March 2, 2012
By , Leicester, NC
Carrie Jones stood outside the toy store and stared up at the sky. It was Christmas Eve, and she was praying (literally praying) it would snow. She had her tiny, mittened hands clapped together, and under her breathe she mumbled, “God, I know mother says not to pray for such selfish things, but a white Christmas would be a truly magnificent honor.”

Carrie’s mother, Vanessa, came out of the toy store pushing a shopping cart. A large package, wrapped in black paper, sat in a tiny shopping cart. Carrie stuffed her hands into her coat pockets before her mother could see. “Come along, sweetie,” Carrie’s mother said, in her charming, proper, British accent.

When they got home, they found Carrie’s father, Philip, sitting grumpily in his recliner. Carrie’s older sister had the music blaring from her room. “Harmony won’t turn that s*** down,” Philip said. He was already drunk, and it wasn’t even late yet. Vanessa and Carrie frowned. Philip wasn’t a violent drunk, but he sure was a potty mouth.

“Here darling,” Carrie’s mother said to her, passing her a small present, wrapped in purple paper; meaning it was for Harmony, “Throw that package under the tree won’t you?”

Carrie walked over to their beautiful tree and placed the tiny box beneath it. The tree was a live one, it smelled of wilderness, and, though Harmony said that cutting down a living thing just for decoration was wrong, Carrie felt like anything but the real thing would just be beside the point.

Harmony skipped out of her room humming. She was such a pretty girl. She was wearing gothic pajamas and had her long, brown hair in a ponytail. She very rarely wore makeup, and her mother very often wished she would. It wasn’t that Harmony wasn’t beautiful or that their mother wanted to cover something up, it was simply that that was the way things were. Women wore makeup and men did not.

“What was that b******t?” Carrie’s father barked.

“Bedroom Hymns,” She sighed, “by Florence + The Machine.”

“Well, it’s fucking b******t.” He coughed.

And with that last swear word, Vanessa sent the kids off to bed.

That night, like most 8 year olds on Christmas Eve, Carrie did not sleep. She kept hearing mumbling from the living room and thought that maybe it was Santa Claus (or even Jesus!), but the voices sounded too small, almost like toys.

The next morning, at 5:00am, Carrie and Harmony ran to their parents’ room. Harmony, as rebellious as she was, was still a child at heart, which only p****d her father off more.

The wife and husband poured themselves coffee and drudged down stairs to watch their two daughters throw paper around the room and get free things they didn’t need.

They opened all the presents they could. Carrie got some dresses, a hair brush, lots of make up, and a few dolls. Harmony got a hairbrush, a little make up, a pair of tennis shoes, and a black t-shirt. They always left one present each, so their father could video tape something after he had recovered from being so tired from being awaken so early.

Harmony opened a small purple package to find a silver pendant, with a pink stone in the center.

“It was my grandmothers,” Harmony’s mother said.

Harmony started to cry. Even though it was pink, it was still beautiful. “Thank you, mother, I will treasure it always.”

Carrie smiled. It was rare, but every once in a while Harmony and her mother had a touching family moment.

“Well,” Philip said, “Just one left.”

Carrie looked under the tree to see a package about the same size as the one her mother had bought at the toy store the day before. She giddily ran at the package and tore into its wrapping paper. Pink scraps went flying until finally a large dollhouse was revealed. Carrie hugged the house and repeatedly thanked her parents.

“Open it, kiddo,” Carrie’s father said, “Take the dolls out.”

Carrie stuck her hand into the foam peanuts inside the box. She plucked out a small doll dressed in pink. “The baby girl,” Carrie smiled. She took out an older doll, a girl dressed in blue. “The older sister,” Harmony said. Carrie took out a man doll, “The dad,” her father drunkenly laughed. Finally, she took out the last doll. Vanessa was already announcing what she thought it would be when Carrie took another man doll.

“Oh my!” Carrie’s mother exclaimed.

“What,” Carrie’s dad said, “Is it defective?”

Harmony smirked, “Why would it be defective?”

“Well Harmony, there is two dads. This is simply wrong.”

“Wrong, how?” Harmony asked her mother, a little scornfully.

“Men shouldn’t be paired with men.”

“Why?” Harmony quipped.

“Because it says so in the bible,” Harmony’s father barked, “Now stop arguing with your mother!”

Harmony frowned as Phillip stuck the doll house up in the corner of the closet. Vanessa consoled her child by patting her on the shoulder and saying, “We’ll get you one later, a real one.”

Carrie sighed.

It was the middle of the night when Harmony snuck down the stairs and grabbed the doll house. She quietly carried it up the stairs and into Carrie’s room.
Carrie rose from her bed slowly, "Harmony? What is it?” She frowned when she saw the dollhouse, “You know mommy and daddy don’t want me playing with ‘that filthy sin bucket!’ Why would you bring it here?”
Harmony frowned and set the house on the ground softly. “There’s nothing wrong with gay people, sis. They’re people too,” she said.
Carried sighed, “Whatever.”

Later into the night Carrie woke up again. This time, it was for water. She crept into the kitchen, grabbed a glass full, and sleepily walked back to bed. Opening the door, she squinted at the oddest sight.
A little man stood outside the dollhouse. As Carrie paid more attention to it, she realized that the little man was one of the dolls. He was dressed a dark purple, business shirt with skinny jeans and bright purple, dress shoes. He knocked on the tiny door.

A little girl, dressed in pink, answered the door, hugging the man’s little legs as he walked into the house. “Hi sweetie,” the man said, patting the girl on the head.

Carrie ran to the dollhouse and peered into the window.

“Hey, daddy,” Said a tall, muscular, bald man to the man in the purple business suit. They were in the kitchen, the plastic, unreal kitchen and the taller man was cooking. He had on handsome glasses, and an apron, and was stirring a plastic, tiny bowl.

“Hey, papa,” The business man said, in an effeminate tone, “What’s for Christmas dinner?”

“Gay people celebrate Christmas?” Carrie thought in surprise.

“Oh, just about everything; pumpkin pie, corn, broccoli, and the works,” Papa said.

The little girl was still clinging to her daddy’s leg.

The older sister joined them, hugging her father and picking her baby sister off the floor, “How was work today, dad?”

“Fine, dear, we sold a lot of suits to a store in California today.”

Carrie wondered how dolls could sell suits to a store in California, or for that matter, how they could go to work. She wanted to ask but was afraid that she might startle them. Most of all she wondered how two men had been able to have daughters. According to her parents, only a man and a woman could have kids.

The family moved into the dining room. The little girl hopped down from her sister’s arms and ran to grab a doll from the living room. Despite the fact that they were all dolls, they moved quite gracefully, like normal humans.

The whole house was decorated in green foil and red ornaments.

“When did they have time to do that?”

The one they kept calling Papa brought plate after plate into the dining room. Soon all the food and more, that the father had listed earlier, lay out on a long table surrounded by four chairs. The family prayed and began eating. They went on eating like a normal family, and Carrie just stared in amazement.

This was not what her parents had described to her. There were no satanic, sexual perverts here. There was just a normal family, just like theirs.

Now if Carrie had been a bit older this scene would have sent her into religious turmoil, but because she was so young she had no trouble accepting that her parents could be wrong and right. God couldn’t hate gay people. Why would he? They seemed to be perfectly capable of everything Carrie’s parents did.

Carrie yawned. It was way past midnight, according to her clock. She grabbed her pillow from her bed and fell asleep watching the family partake in merriment.

The next morning, Carrie woke up to just dolls. She hid the dollhouse under her bed and her parents somehow forgot about it. That night, she waited to she if they would come to life again, but they didn’t. Carrie waited a few more nights before she decided that she would make them come alive. She played with them like little girls do with little dolls.

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