Thursday, December 8, 2011

Write a Holiday Short Story - The Flight Before Christmas by Michael Young

Happy Thursday!

Time to post another Write A Holiday Short Story Contest story. This time I would like to welcome Michael Young, an author who has been published earlier by Cedar Fort publishing. It's a second time he is visiting my blog and this time with the short story. Beneath the short story you will find more information about him.

Make sure to comment the short story!

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Michael Young and his short story!

The Flight Before Christmas

by Michael Young

‘Twas the flight before Christmas, and all through the plane, holiday travelers were going insane…

A coach airplane seat was never meant to house a grown man and a squirming toddler. It’s a stretch for a first-class seat. This, however, was the just the situation I found myself in on Christmas Eve 2009. Having recently been laid off, I had opted for the cheapest flight I could find, which happened to be on the day before Christmas.

Our plane was stuffed fuller than Santa’s bag of toys, and none of the passengers looked like it was the most wonderful time of the year. My son was too young to understand that he wasn’t supposed to pout or cry around Christmas time. Doubtless some of the wondered what I had done this year to deserve a fate worse than coal this Christmas. Though his grandfather is a pilot, my son is not a natural in the air. His ears never popped, he always wanted to be free to move about the cabin, and didn’t understand when I had to put away his DVD player for take-off and landing.

Despite my son’s aversion to flying, we made it through the first leg of our flight, and reached our layover in Wisconsin. As soon as the doors opened, I grabbed everything and dashed out of the plane, knowing that my window for catching our flight was supposed to be slim. It turns out, I could have crawled to the gate backwards and still arrived in time to catch the plane. It might have put me on the TSA’s Naughty List, but then again, it might have also gotten me on YouTube.

All around the airport, a fierce winter storm had turned the airport into a winter blunderland. This meant that instead of drawing closer, our departure time slipped further and further away, to the point that I didn’t want to look at the arrival/depature screens anymore for the fear of bad news.

It turns out that I hadn’t factored in a six-hour layover when figuring the number of snacks to bring and how many of his favorite toys and diapers I should cram into the diaper bag. After the first hour or two, he had gone through a change of clothes, had eaten all of his snacks, had lost interest of his favorite toys at least twice, and was even starting to lose interest in the DVD player.

Unsure of what else to do, I strapped him in the umbrella stroller and zipped around the airport, thinking that a change of scenery would take both of our minds off our predicament. The little man remained unimpressed with the overpriced bookstores and fast-food chains. .

At the end of my rope, we parked by our gate and said a silent prayer for relief, and that I might actually reach my parent’s house while the calendar still read December 24th.

What happened next I can only describe as a Christmas miracle—though not in the typical Hollywood sense. No top-hatted snowmen came to life and offered to clear the runway, no shiny-nosed reindeer offered to guide our flight, and no one’s heart grew three sizes that day to let us have their first-class seat.

I glanced up, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a man I knew well, who lived in the same town as my parents. He was stuck waiting for the same flight and had been wandering the airport alone. Though my situation remained the same, at that moment, having someone to share it with made all the difference. He watched my son so I could take a solo trip to the restroom, found a few new things from his carryon to keep my toddler’s attention, and even bought us dinner.

Many hours after its erringly-scheduled takeoff, the flight before Christmas finally got underway, and, with great relief, I settled into another tiny seat.

It turns out, the long day had worn out my little guy and as soon as we started moving, he lay his head down my shoulder for a long winter’s nap. Then, while he dreamt of sugarplums, I got what I really wanted for Christmas:

A silent flight.


Michael is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in German Teaching and a minor in Music. He puts his German to good use by working to build online German courses for High School students. Though he grew up traveling the world with his military father, he now lives in Utah with his wife, Jen, and his two sons. Michael enjoys acting in community theater, playing and writing music and spending time with his family. He played for several years with the handbell choir Bells on Temple Square and is now a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

He is the author of the novels THE CANTICLE KINGDOM and THE LAST ARCHANGEL. He is also the author of the inspirational pamphlet PORTRAIT OF A MOTHER. He has also had work featured in various online and print magazines such as Mindflights, The New Era, Allegory, and Ensign.
The Last Archangel
Published by Cedar Fort Publishing
Xandir has been exiled to earth until the end of time. But when his cherub trainee disappears, Xandir makes a deal with rogue angels and giants that could restore life to the mortal woman he loves and end his assignment as a destroying angel in exchange for helping them bring about the end of the world and all of mankind.
I have reviewed The Last Archangel and I loved this book! You can find the review here:
I also made an interview with him. You can read it here:
Thank you, Michael, for writing a Holiday Short Story!
Dear readers, let's give him some feedback! Feel free to comment!


  1. Thanks Inga. By the way, this is based on my actual experience.

  2. Messing with the classic lines... a man after my own heart. We regularly deck the halls with bouts of folly.

  3. Michael, thank you for writing a short story! I really enjoyed it!