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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: It’s Christmas Day (in the present or living memory) (11/27/08)

TITLE: Story Time
By Valarie Sullivan


Christmas morning, and the smell of burning hot chocolate sent Mom running through the living room to the kitchen. Pee-uu! What a smell!

In her mad dash to the kitchen, a candle fell over, and spilled wax all over her grandmother’s lace doily. The heat of the wax scorched the wood on the sideboard, and her doily will never be the same.

Sighing, Mom walked back into the living room. Sound asleep in the recliner, Dad’s glasses hung crooked from his nose. She looked at the tree in the corner and noticed that in place of the gifts, there was now a fine layer of pine needles under it. She will have to vacuum that up tomorrow. Torn wrapping paper littered the floor, ankle deep. Her head hurt from too much eggnog the night before.

“I’m not going to worry about it right no…OUCH!” She had stepped on a jack.

The children dashed in, yelling and screaming, and chased each other around the room with their new toys. One stray foot knocked over the manger in the Nativity scene placed just under the Christmas tree.

Alright! That did it! Mom grabbed a book from the shelf and shoved it into Dad’s lap.

“It’s time!” She told Dad.

He blinked up at her owlishly, and then looked at what she gave him. Memory came back and he sat the chair upright.

“Children!” Mom called. “Come in here! Now!”

Amid gripes and complaints, the children slowly filed into the room. “What?” They asked.

“Dad is going to tell you a story.” Mom said firmly. “And it’s one that you need to hear.”

She was so stern, the children sat down without any further argument.

Dad polished his glasses, and then searched the book until he found what he was looking for. The children shifted and stirred, but remained quiet.

“Ahem. The Book of Luke…” And he began to read. The children sat rapt in the story, a tale of angels and shepherds, a manger and a star.

The story ended and Dad closed the book. The children got up and raced out again to play.

All except for one little boy.
Kneeling down by the Christmas tree, he picked up the manger and put the baby back in it. Gently, he put the manger back in its place. He repositioned a light on the tree so that it shone down on the baby like a star.
Thinking of the story, he lingered for awhile, smiling in delight.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 12/05/08
I really love this story, and that last paragraph was exquisite.
Beth B12/06/08
I enjoyed your story. I felt like I was right there in the home, smelling the burnt hot chocolate and seeing the other sites and sounds. Liked the ending.
Dee Yoder 12/10/08
Very sweet ending, and realistic with the way things are in most homes on Christmas morning! I had to laugh at Mom prodding Dad awake to read to the children--nodding off is a Dad's routine on Christmas day, isn't it?
Leah Nichols 12/10/08
I loved the ending too! Well done, my friend....you are definitely blossoming in your writing skills!
Catrina Bradley 12/10/08
This is a good story - I could feel the mom's frustration. And I love the last paragraph! Inspired.
Teresa Lee Rainey12/10/08
What a realistic look into one families chaos after Christmas morning. :)

I also loved the ending.