Separated at the age of sixteen by selfish battling parents going through a bitter divorce, twin sisters Iris and Siri Beaulieu vow to never be apart on Christmas Eve, which is also their birthday.
Now grown and married and perhaps a bit bored with their husbands, the twins decide to give each other the ultimate birthday present by switching identities.
And one tipsy Christmas Eve leads to a twin swap the husbands will never forget.
Although it’s been done, many times, many ways… Merry Christmas to you!
“Oh my God, I needed this.” Iris watched Siri plunk herself down on the couch in front of the stone fireplace. Brett handed her a glass of red wine. “Thank you, honey. I needed this, too.” She held the glass aloft in silent salute.
“Me too. I’m so glad we did this,” Iris agreed, picking up her wine from the coffee table. “This is so much better than staying home and having to work in time to spend with both Mom and Dad over the holidays.”
“I’ll say. Even after all these years, they’re still so petty with one another.”
“And still using us to try and stick it to the other. Nothing’s changed.”
“I think they got the message this year, though, now that we’re adults with lives of our own and we’re not going to take it anymore.”
“You’d think they would have clued into that when we didn’t invite them to either of our weddings. But it didn’t stop Mom from trying to control our Christmas plans.”
“How did you find this place, Iris?” Brett asked as he and Kyle sat on stools at the bar opposite Iris and her sister, who’d cozied up on the sofa together.
“My boss owns it, actually. Isn’t it beautiful? She calls it the cottage…” Iris made the quote signs. “Can you believe anyone would call this a cottage? It’s posher than our place, isn’t it, Kyle? Anyway, she said they only use it during the summer months and lately not even then, and we were welcome to use it over the holidays.”
Iris paused and took a sip of her wine.
“The best part is, her boss didn’t want anything as compensation for it,” Kyle explained. “As long as we left things the way we found ‘em.”
“That means no wild parties, Sear,” Brett said pointedly yet teasingly to his wife.
“Damn! Foiled again.” She took a healthy sip of her drink. “This place is incredible. So cozy. I love the fireplace.”
“My boss said I could consider our little vacation spot a Christmas bonus and a birthday present all wrapped up in one. So sweet.” Iris smiled as she pulled on some wool socks. “I like what you did with the little tree there.” She pointed to the tiny potted Norfolk Pine they’d picked up at the local grocery on the drive up, along with several other last minute items.
Kyle laughed and held up his beer. “That was all Brett’s doing.”
“Very creative.” Iris admired the colorful paper umbrellas and swizzle sticks stuffed haphazardly all over the little tree. A small white doily topped it off like a makeshift star.
“Hey, maybe next year if they let us have the place again, Kyle and I could chop down our own Christmas tree, and you girls could decorate it.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Siri agreed.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could make this our Christmas slash birthday getaway every year?” Iris said.
Kyle and Brett exchanged a look.
“Do you think your boss might be looking to sell anytime soon?” Brett asked.
“Well, I don’t know. She did say that they hadn’t used the place for a while. Their kids are all off to college now. They don’t get up here as much as they used to.”
“Maybe when you get back to work in January you could make some subtle inquiries, Iris.”
“I’ll do that.” She watched him, excited by the prospect.
“Look what I brought, boys,” Siri said. She reached to her side and came up with two green Santa hats and two red ones.
“Oh, yay!” Iris bounced. “Gimme the green one.”
Siri handed it to her.
She popped it on her head at a jaunty angle.
Siri pulled her long blonde hair back and placed the red one on.
“Here ya go, boys.” With a flick of her wrist, she tossed the other two hats across the space. Brett caught the green one and Kyle the red.
Once again, they shared a look, but instead of exchanging hats to match their wives, they kept the one she’d thrown and placed them on their heads.