Christmas Surprises – Conclusion

Act 3

Friday evening
The Stetson-King household was a flurry of activity Friday evening.  Dotty and Aunt Lillian, who were attending a performance of the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center, had just left.  Phillip yelled goodbye and slammed the door on his way to a holiday dance with Michelle, his current girlfriend.  The other members of the household were getting dressed for the Presidential Gala.

Lee was ready except for simply slipping on his tux jacket.  He was helping Amanda fasten a silver necklace when he heard a cry of anguish come from the boys’ room.

“Sounds like I’d better see about Jamie.” He leaned forward to place a tender kiss on Amanda shoulder.  “If you need me, you know where to find me.”

Lee walked in to witness Jamie scrunching up his tie and flinging it onto his dresser.  “Why do I have to wear this dumb thing anyway?  And what’s this silly thing again, a cumberbund?”

“Cummerbund,” Lee softly stated.  Lee walked over and placed a calming hand on Jamie’s shoulder giving it a gentle squeeze.  He picked up the tie, smoothed out the wrinkles and placed it around Jamie’s neck.  With a few deft moves, he expertly tied the offending tie and smoothed the points of the stand-up collar.  Next he helped him with the cummerbund.  “It goes this way, Jamie.” He turned the sash so that the pleats faced upward.

“What difference does it make?”

“Because,” Lee said as he helped Jamie into his jacket, “that’s the way you wear a cummerbund.  The pleats face upward so they can catch any crumbs you might drop.”  Jamie looked at his step-father not knowing whether or not to believe him.  Lee simply chuckled, brushed off the shoulders of Jamie’s jacket and nodded for the young man to button the coat.  Leaning forward slightly, he whispered in Jamie’s ear. “We wear these silly things because the girls dig them.”  With a wink, he turned and walked back to check on his wife.

“Everything okay?” Amanda asked as she slipped into her emerald green dress.

“Yeah, Jamie was just having a little trouble with his tux.  He asked why he had to wear this silly thing.” He gently mocked Jamie’s earlier comment.

“Well, I hope you told him it was because we are going to a formal affair and everyone there will be in formal dress.”

Lee chuckled.  “No, that’s not quite what I told him.”


“Nope, I told him that girls think guys dressed in tuxes look very sexy.” He tossed her a slight grin along with another one of his famous winks.

“Oh, you!” She lightly swatted at his arm.

“Well, don’t you think it’s true?”

“I remember the first time I saw you in a tux – standing at the top of that staircase.”

“Yeah, when we first met.  Bet you thought I was sexy then, right?”

“Not exactly.”

Chuckling and deciding to change the subject, he said,” You know there’s one good thing about tonight.”

“Only one?”

“Well, let’s see, there might be more than one.” Lee whispered as he gathered her into his arms and lightly kissed her.

“Hmmm.” Amanda hummed with the kiss but pulling back slightly. “I think you’re getting off track here Stetson.”

“That’s so easy to do when I’m around you.”  He leaned in for another kiss and then continued. “I believe we have broken our Christmas tradition of being in a nest of gun wielding crazies out to change the world.  After all, here it is, December 22nd and we haven’t had a single crazy come our way.  And Christmas Eve falls on Sunday so I believe it’s safe to say that we have escaped our Christmas curse this year.”

“Oh, Lee, please don’t say that.  You may jinx us.  Who knows what can happen in two or three days?  Maybe the…”

He cut her off simply by placing his finger over her lips.  “Come on, you have got to look on the bright side.  Remember, this is no business for a pessimist!”

Trying to shake the feeling of impending danger, she kissed him lightly on the cheek.  “You’re right.  Come on, let’s go party.”


To Amanda, there was nothing more beautiful than the city of Washington D.C. at Christmas time.  The city seemed to breathe a sigh of relief during the holiday season as most tourists were home with their families.  The streets were much less crowded because Congress and most of the countless people who worked for the government in some capacity had also gone home.

The gaiety of the lights seemed to brighten even the oldest of buildings and tonight, a gentle snow fell making it all look like a festive greeting card.  The snow glistened in the trees and seemed to cover the city with a fresh, clean blanket of hope.  All three seemed to be in awe of the beautifully illuminated White House as they approached the front door.  As they stepped into the foyer, Jamie looked at the brightly decorated twelve foot tree and said simply, “Wow!”

The Presidential Gala was a stunning success.  The entire White House was decorated for the holidays but the State Room outdid the rest.  It was exquisitely decorated in crystal and red. Even the white Christmas tree was decorated with crystal ornaments and red bows.  Poinsettias adorned each and every flat surface and the room seemed to shimmer and sparkle.  Guests were freely mixing and mingling truly enjoying an evening of dancing and fellowship without the danger of espionage or terrorists in the mix.

Lee and Amanda motioned for Billy, Jeannie, Francine, and Beaman to join them.  In a few moments, Mrs. Bush and Noelle joined their group and Jamie and Noelle were formally introduced.  Soon everyone was chatting and commenting on the party.  The young couple seemed to get along well.  Mrs. Bush excused herself saying that she needed to greet other guests.  Amanda assured her that she would keep an eye on Noelle.

Francine commented on how lovely Noelle looked in her royal blue tea length dress.  The young girl excitedly began telling Francine and Amanda about the shopping spree she and her grandmother had taken in order to find the dress.

Jamie was so busy taking in all the action he momentarily forgot the reason he was invited to the party.  Amanda gently tapped on his shoulder and whispered in his ear.

“Oh yeah.” He nodded. “Uh…Noelle, would you like to dance?”

Noelle’s faced lit up with a smile.  “I’d love to, Jamie.  Let’s go.”

The party was well underway.  Guests were dancing and enjoying the variety of tiny tidbits being served by an excellent wait staff.  The gentlemen seemed to appear when they were needed but they remained out of the way if they were not.  In a sense, they were invisible to the guests as any good wait staff should be.

Noelle was having the time of her life.  She danced with Jamie and then her grandfather, who seemed to enjoy twirling her around the room and taking time to introduce her to several of the guests.  While Noelle danced with her grandfather, Jamie danced with his mother letting her know he was having a great time.  Lee’s dance with Francine was interrupted by Beaman, who asked to cut in.

“Think you can handle it, Beaman?”

“Definitely.” He answered, whisking Francine away in a flourish.

Since Lee was now without a partner, he looked around the room for his wife.  He smiled seeing her with Jamie.  Both seemed to be enjoying themselves.  To Lee, no one looked more beautiful than his wife this evening.  He started toward them but noticed Noelle who was standing apart from a group of gentlemen who surrounded the President talking in depth.  He approached Noelle and nodding to the President, he asked if she would like to dance.

Lee was surprised to discover that Noelle was quite an accomplished dancer.  “I study dancing.  Ballroom dancing is my favorite, I think.”

“Well, good for you.  You’re very good and I have to tell you, tonight, you’re one of the most beautiful ladies here, but please,” he said dropping his voice to almost a whisper, “don’t tell my wife I said that.”  Lee gave her one of his charming winks and twirled her across the floor toward Jamie and Amanda.

“Hey, Chief, how ’bout we change partners for a while?” He tapped Jamie on the shoulder.  “I’d like a chance to dance with my beautiful wife.”

And so the exchange of partners took place.  As Lee and Amanda were dancing, they looked over at Jamie and Noelle, who seemed to really enjoy each other’s company.

“You know, you have a very special son, there, Mrs. Stetson.  Not every fifteen-year-old boy would be able to carry this off.  I know I would have been scared to death if the Colonel had asked me to accompany the President’s granddaughter to a party of people I didn’t know.”

Amanda smiled and reached up to kiss him softly on the cheek.  “You’re right, but I think he has a pretty special step-father.  Thank you for helping him with those dance lessons.  I’m not sure he’d be doing as well if you hadn’t.”

“It’s a good thing we did that.  I found out while dancing with Noelle that she studies dance.  She says ballroom dancing is her favorite.  You know, it’s mine too.”

“And why is that?”

Lee twirled Amanda around a few times and then dipped her over his arm.  She let out a small squeak of surprise.  Drawing her back up into his arms, he whispered. “Because I get to hold you in my arms.”

“Aww, Stetson, you’re such a romantic but after that little number, I think I need to sit the next one out.”

After about an hour, the excitement of the evening’s event seemed to wear off at least for the youngest members of the party.  Most of the adults had broken into smaller groups and were deeply involved in discussions of political or news events.  A few were still dancing including Beaman and Francine.

“Hey Jamie, this is pretty boring.  All these people want to do is dance to these all slow songs.  Do you think they have ever heard about Rock and Roll?”

Jamie laughed. “I’m not sure many of them would be able to dance to anything that really rocked.”

“Well then, would you like to see the rest of the White House?  I could take you on a tour.”

“Yeah, that would be great.” Jamie exclaimed.  “Are you sure it’s okay if we leave?”

“Its okay – just let me tell my grandmother so she knows where I am.”  And with that, Noelle whispered in the grandmother’s ear and the two young people headed out for their own adventure.

“Let’s go see if we can get a pizza from the kitchen.  That party food just didn’t do it for me.  I hate shrimp and what were those little puffy thingies supposed to be? ”

“I don’t know and I ‘m still pretty hungry.  I guess dancing works up an appetite.  I prefer to eat things that I can identify like pizza, so lead the way.”

After scarfing down a delicious cheese, sausage and green pepper pizza, the two young adventurers explored the White House.  Noelle proudly showed Jamie the residential wing of the White House.  He was introduced to Noelle’s younger brothers and sisters who were having a party of their own watching Disney videos under the watchful eye of the White House staff.

“Come on, Jamie, there’s one more special place I want to show you but you have to be real quiet.”

“Okay.” Jamie responded.  “Is this someplace secret?”

Noelle laughed. “No it’s not a secret but it is special.  Come on now and be real quiet.”  Noelle led them down a darkened hallway and stopped when she came to a door on the left.  Jamie could hear some noises coming from inside but he couldn’t quite make out what he was hearing.

Noelle slowly opened the door and taking Jamie by the hand, she led him into the room.  There on a large pillowed mat was Millie the White House dog and six tiny puppies who looked exactly like their mom.

“Oh my gosh!” Jamie exclaimed and dropped to his knees.  Noelle instructed him to slowly reach out his hand so Millie could get his scent and then he would be able to pet her.  Millie wagged her tail as Jamie began to scratch her ears and the puppies were soon crawling all over both Jamie and Noelle.

“My Grandma says that when I go home after the holidays, I’ll be able to pick out one of the puppies and take it home.  Which one do you think I should pick?”

Jamie looked over each puppy carefully. “This one.  It’s a little bigger than the others and I like the tip of its tail.  Its white and all the other are brown.”

Noelle looked over the puppies and said, “I like this one.  I think it’s a girl and I’ve already picked out a name for her – Princess.”

“She’s cute too.  They’re all cute.  You’re so lucky so be getting a dog.  I’ve always wanted one but for some reason, we’ve never had a dog.”

“That’s sad, Jamie.  Why don’t you ask for one for Christmas?”

“Hey, that’s not a bad idea.  I haven’t really asked for anything this year.  I kind of backed off because my brother has been driving my parents crazy about a car.  See, his was destroyed when our garage burned down.”

“Burned down?  Wow!”

“Yeah, it was really cool.  But I was glad no one was hurt.”

They played with the puppies for a bit more but soon the tired puppies returned to their mother.  They curled up beside her and soon fell asleep.

Noelle whispered. ‘I guess we’d better be getting back to the party.”

“Yeah.” Jamie agreed and they quietly closed the door and headed back to the party.

Act 4

“Francine and Beaman seem to be enjoying themselves.  And Billy and Jeannie look like they are having a good time.  This is really nice.” Lee whispered in Amanda’s ear.  “Here we are at a party at the White House.  And, it’s just a party – no spies, no bombs about to explode, no den of crazies out to right some terrible wrong in the world.  Just like I told you.  Just you and me…   ”

“And several hundred other guests.” She admonished him gently.  “Besides, there are still several days before Christmas and you know as well as I do that anything can happen.”

Lee pulled back. “You mean you want something to happen?”

“No, of course not.  It’s just that, well, sometimes trouble has a way of finding us.  Call it woman’s intuition or something.  I just have a feeling that we’re not out of the woods yet.”

Lee nodded his head in agreement but before he could reply, he was interrupted by a tapping on his shoulder.

“Mind if we cut in?” asked a grinning President Bush.

“No sir, not at all.” Lee said as they traded partners.

As they began dancing, Mr. Bush said, “Mrs. Stetson, I can’t thank you enough for bringing your son to accompany our granddaughter tonight.  She is having the time of her life.”

“Well thank you, sir, and please call me Amanda.  I believe they are both enjoying themselves although it seems they’ve disappeared on us.” Amanda looked around for the two kids.

“Oh, they’re off exploring the place.  Barbara told me Noelle asked if she could show Jamie around.  I guess a bunch of old fogies just can’t hold a candle to the young ones these days.”

As they danced, neither was aware of the approaching waiter.  As they turned, the waiter bumped into them and quietly muttered. “Don’t make a sound or you’re dead.”

“Oh my gosh!” Amanda exclaimed quietly.  She noticed the waiter had pulled a gun from underneath the serving tray and pressed it into the side of the President.

“Please do not alarm the other guests but you will need to come with me.”  He held the gun tightly against the President.  Slowly they began to walk toward the door.

Lee and Mrs. Bush were also dancing and when Lee glanced toward Amanda he noticed a strange look on her face.  He stopped dancing and was about the excuse himself and head toward Amanda when five other waiters appeared at the doorway.  Two pointed guns at the two secret service agents stationed by the door and the other three quickly moved about the room selecting targets.  Two grabbed women and held a gun on them.  The fifth took a position near the back of the room, close to where Billy and Jeannie were standing.  The secret Service Agents were quickly relieved of their weapons and their communication devices.

“Nobody move!” One shouted.  “Nobody move and no one will get hurt.”

“Who are you and what do you want?” asked one of the Secret Service men.  The waiter holding a gun on the agent raised the gun and clipped the agent’s skull.  The agent slipped quickly to the floor in an unconscious heap.  A hush fell over the room.  “Quiet, everyone!”

Lee slowly looked around the room trying to assess the situation.  Here they were in the White House, in a room full of agents whose job it was to defend their country and now they were being held captive by a few radicals.  ‘Damn,’ he thought, ‘Amanda’s intuition was dead on.’  Their Christmas tradition was rearing its ugly head.

Lee could tell that every agent in the room was on alert looking for an opportunity to strike but so far, that moment had not presented itself.  As he surveyed the room, he noticed that one of the terrorists held Francine by gun point and that Beaman who stood close by looked as if he were about to pass out.  Lee also saw Billy and Jeannie near the gunman in the back of the room.  Maybe, just maybe they could figure a way out of this before any blood was shed.

The waiter who knocked the agent unconscious was busy trying to herd everyone away from the door while the waiter who held the gun on the President forced the President and Amanda to begin moving toward the open doorway.

“We are supporters of General Noriega and we plan to keep you as hostages until the Americans agree to leave Panama.”

Mr. Bush spoke calmly.  “Mr. Noriega is threatening the security of the canal and the Americans who live and work there not to mention his own countrymen whom he has executed and tortured.”

“You have no right to dictate to us what our leader should or shouldn’t do.  Noriega was elected by his people and we demand that you cease the threats against him and our country.” One of the waiters exclaimed.  “We want the troops ordered to leave or you will all be killed.”  To emphasize his point, the gunman fired his weapon above the crowd.  The room fell deadly silent with the exception of a few women softly crying.

While the agents and the terrorists negotiated, Lee tried to find some way to bring the situation to a close without anyone being injured.  Although they were not outnumbered, the terrorists were the only ones armed.  Still, he was unable to do anything because the man standing so close to the President still held the gun on him and that meant Amanda was also in the line of fire.  Amanda tried to catch Lee’s eye without doing anything to set off the man holding the President hostage.  Through their silent communication, they told each other to be ready for anything. With a slight nod of the head, she let Lee know she understood.

Hearing a slight commotion, Amanda’s attention turned back toward the door and she saw Noelle and Jamie heading back toward the party.  Not knowing if their sudden appearance might set off the terrorists but knowing that she didn’t want either of them in harm’s way she did the only thing she could think of.  She suddenly grabbed her belly and screamed in pain as if she were having a contraction and slumped to the floor.

Looking down the hall into the State Room, Jamie noticed that something was wrong even before he heard his mother scream.  He grabbed Noelle by the hand and took off in the other direction in order to alert someone of the situation.  “Where’s the President’s Office?” He asked Noelle as they ran down the hall.

“You can’t go in there!” She exclaimed.  “The Secret Service will stop you.”

“Good.” Jamie replied. “Now, where is it?”  Noelle pointed out the way to the West Wing and they took off running.  It took several minutes to convince the agents but Jamie carefully explained what he had seen in the State Room.

“Stay here!” One of the agents barked as several men drew their weapons and headed for the President.

‘No way,’ thought Jamie.  He grabbed Noelle by the hand and they took off running after the Secret Service agents.

The sudden noise of Amanda’s scream startled everyone in the room including the terrorist beside the President and he moved slightly away.  This gave Lee an opportunity to spring toward the man and knock him to the ground.  The gun went off while Lee struggled with the man but soon he’d overpowered the younger man.  The Secret Service agent at the door disarmed the terrorist next to him along with help from several other agents who saw an opportunity to assist.  Several of them jumped the other terrorist near the door and wrestled him to the ground.  Lee was up on his feet holding the terrorist’s gun on him while making sure the others had been neutralized.

In all the commotion, Francine jabbed her heel into the arch of the man holding her hostage.  He screamed in pain and was quickly wrestled to the floor by several agents.  Beeman and a cluster of agents from the FBI were successfully able to disarm the fifth terrorist without any trouble.  Billy and Mike Torres from the CIA brought down the last of the terrorists.  As quickly as it had begun, it was over.

The young man who had threatened the President made a slight move. “Don’t even try it.” Lee threatened as he pointed his gun at the downed terrorist.  The room was suddenly filled with Secret Service agents and the six terrorists were soon taken away.  An agent helped Amanda from the floor and Lee rushed to her side.

“Are you all right?  Is the baby coming?  Did that man hurt you?”

Struggling to stand, Amanda chuckled hearing her husband rattle off a number of questions in such a rapid fire mode.  “I’m fine.  I only did that because I saw Jamie and Noelle coming toward the door and I didn’t want them to be hurt.”

“You nearly scared me to death!”  Lee exclaimed as he hugged his wife.

“Me too,” said a very grateful President.  “Your actions may have saved a number of lives tonight.”

“I guess these guys didn’t realize this room would be filled with federal agents this evening.” Amanda mentioned in hopes of relieving some of the tension in the room.

At that point Jamie and Noelle came rushing into the room.  “Mom, Mom are you alright?”

“I’m fine, sweetheart.” She hugged him close.  “How about you?”  She held him slightly at arm’s length and she looked over at Noelle.  Spreading open both arms, she enveloped Noelle in the hug as well.

“We’re fine, too.  Noelle and I were coming back to the party and I looked into the room and just knew something was wrong.  You and Lee always tell us to expect the unexpected and well, I just never expected a party to come to a complete standstill so I knew something wasn’t right.  I asked Noelle about the President’s Office and she said we couldn’t go there because the Secret Service would catch us and well, I knew we needed to let somebody know and I guess the Secret Service was a good place to start.”

Jamie paused to catch his breath and everyone chuckled.

“He is definitely your son!”  Lee muttered.  Soon everyone surrounded Jamie and Noelle telling them what heroes they were.  Even the President and Mrs. Bush were bestowing their praise, not only to Jamie and Noelle but also to Lee and Amanda.

“We are very grateful to you all.  We owe you a debt of gratitude and I’m not sure how but we will repay all of you.”

The party wound down quickly after that.  The President and Mrs. Bush bid each of their guests a fond farewell.  As the President and Mrs. Bush bid Amanda and Lee goodbye, Noelle thanked Jamie for helping to make the “dull ole party” tolerable and bring some excitement her way.  “Thanks again, Jamie, and I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.” She leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.

“Gosh, Noelle, it wasn’t anything.  I had a blast and thanks for showing me the White House.  This is really a cool place to hang out.  I wish I could have taken a few pictures but I know that’s probably against regulations and all.  I especially liked seeing Millie and her puppies.”

“I know, she was my favorite, too!”  Goodnights were shared by all and the Stetsons headed home.

Tag – Christmas afternoon

Lee glanced around the den and smiled.  ‘This is what Christmas is all about,’ he thought.  The Christmas tree brightly glimmered in the far corner. Festive decorations adorned each and every surface.  Carrie, Joe, The Colonel, and Captain Kurt were discussing the origin of several holiday traditions.  Dotty and Aunt Lillian were still squabbling over whose stuffing tasted better.  Laughing to himself, he wondered if Jamie and Phillip would still be calling each other ‘Worm-Brain and Doofus’ when they reached the ages of their grandmother and great aunt.

They had enjoyed a fabulous dinner prepared by all the ladies.  Dotty insisted that Amanda take it easy due to her ‘delicate condition.’  Of course, Amanda would have no part of that.

Papers and ribbons were scattered all over the floor from the second round of presents brought by Carrie and Joe.

“Okay fellas, you guys need to clean up all this paper and stuff off the floor while Lee and I go prepare dessert.”  Amanda dragged Lee off the couch and he reluctantly followed.

“I thought that game was for the boys.”  Amanda grinned noting the little boy expression on her husband’s face.  “It looks like we should have picked up another one for you.” She teased at his obsession with the Demons and Dragons computer game Dotty had given the boys for Christmas.

“Well, it is pretty fun.  I already made it to level three.” He teased.  “Naw, my favorite present was the look on Phillip’s face when he opened that Hot Rod Magazine.  He almost missed the key you hid inside. And I’m glad we were able to keep it a secret for so long.  Phillip would have driven us crazy if he had known about it sooner.  He almost knocked Joe and Carrie down trying to barrel out the door to see it.  I’m surprised he hasn’t offered to take everyone for a ride yet.”

“Oh, he did, but I threatened to take back the key unless he waited until we at least served dessert.”  Amanda laughed at Lee’s look of surprise.  “Yeah he’s pretty excited.” She said as they worked together loading the dishwasher.  “Jamie seemed kind of quiet though.  I mean he knows we couldn’t get him anything as expensive as Phillip’s car but…”

“Hey, Jamie’s fine.  I think maybe he misses Noelle.  After all she did call him several times before the family left for Kennebunkport.”

“Maybe you’re right.”

“Of course I am, the senior agent is always right.” He leaned in for a kiss only to be interrupted by the doorbell.

He growled. “Now who could that be on Christmas Day?”  He headed off to answer the door.

“Mr. Stetson?”

“Yes.” Lee replied to the man at the door.  He didn’t recognize him and he instantly went on alert sweeping the area for any signs of trouble.

“I’m sorry to bother you but I have a special delivery for you and your family.  Would you be so kind as to sign here?” The man said while indicating a line on the paper attached to his clipboard.

Lee looked at the paperwork and noticed the return address.  He quickly signed the paper and handed the clipboard back to the man.  “Thank you and Merry Christmas!”

“Same to you sir, and your family.” The man handed Lee two envelopes, one large and the other standard business size.

“Sweetheart, who is it?” Amanda called out from the kitchen.

“Why don’t you come into the den and find out.” He called back as he headed into the den to gather the rest of the family.  “This just came for us from the White House.”

“The White House?” Dotty exclaimed. “Oh my stars!”

“Well why don’t you open it?” Phillip asked.

“Because this is not for me it’s for your brother.” Lee said as he handed the larger of the two envelopes to Jamie.

Jamie sat down on the floor and carefully began to open his envelope.

“Hurry up man, it’s going to take you all day!” Phillip shouted.

“No,” reasoned Jamie. “It’s from the White House so I don’t want to spoil it by ripping it open.”  Very slowly, he opened the envelope and discovered a framed Presidential citation.

To Jamie King, in honor of your meritorious service

This Presidential citation is given on December 25, 1989.

The citation was signed by the President and also included a handwritten note inviting Jamie back to the White House in the spring when he would be given an exclusive and extended tour of the White House complete with free access to take whatever pictures he wanted.  The note also extended an invitation to the entire Stetson-King family for an excursion aboard the U.S.S Sequoia, the Presidential yacht, to view Washington in bloom during the Cherry Blossom festival.

Everyone gathered around Jamie to offer congratulations and to view the citation.

“We’ll have to find a place to hang it, Jamie.” Dotty declared.

“That’s a pretty prestigious offer.” Colonel Clayton offered.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever known anyone who has been on the Presidential yacht!” exclaimed Aunt Lillian.

“I didn’t even know the President had a yacht.” Phillip sat shaking his head.

Amanda’s eyes began to tear as she thought about how proud she was of Jamie.   His quick actions helped prevent what could have been a major disaster.  Their holiday tradition of being in harm’s way could have very easily concluded with horrible results.  At least this year, once again, the good guys prevailed.

Lee was quick to notice the sudden change in his wife’s demeanor.   “Hey,” he said as he pulled her into his arms.  “We got something else in that delivery.  It’s addressed to you and me.  I thought you might like to open it.”

Inside the envelope, Amanda found a handwritten note from the First Lady.

Although George and I can’t adequately express our heartfelt gratitude to you and your son Jamie, I hope these small gifts will be a reminder of how much we appreciate what you do each and every day.  You should be very proud of your son.  Our Noelle was certainly smitten by your handsome young man.  Perhaps they can visit again the next time she comes to town.

George and I would like to offer you a weekend stay at Camp David.  With a new baby soon to be added to your home, there won’t be many opportunities for a quiet peaceful weekend. Speaking from experience, please partake of the opportunity while you can.  Simply let Nora know when you have the time and she will make all of the necessary arrangements.

Best wishes to your and your family.  Merry Christmas!

Barbara Bush

“Oh my gosh!”

“I’ll second that.  This Christmas has been filled with surprises.”

“I prefer to think of them as miracles.  After all ’tis the season.”

“I couldn’t agree more!”

The End

Note:  The US invaded Panama on December 20 in an attempt to unseat Noriega as the country’s ruler.

Here is the link to the Presidential Yacht is anyone is interested:

A special thanks to the suggestions of Cheryl and Erimintrude


  • By Ragged, December 24, 2008 @ 8:19 pm

    Great story. Looking forward to more about the weekend at Camp David.

  • By Jennifer, December 24, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

    Jamie and the president’s granddaughter make a cute match–I also love the car that Phillip received.

    Great addition to Season seven :)

  • By Sarah G., December 25, 2008 @ 5:15 pm

    What a great Chritmas treat!! Thanks!

  • By Anne, December 25, 2008 @ 7:00 pm

    What a great way to start Christmas! Lynn, this story is a great addition to S7. I love the scene with Lee and Jamie and Lee’s right–girls think guys dressed in tuxes are sexy. :)

    And the Stetson Christmas tradition continues.

  • By Lynn, December 26, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful compliments regarding this story. Christmas was a treat this year writing about our favorite couple – the Stetsons.

  • By Sue, December 26, 2008 @ 8:11 pm

    What a wonderful story. I loved every word of it. And, of course, Lee was correct, we love how our MAN looks in a tux.

  • By Adda, December 26, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

    That was so sweet! Jamie is just like his mother.

  • By JenVan92, December 28, 2008 @ 6:43 pm

    Very good! Way to go Jamie!

  • By Loretta, January 1, 2009 @ 1:31 pm

    very good story. I really enjoyed reading it

  • By Ana, January 3, 2009 @ 12:47 am

    Awesome story. I’m glad you put Jamie in the spotlight….he deserves it. I’ve read this story 4 times already….love it!!!!

  • By Heather, January 4, 2009 @ 9:42 pm

    Another great addition to season 7. Way to go Lynn!

  • By Brittany, January 6, 2009 @ 9:46 pm

    I loved this story!! Jamie’s got a good head on his shoulders, he definitely takes after Amanda!!
    I cannot wait to read more of Season 7!! Hope a new story comes soon!!

  • By Anne, January 7, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

    Thanks Brittany–glad you are enjoying the season! Stay tuned…another episode will be posted this Friday. Anne

  • By Mary R., January 10, 2009 @ 7:50 am

    A beautiful holiday event. I loved the descriptions of Washington D.C. at Christmas, and the gala White House event. It was a nice change of pace for Lee and Amanda, even if it was every bit as dangerous.

    Nice added touches with Jamie joining the party and getting his own private tour of the White House. The puppies were icing on the cake.

  • By Andi, January 31, 2009 @ 11:35 am

    What a great story. Can’t wait to read the next one. I can actually picture the scenes in my mind. Wish they could actually be made. Of course with Bruce and Kate as they got older.

  • By Calinour72, April 21, 2009 @ 11:57 am

    I love the scene with Lee helping Jamie with his tie and cummerbund,Lee’s right–we love how our MAN looks in a tux–sexy.Not surprised by the choice in cares made by Lee–I mean he has a “Vette and he’s a guy–loved the choice. Jamie definitely takes after Amanda!!

    great story loved it!!
    keep up the good work

  • By tracey, June 30, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    the story was cute, but i had to laugh when i realized it was noelle bush, i live in tallahassee………

  • By Terry Kay, August 5, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

    Ejoyed this episode. Though I thought for sure the delivery would be a puppy. Just what that crowded house would need! Thank you!

  • By berniej, August 21, 2009 @ 1:13 am

    Another Christmas near miss..they really should be used to it by now! Great idea for a present for Philip and I know from experience how difficult it is to keep secrets round Christmas time..they did good!

Other Links to this Post

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

WordPress Themes

Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King and its characters belong to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Enterprises. No infringement is intended. This is written for entertainment purposes only.