Short Fictions > Short Fiction > Closed for Christmas

Closed for Christmas

Closed for Christmas

'Would you like some help with the decorations for Sunday's service, Father?'

     'What are you talking about? Sunday's a bank holiday. The church is closed.'

     'Closed? But it's Christmas Day, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.'

     'You trying to tell me my job? You think I don't know it's Christmas Day? I'm looking forward to spending it with my family for once. How would you like to have to work on a bank holiday, and every Sunday too? Most people don't work Sundays. Why should I be different?'

     'But, it's your job, Father.'

     'Don't you think I'm entitled to a little time off like the rest of the community? Give me a break. Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. Even the Lord rested on the seventh day, but I'm on call twenty-four seven. It never changes. Day in day out people rock up at the church expecting me to listen to their petty problems and give them absolution. As soon as I've done that they're off to enjoy themselves with never a backward glance, never a thank you. Then every week I have to dream up a sermon for Sunday. That's a real chore and I've had more than I can take.'

     'But… What am I going to do? I always look forward to the carols at the Christmas service.'

     'What a selfish attitude. Why should I have to work on Christmas Day just because you want to sing a few carols? Everybody has a right to a day off once in a while.'

     'The church closed for Christmas. I don't know what to say, Father.'

     'Best say nothing then. Goodbye… Oh, before I forget. Don't come Easter, either.'

© Jim Ditchfield 2013