Christmas Spice
by Anna Leigh Keaton

Vicky opened the door and grinned at her late arrivals. One of her employees, Anita, held a tray of what smelled like her delicious, spicy tamales. Her two granddaughters she’d brought along each held brightly wrapped packages.

Hola, Anita,” Vicky said with a grin as she held out her arms to hug the girls. They fell against her legs, laughing and squeezing. “Feliz Navidad. Come in, come in. Oh, don’t you girls look so pretty tonight? Why don’t you guys put those under the tree and find Paul and Heather’s little girl? She’s around here somewhere.”

“Thanks, Aunt Vicky,” they chimed before dashing over to the big tree set in the corner of the living room.

“Ah, Anita. I told you you didn’t have to bring anything,” Vicky said, taking the platter from her friend.

“You know I go nowhere without food, especially on Christmas.” She grinned and came through the door before Vicky shut it.

“So glad you could make it. How’d your family take you running off like this?”

The older woman grinned. “We had our meal this afternoon, and now they are cleaning while I have more party time.”

“Hey, Anita!” Paul called across the slightly crowded room.. “Glad you could make it.”

Hola, Paul. Heather,” she added with a slight nod and a big smile for the couple who’d become her friends as well over the last couple of years.

Vicky introduced Anita to a couple more friends as they walked through the living room, and Anita stopped to give Denise, another worker at the salon, a quick hug.

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