Christmas Story

by Wendymypooh

This story takes place in the MCAT AU created by tannertexaslady, but isn’t a part of the series.

The Larabee 7 annual Christmas party was winding down at last. Like most of the other traditions that was formed when Team 7 was active, the brothers, and their families gathered together on Christmas Eve for their annual Christmas party. As each of them married, and babies were born into their families, Christmas mornings were reserved for each man to share with his individual family, and then everyone would gather for dinner.

This year the Wild Bunch was gathered at the Tanners’ house. The excitement of tearing open presents, partaking of the delicious snacks that each household had contributed, drinking eggnog, or hot chocolate, and sharing lots of love and laughter with one another. The adults at one side of the large living room, while the growing number of Larabee children were scattered over the hardwood floors in groups of twos and threes as they played with their newly acquired toys.

“I think the twins are down for the count,” Kelli commented as she gazed lovingly down into Trey’s face, before she glanced over to see Bren snoozing in his daddy’s arms.

“I think you’re right, babe,” Vin stood slowly up, careful not to awaken the baby in his arms. “Let’s go put them to bed.”

Kelli got up as well and together the Tanners left the living room to deposit their snoring bundles in their cribs in the nursery. When they returned to the living room a few moments later, a semblance of order to the cheery chaos had taken place. Josiah was directing the children to form a half-circle around him, as he settled into one of the large armchairs that the Tanners had, with his worn Bible in one hand. The older man waited patiently as the adults settled comfortably into seating arrangements with their significant others, while the children all eagerly gathered per his instructions.

Chris was the last of the adults to take a seat, having placed a sleeping Cody in the portable crib, before retrieving refills of eggnog for him and Caitlyn Broderick. He handed her both mugs, before he sat down beside her, and put one arm across her shoulders. She snuggled closer into the crook of his arm, and then handed him one of the mugs.

Josiah waited for another couple of minutes before opening his Bible to a marked passage in it. The location of this particular story he was a favorite of his, and one he had been sharing with his family each Christmas since he met his brothers.

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for him at the end.”

Josiah paused in his reading to gaze out over the small grouping of children gathered before him. “Do any of you know who the baby was?”

“Baby Jesus!” the children shouted together, making the adults chuckle.

“That’s right, it was baby Jesus.” Josiah turned back to his reading.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

“Wow,” Caleb commented thoughtfully, “That’s cool Uncle Josiah.”

Buck cast a beaming smile at his boy, as Caleb quieted down, under Josiah’s gentle gaze. The large man’s baritone filled the room once again.

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

Josiah finished reading and set his Bible aside. “Can any of you tell me the real reason why we celebrate Christmas?”

“It’s to honor baby Jesus,” Jason spoke up, “It’s his birthday.”

“You are right about it being Jesus’ birthday, Jason,” Josiah acknowledged with a smile, “And we should celebrate Christmas because of that reason too, but the best reason of all is because when Jesus grew up, he died so that all of our sins would be washed away.”

“Is that like taking a bath?” Sarah asked. “Mom tells us that we have to wash all the dirt away so that we will be clean. Did Jesus take a bath to wash our sins away?”

Josiah stifled the chuckle forming and said, “Something like that.”
“Oh.” Sarah said and fell silent.

“Well, as much as I hate to be a party pooper here,” JD said, rising to his feet, “it’s late and we need to get the children to bed if Santa Claus is going to come tonight.”

Children scurried to get into their coats, mittens, and hats to the laughing astonishment of the adults. Usually the parents had to practically coerce their children into leaving one another’s houses, but not tonight. As the men corralled the children in the living room, and set about returning assorted chairs to the dining room and kitchen, the women of the family put all the leftovers away, did up the dishes, and then collected what pans and serving containers belonged to them.

Vin,Kelli, Jason, and Andi, stood at the doorway and called out ‘goodnights’ to their assorted family members as they got into their vehicles and drove away into the snowy night. Soon enough all the members of the Wild Bunch were sound asleep.

The End