Four Europeans sat together at a small, oval dining table with a plate of brownie alpine biscotti as the centerpiece. Four cups of seasonal happiness–technically, three mugs and one cup and saucer– circled the treats.
Theirs was a quiet meeting, except for Austria’s occasional laughing. No one knew what she found so funny (mostly because no one was even talking), but at the same time they didn’t care enough to ask.
“Does anyone have any holiday plans?” Liechtenstein asked carefully after taking a sip of hot chocolate.
“Your face,” Austria said suddenly.
Liechtenstein’s head bobbed forward. “My face?”
Austria made a swift motion with her hand, moving it back and forth in front of her upper lift. Liechtenstein, after remembering he’d smothered the top of his drink with whipped cream and syrup, understood and grabbed a napkin.
“I went to Dresden this weekend,” Germany said. “The Christmas markets, you know… Spent too much money, but I just couldn’t help it. Every time I saw a hand-painted ornament, I-I just had to have it. You know what that’s like, don’t you?”
They all looked at him blankly because they absolutely had no idea what that was like.
Germany continued. “I’ve actually been thinking of taking it easy with the partying this year.” He paused. “My house will look amazing, though.”
“Absolutely stunning,” Austria agreed with a firm nod. “Switzerland, please remove your knife from the table.”
“But look,” Switzerland said. “I decorated it for Christmas.” Around the army knife was a little red and green bow.
“Should have been gold and white,” Austria said before sipping her cocoa.
“Austria, we’ve talked about this,” Germany said with annoyance. “Gold and white aren’t real Christmas colors.”
“They most certainly are!”
Liechtenstein shook his head and smiled.
“I think I’m going to hike up the Alps,” Switzerland said. “To be closer to God. So when I sacrifice the goats–”
“We should put on some music,” Austria interrupted, though it didn’t seem intentional. “The air is so thick in here. I’m suffocating. Does anyone else feel smothered? Put on some music.”
Soon after, the strong sounds of Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” filled the cozy room.
“We should still do the gift exchange,” Liechtenstein said. “We do it every year. I’d only be right. Plus, it’s fun! Isn’t it fun? I think it’s fun.”
“Only if I get Germany,” Switzerland said. Germany looked over to find Switzerland staring at him with devious eyes. The longer he stared, the harder it was to look away. A baby wailed in the distance–no, wait, that was just the music.
“That’s no fun,” Lichtenstein said. “It’d be way better if the giftee didn’t know who their gifter was!”
“Those aren’t words,” Austria said. “Anyhow, these biscotti are fantastic, Switzerland. I’d love the recipe.”
“Oh, I just bought them from a second-hand shop.”
Austria grimaced before excusing herself to the bathroom.
“I should have brought the cheese,” Switzerland said grimly, staring down at the table. “But you wouldn’t let me.”
“You bring cheese every time, Schweiz,” Germany said in a tone that made it obvious he was suppressing a groan. “We’re bored of it.”
The bitterness in Switzerland’s voice made Germany retort. “Don’t act like it’s unreasonable to be bored with cheese.”
“Okay, okay, okay.”
“I mean–ugh–I just… every time? Really? Every time?”
“Germany? This is why you’re on my shit list.”
And in the end, neither of them noticed that Liechtenstein had fallen right out of his chair and passed out from a sudden sugar crash.
Take this quiz to find out which (non-German speaking) P&P character you’re most like when it comes to the holiday season!