“Christmas with the Laytons”
Luke awoke early, exceptionally early. But he did have a reason: today was Christmas day.
Once he’d gathered his thoughts and realized what day it was, he leaped out of bed and got dressed in record time. Today, he was sure, would be the best Christmas ever.
The boy snuck over to his parents’ bedroom and listened at the doorway. They were fast asleep; he could tell by his father’s deep snoring. He never quite understood how his mother could sleep through it. He decided not to wake them.
He tiptoed down the stairs and walked into the living room. He saw the Christmas tree, full of baubles and tinsel, and lights which weren’t on. Luke smiled to himself and switched them on, humming jingle bells while he looked at the presents sprawled over the floor. The puzzle lover picked up two presents which he had placed under there himself, and gave each of them to their owners: his hamster, Biscuit, and his parrot, Chibi. As they didn’t have fingers or anything that would be useful to them while unwrapping presents, Luke did it for them. He gave Biscuit a new running wheel, of which he wasn’t sure whether or not the hamster would like it, and he gave Chibi a special treat; one of the more expensive bird treats from the local pet shop.
A few hours later (which seemed like centuries to Luke) Clark, Brenda and Luke Triton were walking down the street. Well, Clark and Brenda were walking calmly while Luke repeatedly ran ahead, then ran back, energetically told his parents to hurry up, circled round them, then ran ahead again to start it all over again, until they finally reached their destination: the Layton household.
Luke charged up the path and held the doorbell until the door opened. In the doorway were Professor Layton and his adopted daughter, Flora. The Professor opened his mouth to greet them, but couldn’t get a word in edgeways as Luke was already chattering non-stop.
“Merry Christmas, Professor! Merry Christmas, Flora! Can we come in? Just wait until you see what presents I have for you! Have you got a Christmas tree up yet? Can we see it? Do you have any Christmas puzzles? Are you going to wear a Christmas hat over your top hat?” and furthermore of these kind of questions.
“Hello Luke, Clark, and Brenda.” the Professor interrupted. “Merry Christmas!” he beckoned them in.
Luke threw himself down on the living room sofa and bounced up and down.
“Luke.” Brenda hissed. “Calm down.”
Luke leaned back on the sofa and tried to relax, but soon found himself jumping off the sofa, running to the Christmas tree and looking at the decorations, going back to the sofa and running round in circles, when his parents decided to calm him down by telling him to give his presents.
Luke obeyed and took the two packages out of his satchel. He handed the first one to Flora; he had thought of giving her a recipe book, but thought a lady might find that offensive, so had brought her a necklace. It was oval and a deep golden colour, to match her Golden Apple sign. Flora seemed happy enough with it; Luke wasn’t sure, but he gathered a kiss on the cheek was good.
He then gave the Professor his present: a box of home-made Christmas tree decorations in various shapes such as puzzle pieces, golden apples and top hats. They were hung in the tree immediately.
Luke’s presents were a few biscuits baked by Flora, which he tactfully claimed to save for later, and from the Professor, a top hat, identical to his, except for the fact that on the places where the Professor’s was coloured orange, Luke’s was blue. The boy was so excited that he tried it on straight away, resulting in laughter: the hat came down over his eyes.
“I think you’d better wait until you’re a little older.” the Professor told him.
“Nope, it’s fine…” Luke pushed it up. “See?” the hat fell again. Luke did not seem to mind, and meant to keep it on for the rest of the day, but his parents persuaded him to take it off after he’d walked into the furniture multiple times.
The doorbell went again, and when the door was opened Luke was surprised, but for some reason happy to see Emmy Altava on the doorstep. “Hi.” she said, cheerfully. “Merry Christmas!”
She walked into the room, and smiled at everyone. “Hey, Luke! Wow, you’ve grown!”
“You’re still the same, though.” Luke said cheekily. “Or have you put on weight?”
Emmy simply smiled at him. “And you? Are you still the same old little brat?”
Luke reached into his satchel for his present from Flora. “Want a biscuit?” he asked, sweetly.
Later, Luke, Clark, Brenda, Flora, Emmy and the Professor were at the kitchen table for Christmas dinner. They pulled crackers and ate, or, in Luke’s case, chomped through their turkey. “It’s delicious.” the young professor’s apprentice said, with his mouth full. Once they had finished, he asked: “What’s for pudding?”
“I made a cake for pudding!” Flora said, cheerfully.
Luke’s face fell. While Flora was out getting it, professor Layton whispered to him: “Don’t worry, I went to the shops and replaced it.”
Luke gaped. “Professor!” he gasped. The Professor winked, cheekily, and Luke grinned. When he looked around the table, he realized they were all together, whether they knew each other or not, for Christmas. Everyone was here. Yet somehow, he felt there was something, someone missing. He pushed the thought aside. All he needed now was to celebrate Christmas, and, of course, enjoy the cake.
That night, Luke Triton looked out of his bedroom window with a satisfied feeling inside him. The stars shone in the dark sky, and he knew that his prediction of that morning was correct:
This was the best Christmas ever.