A.L.F’s Christmas Carol
“Hey Kate,” ALF said as Kate entered the living room with a medium sized brown box, “Here’s my Christmas list.”
After placing the box next to the couch, she walked over to ALF’s side and took the list from him. She read it to herself, then read aloud a few items to the rest of the Tanner family.
“A cotton candy machine, and a Deluxe 500 Gourmet ice cream machine.” Kate looked up and handed the list back to ALF.
“Alf,” Willy turned around sideways to look at ALF from the couch, “What’d you want with an ice cream machine, let alone a cotton candy machine?”
“Relax Willy,” ALF said, sitting at the head of the dining room table that was covered with sale papers, “Christmas isn’t about what ya need, but about what you want. Besides, I have a few ideas for some new flavors.”
“Like what Alf?” Bryan asked, sitting on the floor with Lynn unpacking the boxes that Kate brought out, full of Christmas decorations.
“Well, I know what you’re gonna think – it sounds crazy I know but,” ALF said as he put his hands in the air as if he were picturing it, “Mint chocolate chip.”
“I believe uh that flavor already exists,” Willy pushed his glasses up on his nose.
“Really?” ALF glanced up at Kate who still stood next to him with one hand on her hip.
“I’m afraid so,” She said as she walked away.
“Well that’s okay,” ALF tapped his furry fingers against the table and thought to himself for a moment, “What about….” He put his hands in the air again, picturing the reality of his idea, “Chocolate chip, cookie dough?”
“It already exists too Alf,” Lynn said as she started to untangle the string of lights.
“Shucks,” He thought to himself once more, then it struck him, “I know! Strawberry cheesecake!” He said with his index finger in the air and hisother hand resting against his chest.
“It’s been done, Alf,” Willy said, rattling the newspaper.
“Well what flavors haven’t been made?” ALF slammed his hand down on the table.
“Okay Bry, hang the stockings,” Kate handed them to Bryan ignoring ALF’s question, leaving him to answer it himself.
“Doughnut flavored….now there’s one I’ve never heard of,” ALF said.
“Oh brother,” Willy said under his breath.
“ALF, why don’t you come and help us put up decorations?” Lynn suggested.
“Okay,” ALF hopped down from the chair and joined her in the floor between the couch and the coffee table.
“What can I do?” He asked.
“Here,” Kate sat a box down in front of him, “Just unpack this box for right now.”
“Okay,” ALF said as he opened the box.
First he took out some green garland, then two red velvet bows, trimmed in gold thread. Second he pulled out a wreath decorated with pinecones, one of ALF’s favorite snacks. After he sat the wreath aside, he looked down in the box and noticed one of the pinecones had fallen off. While no one was looking, he grabbed it, turned his head and casually put it in his mouth and crunched away, and then continued with his duty that Kate assigned to him.
In the bottom, he noticed a folded up piece of paper.
“What’s this?” ALF muttered to himself as he picked it up.
His heart sank when he unfolded the paper. There, looking back at him was a picture of him with his nose half way missing. And his memory traveled back to two years ago, to the memory of a brave little girl he once knew and at that point sadness filled his heart.
“I didn’t have enough room to fit it on the page,” He heard her voice say inside his mind as he looked at his nose that had only been half drawn on the page.
“What’s that Alf?” Willy asked.
“Uh,” ALF stalled, “Uh nothing.”
Willy scooted closer and reached into the box pulling out a long white envelope.
“Say,” He opened it and pulled out an official document, “It’s the deed for the cabin that Mr. Foley left us.”
“That’s right,” Kate remembered, “He left us the deed. It was his first Christmas without Margret.”
“Let’s go this year,” Bryn said, pausing from hanging the last stocking by the fireplace.
“Oh…that’s probably not a good idea,” Willy looked down, putting the deed back into the envelope.
After thinking a moment, Kate stepped in to try and convince Willy to go,
“Oh Willy,” she stood up next to him, “We did have fun the last time we were there.”
“Yeah, Dad,” Lynn agreed.
“Come on Dad,” Bryan said again, “Let’s go.”
“Well,” Willy glanced around, “I guess we could.” He smiled.
“Awesome!” Lynn said in excitement.
In the midst of all the excitement, ALF’s attention still clang to the drawing in his hand.
It was only November thirtieth, and that night at dinner the Tanners discussed details about the trip – everyone but ALF.
“Willy, Alf seemed a little distant tonight at dinner,” Kate said, slipping under the comforter and the sheets.
“I’m sure he’s fine,” Willy fluffed his pillow, “you know how he feels about going somewhere where there’s no electricity. That means on television.”
“Yeah,” Kate considered Willy’s explanation, “you’re right.”
As the time came closer to Christmas, normal wacky things happened – like packages being delivered to the door that Willy had to sign for which just happened to be ALF’s Christmas presents for everyone.
“Alf,” Willy said, carrying a box across the living room, “I though you were going to help carry stuff out to the car?” The day had come to leave.
“In a second,” ALF said with his eyes glued to the T.V, “I wanna see if the kid gets the Red Rider B.B gun.”
Willy paused, then went on his way out the front door. He and ALF decided to go ahead to the cabin a day in advance, and then Kate and the kids would meet them there on Christmas Eve.
The car ride so far seemed odd. ALF hadn’t said a word, and he continued looking out the window. Even when the snow started to drift down and stick to the ground, he said nothing. That’s when Willy knew something was really wrong and he refused to let it go on any longer.
“Okay Alf,” Willy said, “let’s talk.”
ALF looked over at Willy and blinked his eyes, “Talk about what?”
“Oh come on Alf,” Willy said, “you can’t fool me. I know something’s wrong. And unless you talk about it, it’s not going to get any better.”
ALF shook his head, “Alright, alright……remember the piece of paper I was holding that I said that was nothing? Well….it was. It was a picture that Tiffany drew while she was on the hospital for me. It was the night she died”
“Ohhhh,” Willy remembered the little girl and completely understood, “And you’re missing her.”
ALF shook his head slightly, “Yeah. I just hope where ever she is…..that she’s okay.”
“Oh Alf,” Willy put one hand on ALF’s shoulder, “She’s just fine…..she’s just fine.”
“I just wish I could’ve said good-bye in ya know….person.”
“I know Alf,” Willy said, “I know.”
“And, and….it jus isn’t fair,” ALF added, “She was too young to die. She didn’t even have a chance to live a normal life. And that’s something that I think everyone should be able to have or do.”
“Life isn’t fair Alf,” Willy said in an understanding tone, “Sometimes, life just doesn’t give like it takes. But that’s just how things are.” A few moments of silence went by. “Maybe, you should talk to her.”
“How can I talk to her, if she isn’t here Willy?” ALF asked in a sarcastic voice.
“Just because you can’t see someone, doesn’t mean they can’t hear you,”
Willy explained, “it might make you feel better. You don’t have to do it now just when ever you feel like it.”
They arrived at the cabin, and they unloaded the gifts and everything they needed to cook with, the food and the clothes. Firewood sat beside the fireplace, and for an hour or so Willy and ALF sat in front of the fire, talking about old Christmas memories – mostly of Willy’s.
The two decided they wanted some hot cocoa. So while Willy was working on warming up the water, ALF decided to step outside for a moment by himself.
He looked up, moving his head back and forth watching the snowflakes fall down onto the ground that was already covered with at least a foot of snow.
“Well, here goes,” ALF said aloud, “Uh, Tiffany, it’s me, Alf. Uh, I hope you remember me…..uh, I found your picture the other day…..anyway, I know you didn’t really have the Christmas of your dreams the last time you were here, and well, I just wanted you to know that I hope you’re having it now, because you deserve everything good, all good things. I hope you can hear me and if you can, I guess I’m trying to say….well…..my good-bye’s. Merry Christmas, and take care, and uh…well, I…I love ya.”
A star twinkled after ALF finished speaking to his friend that had passed away. He took it as a sign that Tiffany in fact did hear him and that Willy was right. And he felt a peace come over him, and he knew now she was fine, and he had closure. He put his hand in the air slowly, waving a small good-bye towards the sky, and then he let himself back in the cabin.
Kate and the kids arrived the next morning bright and early. They all sat around the tree, laughing and talking and enjoying the gifts they had gotten from each other. Lynn was impressed with the brown Italian leather purse that ALF had gotten her, and Bryan loved the Turbo Speed Racer car that he had gotten from ALF as well.
“Okay,” Kate reached behind the tree, “There’s one more gift, and it’s for ALF,” she brought out a shiny green package with a red ribbon.
“For me?” ALF blushed as Kate sat it down in front of him, “You guys shouldn’t have.”
“Well go ahead ALF, open it,” Kate smiled.
Underneath the wrapping paper, was the Deluxe 500 Gourmet Ice Cream Machine he had asked for, and that made ALF’s Christmas complete. The rest of the day, the Tanner family sat by the fire and eventually the bright sky faded into purple and then night fall came.