mark was now laying a fresh fire, sat Lane's new tablet, and the little guys' 3DS games.  Above his head, hung five, new, stuffed, matching stockings.  In the opposite corner, the tree stood, glowing with tinsel and bulbs and colored lights, which sparkled off the brightly wrapped packages beneath it.  

As Mark finished up the fireplace, I quickly padded off to my room.  By the time he stood, I was back, but now holding a small package.

He looked at it for a moment, tilting his head a bit.

"For me?"

I nodded.  "I wanted to give it to you privately."

He smiled, then held up a finger.

"I got one like that for you," he admitted.

He ran off and was back a moment later, with something that looked like a wide, but short tie box.

We exchanged the gifts.  He tore into his.  I started to unwrap mine, but was mostly watching him.

When he opened the box, he looked inside a bit quizzically, like he wasn't sure what it was.  Then he reached it and lifted out a bunch of tails on a handle. The grip was about six inches long, and the tails were just over a foot, so not quite twenty inches total.  I knew there were eighteen of the tails, and that they were of elk hide.  

"It's a flogger," I explained.  I know you don't like real hard spankings, but I thought you might want a change from just hand spankings.  That's supposed to be pretty stingy, but not real intense or long lasting.

He smiled up at me.  "Thank you," he said, sounding honestly pleased.  "I'll bet that'll be fun before a long teasing session.

"I had thought the same thing," I admitted.

He looked at it a minute more, then looked up at me.

"Hurry up!"

I tore the rest of the wrapping paper off mine, then removed the lid.  Inside rested a small, lexan paddle.  Not including the handle, it was maybe a foot long and three inches wide.  The handle was wrapped in leather, with a thong off the end to go over your wrist of hang it by, and there was an 'X' pattern of holes in the blade.

I looked up at my boy friend.

"I think this is way too intense for Lane."

"It's for me."

"I thought you were scared of Lexan."

"I am, but I guess I can still be a pretty naughty boy, and I guess maybe I need something like that... You know, just in case I have another attitude attack or something."

"And you trust me to use this when you really need it?"

He just looked at me and nodded.  I could feel tears starting to fill my eyes.

Instead of trying to hide them, I pulled Mark in close to me, wrapping my arms tight around his shoulders.  His arms circled around my waist, pulling me tight, so I could feel how happy he was.

I brushed my lips lightly against his, then a bit more forcefully, before nipping at his full, lower lip.  Then I brushed my tongue across his lips, and they opened for me.

After a long moment, he pulled back, and looked at me, a question in his eyes.

"What?" I asked.

"I can't believe you spent money on pajamas the kids are only going to wear once."

"Hey," I protested, "it's a winter design - not Christmas.  These things are warm and comfy.  I'll bet the kids love them when it gets cold."

"This is Texas, Dean.  That means they might wear them twice?"

"At least three times," I assured him.

He smiled.

"I was just wondering how many kids ever really got spanked in these kind of things."

"I think union suits had droppable backseats, too."

"You think you could give a spanking with just those down?"

I pulled him in a bit tighter, then reached around and undid his flap, letting it fall.  He shivered a bit as the cool air brushed his bare skin, right before my hand did.

I cupped a check, gently massaging it, then I pulled back for a light smack.

"Are you asking me to give it a try?"

He'd laid his head on my shoulder, and had his face tucked in against my neck, but I could still understand him as he replied.  "Please put me over your lap, then we can deal with whatever comes up."

I moved my left hand down to join my right, took each cheek, and gave them firm squeezes.  Mark moaned and forced his firm body tight up against me.

"You get to my room and get your nose in the... Wait, turn down my bed first, then get your nose in the corner."

"Yes, sir!" Mark snapped, pausing for a lingering kiss (and rubbing himself up against me), before turning to mind.

As he padded down the hall, I took a last look around the room.  I decided to leave the tree lights on, but I put out the rest of the lights in the room, leaving the candles for last.  

I'd never thought of myself as a family man.  I had never really felt like part of a family growing up, and I'd been happy by myself.  Yet now, by flickering candlelight and flashing Christmas light, with Steamroller's version of Carol of the Bells in the background, and with my boyfriend waiting in my room, and my little boys asleep in their own rooms, I realized why I'd never thought of myself that way.

I'd never known how much I was missing.

As I blew out the candles, my thoughts turned to Mark, but they quickly turned back to the bedrooms behind me and to all the friends I'd made in the last few months.

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

Click HERE for a BONUS Christmas Surprise.:

I struggle against the rope, my hands are tied behind me, and in the chair behind mine, Agent Ian is tied up too!  We were captured so fast, it is hard to remember what happened!  It all started this evening when our boss – J, came and called us to a briefing, and I think back to how it all started…
“Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to save Christmas!” J had a particular twinkle in the eye.

“Yes sir, J!” Ian and I saluted.

“This is the Star of Christmas.  It is a special star with a homing beacon that will guide Santa.  Without it on the tree, Santa will not know where to leave his presents. It was the littles’ mission to deliver it to the tree, but they got distracted playing Wii and have not reported in. Now, you must deliver the star to the location on the map, and find the littles. We know that G.R.I.N.C.H. has set up an operation to steal the star, so you have to be careful and defeat the villains who will try and stop you! The star cannot fall in the wrong hands!”

“Yes sir, J!” we repeated.

“It will not be easy and there will be challenges. The first is that you will work alone, everyone else is busy finishing chores, you also have to find the littles and take them to the star location.  If you or any of your team is caught or apprehended, the mommies and daddies will disavow you! Agent Ian and Agent Henry, your mission starts now!”

Suddenly, the lights in the family room went out and it was pitch-dark.  It was late on Christmas Eve, so the sun was sleeping. The lights came back on and Jay was gone!  There was only a piece of paper and something gleaming in a cloth bag where he was sitting.  Ian ran over and looked at it.
“It’s a map, and the star!”  he exclaimed and showed me. “We hafta go downstairs, Henry!” The map said that we could find the littles in the basement, which is where the Wii is.

“Okay!” I agreed. I took the bag and tucked it inside my pants to hide it. I looked at Ian, and knew we were ready.

Ian is staying over tonight, because we asked if we could have an adventure for Christmas, and our dads said yes!  So, Ian stayed over and Jay came and got us just before bedtime.  When we came down to the family room, J told us that was time for our briefing!  Now, we have a mission, we hafta save Christmas!  Ian stuffed the map into his pocket. We rushed to the basement.

“What’s this?” Ian asked.  It was different; there was a curtain at the bottom of the stairs!

“Careful, Agent Ian,” I cautioned him, but we know that the littles are down here, they could be hiding, and we hafta to finish this mission and save Christmas!

Ian pushed through the curtain and I followed him! It was dark again with strange spooky lights. There is also what looks like a very big pile of pillows, the little use the pillows to make their nest in the fort, so we knew they had to be near.

“Climb, Henry.  We can get over that mountain of pillows!”  I nodded and we climbed; we are the best climbers!  We got to the top quickly!  “Oops!” Ian yelped.  The pillows at the top of the pile were loose; we tumbled over to the other side.

“Hey!” I complained.  Hands grabbed us!  We struggled, but we were caught and tied up, and that is where we are now... tied on chairs.

“Hah!” a shadowy figure gloats. “Agent Ian and Agent Henry! We have you and we have the small ones as hostages!  Give us the star, or they'll get it, but good! Bwa-ha-ha-hah! ” ”

“Artie?  Berlioz?” Ian asks.  A single spot light comes on, and it looks like Artie wearing a turtleneck in a chair with Berlioz on his lap!

“Who is Artie?  I am Number One, and this is Number Two and Number Three!” Sammy and Sean step into the light and laugh evilly too!  “You are prisoners of G.R.I.N.C.H!”  Number One strokes Berlioz and he purrs.

“Fight, Ian!  We hafta save Christmas, everyone is depending on us!”

We struggle, but we are tied good.  Then, I realize that there are two big henchmen wearing ski masks guarding us too!  I think that they look suspiciously like Tommy and Trevor.

“You have to give us the star,” Number One says over Berlioz purring.

“Never!” Ian exclaims. “Release us! Where are the small ones?”

“Never!” Number One vows. “G.R.I.N.C.H. will stop Christmas.  No more toys, no more cookies, no more cakes!”  He laughs maniacally.  Number Two and Number Three laugh too. “We’ll have the star, we will use it to catch Santa and people will pay good money to see him!”

“No! No, you can’t.  We will never allow that to happen to Santa Claus!” I promise.

“Henchmen! Prepare Agents Henry and Ian for torture!”

“Be strong, Agent Ian!” I encourage my friend. “Be strong!”

“I won’t break, Agent Henry, thing one and thing two can do all they can,” my friend promises.

“Commence phase one – tickles!” Number Three orders.

“No! No!” we plead.

The henchmen hold our shoulders, and Number Two and Number Three tickle our sides and tummies.  We are helpless!  We laugh and laugh and laugh!  Number One rubs his hands evilly and strokes his cat.

“Say it! Where is the star? Where is the secret location!” he demands.  

He pulls back another curtain.  Behind it, the small ones – Kevin, Ricky, Jason, Greggie and Conner, are tied up too!  Their stuffies are tied up in front of  them.  They see us and bounce up and down on their bums and squirm.

"Help us! Help us!" they beg. "Save us! Save us!"

“We… hafta… Ian… the small… ones!” I manage to gasp out between guffaws.

“Stay… strong!” Ian gasps back.

“These two are strong!” Number One complains. “Prepare them for phase two!”

“Yes, oh evil one!” Number Two responds.  The tickles stop, but the big henchmen flip us over.
“You cannot break us!” I can talk finally.

“Hey!” Agent Ian complains, and I feel my sweatpants being pulled down, luckily, the star is on the leg in front of my pants and it doesn’t fall out.

“Begin the swats!”

“Ow! Ow! Ow!” Our bottoms are being swatted, but we cannot betray Santa Claus!  “Ow! Ow! Ow!” I try not to scream out, the small ones could hear, and they would only be more frightened. “Ow! Ow! Ow!”  We have to save the magic of Christmas for the small ones! “Ow! Ow! Ow!” I look at Ian, his face is red and he squeezes his eyes shut because of the spanks, but he is determined too!  “Ow! Ow! Ow!”

“You cannot defeat us, Number One!  We are too tough!” Ian shouts, clenching his teeth. “Ow! Ow! Ow!”

“Enough! They are too tough!”  Number One concedes.  We are allowed to get up and pull up our sweats. We are untied; we just have to wait for the right moment.  

“Their bottoms are good and sore anyway!” Number Three gloats.  He pokes my bum and I flinch.

"You might be too tough for our tortures, but what about your little friends?" Number One asks, as his kitty rolls on his back for tummy rubs!  "Bring in the spinach and broccolis!"  Oh no, they will torture the little ones!  I work at loosening my ropes.

"You are clever, Number One," Number Two ducks through the curtain sheets and comes back with the yucky vegetables!

"Eww!" Jason complains.

"It’s green like Kryptonite!" Greggie adds.

"And yucky!" Ricky panics.

"Don't open your mouth, Conner!" Kevin warns.

Number Three takes a stalk of broccoli and holds it under Conner's nose!  "Mmmmmm!  Mmmmmmm!" Conner begs for help, but presses his lips closed.  
Number Two waves spinach at the others!

"Stop your evil!" I command les méchants. “We win!” I wiggle out of my ropes at last!

“You lose, Number One!  We were just playing for time!” Ian reveals that he is free too.


I bend over and take my phone out of my sock!  “J is on his way. He heard everything!”

“Surrender!” J bursts in with Agents Jake and Andy, the Barrett boys! They point our biggest Nerf guns at the bad guys. “You’re finished Number One.  G.R.I.N.C.H. is defeated!”  The small ones bounce up and down happily as the bad guys raise their hands and put down the vegetables.

"Drat! We are defeated!" Number One surrenders.

“Right on time, J!” I cheer.

“We didn’t give anything away!” Ian promises.

“The star is safe!” I take it out and show it to J.

“Good job, Agents Henry and Ian!  We will deal with the evildoers.  Release the small ones and deliver the star!”  J and our agents prod the G.R.I.N.C.H.’ers up the stairs at Nerf point.

“Yes sir, J!” We salute, and rush over to untie the small ones.  They untie their stuffies and hug them tight!

“You were really tough!” Conner says admiringly to Ian “Even when the bad guys were giving you spanks, and you din’ even cry!”

“You saved us, Henry!” Ricky and Greggie cheer.  They come hug me along with Conner.  Kevin and Jason hug Ian.

“They saved Bernie, Pumpkin, Spots, Bugs and Stumpy too!” Conner points to the freed stuffies.

“Our job is not done yet!” I tell them solemnly. “Follow us!” I look at Ian and he nods.

We lead the whole little gang up to the family room, where my older brothers are waiting for us.  Artie, Sammy, Sean, Tommy and Trevor are not evil anymore; they are just our brothers and friends now.   Les mamans et papas are sitting on the sofas and smiling.

“Agents Ian and Henry have saved Christmas!” Jay tells everyone.  “They have returned the Christmas Star and found the small ones!”

“Yay!” the small ones cheer, and throw their stuffies into the air.  The babies rush to help celebrate.

“Come here, guys,” My oldest brother, Kenny, calls to us.  Reece is standing with him. “Up you go!” He lifts me and Reece lifts Ian.  Ian and I reach up to the top of the tree, and together, we put the star where it belongs.

“Yay! Christmas is saved!” the small ones cheer and dance around the tree.

“Yay! Yay! Yay!”  the babies – Eliot, Cassie and TJ, join in and dance too.  I am not sure that they understand.

“Now, Santa and Baby Jesus can find our house!” Greggie explains to the toddlers. “Moms and Dads put presents under the tree, but Santa comes and fills our stockings, and Baby Jesus fills our hearts!”

“Yay! Yay! Yay!” they cheer.

“Speaking of which, we just have time to get to mass at midnight,” Daddy announces, and the other adults stand up.

“We can come back and open one present before bed,” Uncle Greg decides.

The Barretts look at Uncle Will, they do not go to our church. “We can do the same,” he tells them with a smile.

“Yay!” we all cheer.  We will open the rest of our presents tomorrow at home, and then papa and maman will have an all day party, and our friends will come visit with their favorite toys and we will play all day!

“Go change,” Uncle Charlie tells me and Ian.

“That was the best Christmas adventure ever!” Ian says to me.

“Good job, Agent Ian!” I tell him.

“Good job, Agent Henry!” he replies.  We bump fists and hurry to catch up with the others.

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."

2 Re: 2015 Advent Calendar - 25 December on Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:55 pm


Wow! Great story, Jack! Congratulations on a singular and magnificent accomplishment, 25 daily episodes that add up to a moving story about family! cheers What a treat that this year's advent has been! Thank you so much santa

I hope that others might enjoy the little story that follows too Embarassed

Jkher Merry Christmas!

3 Re: 2015 Advent Calendar - 25 December on Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:18 pm


I am so going to miss these stories. I enjoyed the extra stories as well. Thanks everyone, and especially Jack.

4 Re: 2015 Advent Calendar - 25 December on Fri Dec 25, 2015 1:59 am

Pi Beta

RIP 9 Jan 47 - 17 June 17
I've thoroughly enjoyed the whole story. Congratulations to both Jack and the Elf

5 Re: 2015 Advent Calendar - 25 December on Fri Dec 25, 2015 4:10 am


Congratulations to Jack and his elf on a most impressive achievement.

Here is a little gift for them.

Happy Christmas everyone!

6 Re: 2015 Advent Calendar - 25 December on Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:31 pm


Merry Christmas to y'all

Thank you so much Jack and elf for this amazing wonderful advent story....,

Thank you to all tha contributed all the bonus stories they were all wonderful....

Hugs kal

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