by Sam Pellman ’20
“I’ll never make it home!” she sighed. The schedule just changed from a two-hour delay to now four. The snow was falling hard at home. She looked at the TVs where the runways in NY were covered in white. “We haven’t had a white Christmas in years! Why does the weather decide to act up today of all days?” Michelle had been at the airport for five hours now. All she wanted to do was get home for Christmas. She had been away from home for four weeks now, traveling around Cambodia with her Habitat for Humanity group of friends. She had been building homes for families for the holidays and nothing made her feel better. Knowing that these families have a place to stay and be together for the holidays was the only gift she needed this year. Plus, maybe making it home. In all twenty-two years of her life, she never once missed Christmas at home. But things weren’t looking good. At this point she’d definitely be spending Christmas Eve at the tiny airport in Cambodia. She looked around. Everyone else looked sad as well. Some of them were her friends from the group. She was friendly with them and understood they felt the same way as her. An idea came into her head. She whispered to the people sitting around the gate, telling them to run into the cheesy airport stores and pick out a gift. If they were all going to be stuck in here for Christmas Eve, they might as well celebrate together. Soon everyone was on board with the idea and everyone ran into the stores quickly trying to find a decent gift for an anonymous someone. When everyone was ready, Michelle came up with a system to swap gifts with the person across from you. There were giggles and laughs as some people gave candy and chips as gifts, where others could only find neck pillows, iPhone chargers and coffee mugs. But it didn’t matter what everyone got as gifts, what mattered is no one looked sad anymore. Everyone was so distracted that they forgot they were in an airport on Christmas Eve. The hours passed by quicker, and soon it was time to board the plane. Michelle and everyone else would make it home for Christmas Day. And they all had a great Christmas Eve story to tell their loved ones when they arrived!