[This appropriate, since the characters in question were first created for a Christmas story]
"Look, Melissa, it's started to snow." Her mother called to her from the kitchen.
Oh lovely, Melissa thought. Her nephew and niece would be even more hyper than usual. She didn't raise her head from her laptop, and continued to study the lyrics of "The Twelve Days of Guido Christmas." Her cubicle mates had thought it would be hilarious if the skit they would put up for the office's Christmas party somehow ranged around that. What was the hint there? That half of Melissa's surname was Molinari? And that they'd rather not touch the other half, which was Guttierez and Puerto Rican?
Or maybe, we'll do West Side Story next time. That would be sort of appropriate.
Melissa wondered, not for the first time, why she bothered to drive to Long Panhandle increasingly often on week ends. She had started feeling, well, not exactly guilty, but uncomfortable, about her family, especially when her brother-in-law had been made redundant. You would have expected him to use that opportunity to focus more on the kids, but no, it almost seemed as if he had been overcome by his wife's sloth. Most of the time, Tyler and Madison were at Melissa's parents' house, but the whole situation certainly hadn't had a sobering influence on them. So they ran around the house driving everyone crazy, and making Melissa's father pontificate-about the noise they were making, the furniture they were damaging, or just about anything, really.
Melissa leaned back on the leather covered sofa, which creaked. And to think I could be in the city, watching the ice skaters at the Rockfeller Center and sipping hot chocolate! she thought.