A Christmas Story
By: Judy De Luca
The slightly stooped woman left a Christmas gift on the hairdresser’s station on her way out of the salon. “Put it under your tree,” she had said. But the hairdresser opened the gift her longtime client gave her as soon as she got home.
The woman was old school, brought up by immigrant parents who valued life, loved their neighbor and went to church every Sunday. She had always been an active member of her church and raised her own children in the strict moral values her parents instilled in her.
And when the Lord took her soul mate, her last memory holding his hand while he took his last breath, she fought the loneliness that gripped her by doing even more volunteer work for her church, taking pleasure in helping others. The ladies sodality collected toys for under privileged children in the community every Christmas and she was elected chairperson this year.
The woman, not being an extravagant woman in any way, chose her Christmas gifts carefully, choosing the perfect gift, in her eyes, for the person she was buying for. Her grandchildren were easy, and so were the women, it was the men she had a hard time with. Her hairdresser was fun to buy for and she never forgot her at Christmas. Her hairdresser was responsible for her hair looking good not to mention, that poor girl listening to her cry and cry over the husband’s death and all her other woe’s throughout the year.
The hairdresser, at it for ten years, had many clients she felt were like family, a unique bond brought on by her profession. She was good at what she did, had the real talent, and was also good at talking and pampering her customers, creating herself a little empire of loyal followers at one of the better middle class salons in the area. A single girl, trying to make it on her own, was a little down on her luck this Christmas season. While her friends were out partying and spending money, she stayed home and saved hers, purchasing a three room condo six months ago. It was her pride and joy, her little place to call home and she had earned it with her hard work. Most of her tip money went into fixing her little place up. But life kept getting in the way for the hairdresser. First it was the horrific toothache that led to a root canal, an expense she wasn’t counting on and a week later the alternator went in her car, another expense that put her budget behind and now the mortgage was about due. The hairdresser loved Christmas time because it is the busiest time of the year and the time of year that she made the most money. The extra tight bookings couldn’t be helped with all the up do’s and blow dry’s for Christmas parties and that meant more money along with Christmas gifts and extra tips. She was hoping to make the extra money to pay the mortgage and to buy her parents and brother a Christmas gift.
She ripped open the wrapping paper in her hurried excitement, tore through the tissue paper, to reveal a chrome rimmed sink strainer. She allowed the barest chuckle and smiled to no one but herself. Then her eyes became tearful as she pictured this sweet, practical woman walking down the aisles of the five and ten looking for a gift especially for her, chosen out of love. The hairdresser’s soul filled with the Christmas spirit as she laid the gift under her tabletop ceramic Christmas tree her mother had given her.
Judy DeLuca’s latest novel:
Towel Dry and a Good Cry is about a young girl, new to the hairdressing business, that learns all too quick that there is more to standing behind the chair than just cutting hair. A story full of laughs and tears lies and fears with characters you’ll love, hate or will leave your jaw hanging open!
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