Harvey sat at the kitchen table with a pile of bills and a calculater.

He took a long sip of coffee and sighed.

"It just doesn't add up Jesse. According to the numbers, we should already be out of business. We need a new furnace, stove and plumbing...

Each year they had managed to get along, but it was getting to the point that they would have to shut down their little inn.

Jesse wrapped her arms around her husband and kissed the top of his head. She knew they were running out of options to continue.

Let's just enjoy what might just be our last Christmas guests here and we will deal with it in the New Year.

That afternoon, they emptied the attic of decorations.

Let's go all out this year. She wrapped a boa of silver around his neck and grabbed the last box.

Their Victorian house stood high on the hill. Painted in pastel colors with a traditional roof, it was picture perfect.

Harvey and Jesse had hoped to retire and run a bed and breakfast and it was going great with happy regulars and new visitors.

The old house needed work. The glass panes in the solarium leaked, as one guest pointed out.

They could not continue for another year without some money invested. This would be their last Christmas to share this beautiful home with others it seemed.

Jesse brought in two beautiful trees and lots of boughs from their forest, She turned on her favorite Christmas music and began the magic. On the wide mantle over the fire she laid fragrant balsam boughs with three red candles and tiny baubles. Up the banister, she wrapped more greenery and tiny lights.

Her antique Christmas treasures were arranged around the house. Jenna carefully unwrapped the pewter angels from her Grandmother. She held them close and made a wish. Just her childish ritual, but it couldn't hurt

From the kitchen, Jesse's pumpkin pies filled the house with cinnamon and clove.

That afternoon, a couple from California were arriving for the Christmas week. Jesse recognized the name of a big Hollywood director.

Oh, he is probably just wanting an old fashioned holiday. They may fake it in Tinsel Town, but here in Vermont, we have the real thing.

As if on cue, the snow began to fall outside.

Jesse was hanging a wreath decorated with pine cones and red bows on the front door when Harvey honked the horn as he pulled into the driveway. He had gone to pick up the Hollywood couple at the airport for their stay in the Green Mountains.

Jessie brushed off a few pine needles from her skirt then turned to greet her guests.

'Welcome to Vermont" she called out gaily.

The older couple entered and the woman gasped at the beauty of it all.

Oh my dear, this is just what we were looking for. It is absolutely perfect !'

"Yes dear, perfect."

They had a memorable holiday and on the last day the director asked to speak with Harvey.

He began by thanking him for the wonderful Christmas that they shared.

He then answered all of Harvey's problems in one request.

Harvey, I have been working on a movie and cannot get the Christmas scene right. These kids try, but it just doesn't seem genuine. Your house is my vision.

I would like to film here, It would take about a month. Maybe you have heard how generous location scouts are, I hope not, but I am offering this. To film in your house with all the wonderful decorations and ambiance. It is exactly the look I have been searching for,

He slid a paper folded with a quite generous offer across the table.

Harvey excused himself for a minute and went to see Jesse in the kitchen.

He began to search in the drawer where he kept the calculator and pulled out his pad.

He lay his list of estimates and quotes for the house next to the directors offer and laughed out loud.

It was exactly the same amount.

December 22, 2019 23:09

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