Monthly Archives: December 2015

“Auld Lang Syne”

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

Gadzooks and Egads watched the monitor as people filtered into the party. The room was adorned with colourful textiles with art used as accent pieces in between. Gadzooks and Egads had no idea what any of it meant. The side opposite the door had large ceiling-to-floor windows that overlooked the city and there was a stage set up at the end opposite the bar. In the centre were high-top tables, each with a couple stools so people didn’t have to stand all night.

“What’s a Chrismukkwa New Year’s Party?” Egads said in a language that wasn’t English.

“It’s something those stupid Earth people came up with to celebrate the orbit of their stupid planet around their stupid star you stupid idiot!” Gadzooks said.

Gadzooks blamed Egads for the failure of their mission to colonize the planet they had come to know as Earth. What Gadzooks didn’t know was that it was Egads that saved them from complete obliteration when The Supreme Commander dematerialized them and brought them back to the mothership. Egads negotiated a deal that they would never screw anything up ever again if they could have, the recently vacated, planet scouting jobs. They had not screwed anything up so far as they watched the Earth monitor, however, they could not focus on it for too long as they had 103,472 other monitors to view to find the planet they should colonize next.

“Well, I hope they all have fun,” Egads said.

“Bah! Fun? What is fun? Fun is bah!” Gadzooks said.

“This should be fun,” Santa said.

He was back behind the wheel of the Yellow Cab he had grown so fond of during his pre-Christmas bender and almost blunder of Christmas 2015. He had company this time. After apologizing profusely to his wife Wendy, he managed to get the North Pole under control and knock Christmas off with the help of two elves, Tiny Olaf and Lil Lana. They had approached him with a plan and helped him execute it. Now the four of them were on their way to “the best” New Year’s Eve party in the world. The Chrismukkwa party was deemed the best by Santa because it incorporated all of the big seasonal holidays, but also because it was host to the people that Santa felt his negative behavior impacted the most. He hoped to atone, in disguise of course, by having his favourite artist play the event.

The organizers had no idea that Bruce Springsteen was coming on at midnight. All they knew was that an anonymous donor, in this case Santa, had gotten in touch and said that the post-midnight entertainment was taken care of and they needn’t worry.

The foursome planned to arrive just after 10pm when most of the other guests were already on their second or third drinks. The only thing Santa requested of Olaf and Lana was that they not reveal themselves as elves, nor that they reveal who was going to grace the stage later in the evening. Lana and Olaf agreed and were excited to see these humans that they worked so hard to please during Christmas.

Tee, Em, DJ, and Jay had spent the last two hours mingling and greeting their guests. They met up just to the side of the bar.

Em looked at his phone.

“Alright. It’s 11pm, one hour to 2016. Everything set up?” Em said.

“Not sure what else we have to do, mate,” DJ said.

“Anyone figure out who the anonymous party person is that organized the after midnight entertainment?” Tee said.

“I figured it’s someone you know from the industry,” Jay said.

“Not me or Em. Is it some Australian good Samaritan?” Tee said.

“No one I know,” DJ said.

“Ok. Let’s do another lap and make sure people are enjoying themselves and then ring it in with everyone else,” Tee said.

“And hope we don’t wake up with our heads sown to the carpet,” Jay said.

“‘Christmas Vacation’ is the best Christmas movie,” Ben said.

“It pretty much saved our marriage,” Imogen said, clinking her champagne glass with Ben’s.

They were talking with their neighbours Tess and Killian, the latter checked the address for the party seventeen times to make sure he was in the right place.

It was a party full of friends, acquaintances, and six degrees of separation.
Continue reading

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“All I Want For Christmas Is You”

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

For Erica, Christmas Day 2015 had started off with a peaceful coffee and a light breakfast. She had packed all of her gifts for everyone in two reusable grocery bags and was ready to leave when the scarf she bought for her brother caught her eye. She had used up the last of her wrapping paper and had no other options besides yesterday’s newspaper. He wouldn’t care what it was wrapped in, but she felt like a dolt giving everyone presents in Christmas paper and giving her brother something in the remnants of The Star.

She didn’t make that much of a disaster of the apartment as she didn’t want Mark to come home after visiting his family and be greeted by the aftermath of a tornado. They had made plans to have their own merry little Christmas when he returned. It was a frantic search though, as time was running out and she didn’t want to be late again.

The gift bag she eventually found was near the bottom of a box she hadn’t opened in two years. The timing she knew because of what she found inside. The only reason she cracked the tape on it was because it said ‘Christmas Shite’ in black Sharpie across the top. She stopped her silent celebration at finding the bag when she saw an envelope with her name on it lying atop the old ornaments and Christmas cards from years before.

Erica drifted to her couch with the letter and sat back. She contemplated opening it as the memories of who gave it to her and how things ended seeped into her head. Continue reading


“Silent Night”

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

Silence. They hadn’t heard it, or close to it, in thirty years. This was the first Christmas Eve since they decided on children that their house was empty on a December 24th night. They had been invited places, including the places their children were celebrating, but decided to spend a Christmas Eve just the two of them.

Silence. It was something they were always comfortable with. It was something they never got, having a family of six. The crackling of the fire and the intermittent hum from the furnace were the only things that broke it.

Silence. During dinner they talked about the mishaps and triumphs of Christmas’ past. With four kids, the list was long enough to last years. They talked about the Christmas’ they had before kids, when it was just the two of them. When they would spend time at their parents’ houses and then go meet their friends. Or when they bought their first house and hosted their first Christmas. They remembered the first Christmas presents they bought for each other. They remembered the year they agreed to buy nothing to save money, but then ended up spending more on the last minute trip they took.

Silence. They snuggled into each other on the couch and stared at the tree. Silence.

The Earth was never silent but she hoped that one day maybe some form of peaceful silence could be achieved. Earth knew herself well enough. Her insides were molten rock, that moved and erupted. Her surface a wild mess of waves and storms and though sometimes calm, it always had a breeze, it always had movement. Her core was more powerful than any human or animal could ever imagine, but the simplest animals were closer to understanding than the smartest human.

It was the humans Earth worried about the most. They couldn’t destroy her. As much as they thought they could or were, she had been around for billions of years. Even if they ruined her surface, thus, ruining themselves, Earth wasn’t going anywhere. Nature would rebuild itself eventually and then the animals would be back as well, however, it still hurt Earth to see how the humans hurt each other and their surroundings.

Earth wished that at some point, each human would stand still in silence. She wished they would erase everything they had been taught about themselves and each other. She wished that each human would just experience a moment of silent peace without thoughts of judgement from themselves, others, or the gods they created and claim to want peace. She wished, that at one point, she had the power to make this happen.

Earth, unfortunately, did not have any power except to provide the canvas for certain types of life. Life, she hoped, that would grow to love and accept itself as much as she loved it.

When Stella returned from her last Christmas Eve dinner with her family she felt content. They didn’t know it was her last, because she didn’t tell them of her terminal diagnosis. She was happy to have them enjoy Christmas with an innocence she wished she had.

She sat in her favourite chair in her modest living room, on the first floor of her large, Victorian Annex home. This had been her home for fifty years and she remembered the two of the children she had just visited running up and down the stairs when the other was just an infant. Christmas was always a crazy time of friends, family and more food than Stella could imagine when she was growing up.

The silence permeated every corner of the house now and Stella was comfortable. She looked at the neglected fireplace and thought about her last moments and the inevitable silence that would come with her death. It was the ultimate silence. As the darkness slowly closed in on her vision, if she still had sight before she went, what would the transition be like?

Stella didn’t believe in an afterlife other than as an alternate word for death. She had been raised religious, as were many people of her generation, but the sorrows of the passing years, and some deep thought had changed her beliefs into something more resembling agnostic. Stella didn’t care if there was a God, gods, a pre-life or an afterlife. All she cared about, in the silence of her last Christmas Eve, was the remainder of this life. If something else came after, so be it, if not, hallelujah.


“I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus”

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

There is something to be said about walking into your childhood home and seeing your Mom’s freckled ass being pounded by your Dad’s wrinkled balls as she hand services Santa Claus with vim and vigour. It screams Noél. In fact, that was what she screamed when she saw my sister Tess, my brother Luke, and myself standing at the entrance to the living room, bags in hand and mouths as agape as Mom’s was a few seconds earlier.

It was Noel, our father’s name, she actually screamed, but that was only after Luke greeted the scene.

“Merry fucking Christmas! Literally. I hope that’s egg nog on Santa’s beard,” Luke said.

“Well, this is inconvenient,” Tess whispered. It was her favourite saying.

I just stood and took it in, awed that Santa Claus was real and he was in a threeway with my sixty five year-old, and surprisingly agile parents. My dreams were squashed when in the kerfuffle to cover up and deboner, his beard was torn off to reveal him as Pastor Jerry from my parents’ church. Better my parents Noel and Carol than some forlorn kid I guess. Continue reading


“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

Drew and Fran planned on a quiet couple of drinks at their favourite hole-in-the-wall before going home and trying to make a baby.

“Born to Run is the greatest love song of all time,” Drew said.

“Show your work,” Fran said.

“The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive, everybody’s out on the run tonight, but there’s no place left to hide, together Wendy we can live with the sadness, I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul, Oh-oh, someday girl I don’t know when, we’re gonna get to that place where we really wanna go, and we’ll walk in the sun, but til then tramps like us, baby we were born to run,” Drew said, emphasizing the point by downing the bottom third of his pint in one go.

“You might be onto something. How has this never come up before?” Fran said, before checking her watch.

“You never asked,” Drew said.

“Neither did I. And fuck Bruce Springsteen,” Santa said. Continue reading


“Let It Snow”

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

Gadzooks and Egads had no clue what a Toronto was but it was where their ship had ended up.

“I told you we took a wrong turn at the Andromeda galaxy!” Gadzooks said in a language that wasn’t English.

“I put in the coordinates and this is where they led us!” Egads said in the same language.

“You clearly don’t know how to navigate!” Gadzooks said studying the nobs and dials of the craft’s GPS.

Their mission from the Supreme Commander was to explore the universe and find a suitable planet for seeding so that their race would be able to continue.

“This Toronto place is a barren wasteland!” Gadzooks said.

When they first landed they exited the ship and were greeted by a large sign that said, ‘Toronto’ with a seven digit number underneath. The sign was surrounded by what appeared to be travelling paths with moving metal boxes and greenish land in between. They kept the cloaking mechanism going on the ship and themselves as per the instructions in the manual for extra-planetary exploration. Continue reading


“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

Elf Tiny Olaf had been on his way home from The North Pole messenger office when the explosion hit. The Pole had been in turmoil since former Head Elf Ol’ Mittens had died in an unfortunate apple cider colonic incident and the election had reached an impasse with both candidates developing a strong, and polarizing following. Olaf finished his last delivery, a box of parts to the toy construction plant, and planned to grab a baguette to pair with some soup for dinner before heading off to the Petite Pint Pub to have a frothy beverage and hope that he finally caught the eye of Lil Lana, the unrequited love of his life.

Lana worked at the pub, but also at the elf daycare during the day. The first time Olaf laid his eyes on her he felt the warm, sappy feeling of love from the tips of his curly-toed boots to the floppy top of his elfin hat. He had been on a delivery – baby blankets for the elf offspring – and it was Lana that accepted it. Olaf was only able to speak because he had to ask her to sign for the parcel, but otherwise he was entirely love struck into silence. Continue reading


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