We’re officially in the week of Christmas…guys, 5 days!
Anyway, I’ve had this idea for a while. Like at least August. It was one of the things I was most excited about for the 31 days of Christmas!(Aside from Naughty and Nice) I’m really excited to share this with you all! Basically, it’s the BABs take on a Hallmark movie.
Due to the nature of a Hallmark movie, this isn’t completely canon in the BAB universe. It’s got the same characters you all know and love though!
Special shoutout to Issabelle and Maggie for reading through this and giving me some feedback – y’all are the best!
Before we begin, Mischief has a warning for you all!
“Today’s post is rated unusually high on the levels of cheese. I rate it…cheddar. Sharp cheddar.”
Bella Caramel stares out the window. The first snow of the year starts to fall. As the flakes twirl around the ground, Bella imagines curling up in front of the fire with the people who matter most to her…her two children.
Bella’s daydream is cut short by her boss.
“I hate to ask you this, but we’re understaffed. Will you come to work on Christmas Day?”
“But!” Bella begins to object, but then she thinks about what this could do to her career. As a nurse practitioner, it’s only normal that the hours are sometimes long and inconvenient. Plus, if she shows reliability to her boss, maybe he’d promote her. Her last promotion came just before she adopted Mischief and Sparkles-over three years ago! With a promotion, she could have more flexibility to spend time with her kids.
“I’ll do it.”
It’s just one of the many sacrifices she has to make for her career. Her sister, Periwinkle will gladly watch the kids, and they’ll probably have a great time. Still, Bella sighs when she thinks of the time she’ll miss with her kids on the most sacred of holidays.
Time passes and Bella’s current shift ends. She bites her nails as she wonders how she’ll break the news to her kids.
As she slides the key into the door, the two children rush to meet her.
“Mom’s home!” Mischief yells.
“How was your day?” Sparkles greets.
This earns a chuckle from Bella as she replies, “My day was fine.”
Might as well wait a little bit before breaking the bad news, right?
“Dinner’s in the oven,” says a new voice. This voice belongs to the babysitter, Andy.
“Thank you so much.”
“We went Christmas shopping today!” Sparkles cheers. “I got you the best Christmas present!”
Bella falters. She can’t keep her news a secret any longer.
“Kids, I’m afraid I have bad news.”
The two small faces share a look of concern. They prepare for the worst. What is the bad news?
“What’s wrong?” Andy prompts.
“Well, I have to work on Christmas Day.”
The two concerned faces shift into disappointed ones.
“Oh,” Mischief sighs.
“Well you can’t really help it,” Sparkles says.
“I’ll make it up to you,” Bella promises.
“Ahem.” Andy clears his throat. “I realize this isn’t the best time, but I was hoping you could help me with something.”
Bella nods, ready to hear what he needs.
“So basically, I need some help planning a Christmas party.”
Bella beams. As a teenager, she planned lots of parties—both real and pretend.
“It won’t be that much work, I just mostly need a…feminine touch,” Andy persuades.
Bella laughs. “I said okay!”
“Oh, you did?” Andy’s eyes widen. “That’s perfect!”
“When is this party?” Mischief asks.
Suddenly, Bella has an idea. Perhaps, she can use this party to make up for missing Christmas with her kids.
“What type of party is this?” she asks.
Andy shudders. “That’s a lot of questions. Um, I was thinking it would be on Christmas Eve? And just a small party really. Mostly friends and family. You see…” Andy blushes at this part. “There’s this girl I’m kinda hoping to impress.”
“Ooooh!” Sparkles squeals.
“Alright,” Bella says. “So a small party with lots of mistletoe?”
“Mistletoe!” Andy shouts. “How clever! See? That’s why I need your touch.”
Bella sits at the table and grabs the notebook that was sitting atop it. “Alright, so there are some details we need to work out.”
Sparkles takes a seat and dubs herself ‘junior party planner.’
“Where’s the venue? Do you have entertainment? Food? A guest list? Time? Invitations?” she speeds off a few questions.
Andy looks bewildered. “Um.”
“Let’s start simple,” Bella says. “Where do you want this party?”
Andy shrugs. “Somewhere big enough for people, and um…somewhere with no rent?”
Bella blinks. “That doesn’t leave a lot of choices. What about your house?”
He shudders. “My house is um…not exactly the cleanest. What about…no.”
“Well, I was kind of wondering if your place was available?”
Bella shrugs. “I suppose. But oh! I bet my sister would be willing to have it at her house. And her house is much bigger and better for entertaining. I’ll give her a call. What time should the party start?”
“Um.” Andy is still clueless.
Bella laughs. “I’ll take care of that. Who are you hoping to invite?”
“I’ll send you a list. Hm, I actually have to go soon, can we talk about this later?”
Bella looks at her clock. “Oh yes of course! I’ll come up with some ideas and get back to you when I see you tomorrow.”
Andy nods, heading out the door. “Thank you so much!”
Bella’s stomach swirls. Maybe Christmas isn’t ruined after all.
Time passes and arrangements are made. Bella and Andy agree to meet at the party two hours early, leaving plenty of time to decorate.
Andy carries a basket into the house.
Bella talks to Periwinkle about what furniture to move around.
Together, the three bears get the room ready to decorate.
Bella hangs lights above the faux fireplace. Andy gazes at her as she does.
“Alright, let’s put some appetizers on this bar.”
Bella directs, and Andy does whatever she says.
Within the two-hour window, the living room has been transformed.
“We’ve definitely decked these halls,” Andy teases.
“I need one last thing,” Andy says.
“Well, how do I get the girl to like me?”
Bella’s heart melts at this innocent bear, blushing out of embarrassment.
“Personally I think it’s best to be direct. Take her under the mistletoe, tell her how you feel, and then ask if she feels the same. If she does…well, you know what you do under the mistletoe.”
Andy shivers. “I’ll try.”
Soon, the guests arrive. Invited by Andy was a wonderful mix of friends and family, adults and kids.
Bella smiles to see party guests enjoying themselves.
Her kids’ faces light up with smiles.
Guilt pangs inside her chest. Right then, she wishes she’d never agreed to work on Christmas.
“Andy,” she asks. “I think I’ve made a huge mistake.”
“What do you mean?”
Bella sighs, gesturing to her children. “I can’t leave them on Christmas!”
This is a new idea for Bella. She’s not used to backing out of work commitments.
“I, I, guess I could do that…”
She punches in a quick text to her boss.
“Something came up, I can’t come tomorrow.”
A sense of liberation rushes through her. She can’t wait to share this news with her kids.
Before she can tell them though, Andy grabs her arm.
“I really admire the way you value family,” he starts. He’s clearly nervous, but Bella doesn’t know why. He must be nervous about his upcoming confession of love.
“Aw, thank you.”
“I’m not done. Like, you’re so caring, and when you put your mind to something, it turns out amazing. Look at this party!”
Bella looks over the guests mingling. The party is a success.
“I’m happy to help. I wish you luck with that girl as well.”
Andy’s cheeks turn redder than Santa’s suit.
Bella looks up to find that they are standing under the mistletoe.
“So um…what do you think?”
Bella takes one look at Andy, but she doesn’t answer.
Instead, she does that thing you do under the mistletoe.
Awww, wasn’t that sweet! I’m pretty proud of this story. Make sure to let me know if you like it by leaving a comment.
Join us tomorrow for more Christmas fun!