Philip’s Christmas turns into a disaster when his troublesome younger cousin Francis shows up to stay for a few days. Nothing is safe, not the Christmas tree, not the presents, and certainly not the good cheer of the season. Philip enlists his best friend Emery to help out in entertaining Francis but even a trip to the local mall to admire the decorations turns into a misadventure of epic proportions. Can anything bring some Christmas joy for Philip? Christmas morning holds the answer.
Philip moaned and made a slow about-face. There sat Francis at the very top of the pile of fake presents. A man wearing a Santa Claus tie and a short-sleeved red shirt waved his arm at the boy.
"Come down here, young man,” he shouted. “Get down from there. You’ll hurt yourself."
Somehow Francis had scaled the pyramid of presents like a mountain goat and now sat on the top cube, legs dangling, unwrapping another small candy cane.
"No, I won’t,” Francis said with certainty. He let go of the candy cane paper and watched it floated down until it fell at the feet of the man with the Santa Claus tie. A younger man in a short-sleeved white shirt and Santa hat moved next to him.
"Shall I call security, Mr. Wackers?” the younger man asked.
"No, no. Not yet, Bascomb.” He looked up at Francis again. “Son, come down here."
"I’m not your son,” Francis called down to him.
"Thank goodness for that,” the man mumbled.
"I’ll go up and get him,” said Bascomb.
"No, the boxes won’t hold you, and we’d have a new catastrophe on our hands.” His eyes rose to Francis. “Come down, please, little boy."
"I don’t want to."
"'Cause I’m not done yet."
"Not done? Not done what? What are you doing?"
"Yeah, and I’m not finished."
"Sir,” Bascomb said, “it could take him a long time to finish doing nothing."
Mr. Wackers scowled. “I’ll have to call your parents if you don’t come right down."
"They’re not here. They flew someplace."
"Well, who are you here with?"
Philip’s stomach dropped when Francis pointed toward him.
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