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That Christmas Eve, she had been out Christmas caroling with her glee club. She was supposed to be home by three, but because of ice on the roads it took her an extra thirty minutes to drive home, making her late. When she walked in the door she recognized the smell immediately. It was the unmistakable aroma of whiskey.

Stumbling into the living room from the kitchen, her dad, obviously drunk, yelled, “Rose, you are late.”

Rose knew her dad’s drunken antics and knew better than to argue with him. They would talk later when he sobered up, if he hadn’t completely forgot about the argument.

“I’m sorry, Daddy. The roads were ice covered.”

“Go ahead and open your present.” She was astounded. They never opened their presents before Christmas morning, and now he was angry at her, yet allowing her to open the best one. She didn’t take time to consider it was part of his evil scheme in getting her back for being late, but thought maybe, just maybe, he was changing.

Unwrapping the large bow slowly she heard her dad shout, “rip it open already,” a demand she was delighted to follow.

Inside the beautiful box was the sapphire blue velvet dress she had seen at the store. It was expensive, costing more than one month of her dad’s salary he made as a grocery bagger, so she didn’t even bother asking for it. But here it was in front of her.

“Daddy, I love it. Thank you so much!” She ran to hug him, but he pushed her down to the floor, splashing whiskey everywhere.

“I bet you do. But you don’t deserve it. I’m taking it back to the store right now. You will receive nothing this year for Christmas and you are grounded for one month. Maybe next time you will think twice about being late and being out with your songbird friends instead of home with your father!”

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