Prompt: Gingerbread House
Characters: Greta, Maria, Bernd, mention of Didi & Amber
Word count: 1001
Summary: Maria gets a gingerbread house from a mall Santa…
Genre: slice of life
Author’s notes: Thanks go out to my beta, Kat, for pinking this for me.
Mother and daughter had gone to the mall to shop as well as visit Santa, who gave Maria an interesting “gift” when “visited” him and rattled off her Christmas list. She smiled brightly for the camera. When she got off his lap, Santa handed her a present, which she thanked him for. Afterwards, Greta and her daughter made a quick trip to the dollar store so Maria could pick up some token gifts for everyone, before heading home.
“What do you think Santa got me?” Maria asked as she sat in the backseat, holding her gift.
“I have no idea, Liebling,” Greta said as she drove home. She and her daughter passed the time, singing along with the Christmas carols on the radio. It made the hour trip go fast. When they arrived home, they both took their bags in the house.
“Hey, Häschen,” Bernd said when they walked into the kitchen. “How was Santa?”
“Good, Vati!” Maria said. “Look! I got a present from him!” She held it up.
“Lucky Duck! What is it?” Bernd took off his glasses and closed his laptop. He leaned over to see what she had.
“I don’t know. I need to put my things away and then we can open it.” She handed him the present. “Can you watch this, Vati? Please? Danke!”
Greta nodded, pleased with her young daughter’s good behavior. Unlike Bernd, Maria had the Pawlitzki “tidiness gene” and she was very good about keeping things neat and put away. It also helped that Greta encouraged it whenever she saw it, Amber too, until it was deeply ingrained in her.
“Okay.” Bernd took the present and watched her go. “Have fun at the mall?”
“Ja, and surprisingly, it wasn’t too busy.” Greta set the bags on kitchen table, while she went to get something to drink.
“That’s good. Amber said she’d take Fritz after dinner.” He turned in his seat to face her.
“Where are they now?”
“Fritz is over at his friend’s house and Amber’s meeting Minky for lunch.”
“Good.” Greta silently wondered where the rest of the family was.
“And Vati’s out shopping with Onkel Luigi,” he added in response to her unspoken question. Bernd turned back to his laptop, and figuring she was not paying attention, attempted to look in one of the shopping bags.
Greta snorted. “So all I need to do is get rid of you and I can wrap my presents.” She put her glass in the sink and walked over to the kitchen table, smacking his hand when she got there.
“And Maria.” Bernd smirked.
“Can’t you take her riding or something? I don’t often get the house to myself. Please?” Greta made big, soft, doe eyes at him. She leaned forward, stopping just shy of making it obvious she was giving him an eyeful of her large, sweater clad breasts.
Bernd stared at them. He was sure she had shimmied them… He shook his head and looked up at her. “Okay, but first Santa’s present. Maria’s not going to go anywhere until she sees what it is.” Bernd gently shook it.
“Ja…” Before Greta could do more than just agree with him, Maria came back into the kitchen.
“Let’s open it, Vati!” She reached for the present and Bernd handed it to her.
“Okay.” Bernd watched as she carefully opened it.
Maria’s eyes lit up when she saw what she got. Santa had given her a simple do it yourself gingerbread house kit. She loved the ones her Onkel Didi made for as long as she could remember. “Oh, Vati, let’s make it now! Please?”
Bernd gave Greta a quick look and she nodded. “Okay,” he said as he reached for it. Bernd squinted at the directions on the outside of the package. Luckily it was a series of pictures, so he did not need his glasses. “I don’t think there’s any candy in there…” He grinned. “So let’s steal some from Opa and go up to your room and make it.”
“Vati, that’s not nice!” Maria put her hands on her hips and gave him a scowl that would have been at home on her grandfather’s face.
Bernd smiled contritely at her. “Opa won’t mind, especially when he sees your gingerbread house.”
“You sure?” Maria looked up at him, worry about doing something “wrong” clearly seen on her face.
Bernd smiled and nodded at her. “Come, let’s go to your room, and I’ll talk to Opa later when he gets home.”
“Okay.” Maria took his hand and went with him.
“Wait!” Greta said. She rummaged in the pantry and came back with a tube of white icing and some candy bits that were leftover from the cupcakes she had made last month for her daughter’s birthday. “I don’t think there’s any icing in there and you can always use more candy.”
“Thanks, Mutti!” Maria said.
“Maybe we can leave Opa’s candy alone,” Bernd said.
“Yeah.” Carrying the gingerbread house kit, Maria and Bernd, who had the frosting and candy bits, headed upstairs to her room, leaving Greta behind to wrap her presents in peace.
Once the gifts were wrapped, Greta brought them upstairs to Didi’s old room in the attic, where she slept whenever Bernd was visiting Amber and she wanted to be by herself. She hid them in the closet and went to go check on her daughter. Peeking in Maria’s room, she saw the two of them covered in frosting and candy bits. She was surprised to see the gingerbread house was in one piece with a blizzard of frosting on the roof. There was a sprinkling of candy bits dusting the white peaks. Greta slipped away to get her phone. She came back, just as unnoticed as before, and took several pictures of them, which she sent to Bernd’s brother Didi with a note to skip the gingerbread house this year. She smiled when Didi emailed her back to say there was no way he could make anything that awesome.