The Official Writing Challenge
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This was a well-written and creative take on the topic. I would have cherished the gift that you picked out so painstaking. The gift of Jesus who died on the cross is everlasting.
04/17/15
Your story is gripping in an uplifiting way. I felt your heart in your words, and I'm sorry they were so callous in handling your beautiful gifts.

Thanks for sharing this with us. And to lose your job is nothing compared to the "glory of everlasting" life with Christ. To lose your job was the biggest win in the "book of life."

God bless~
04/18/15
Wow - this was really a well written story, and sounds non-fiction. If it is true - how sad, and kudos for standing up for your convictions and walking away from a job that did not respect your values and love for the Lord.
04/19/15
I don't know if this truly happened or not...the main thing is it was wonderfully written and totally captivating. Excellent. You have a gift for well-crafted stories. Keep writing.
I love this story. My heart aches for the MC as read. I'm familiar with that game and worrying about getting the perfect gift.

I think you could start off the beginning by showing the MC's conflict right out of the box. For example: My imagination took over as I read the email. "The Christmas party..." I agonized over finding the perfect gift. The typical wine and cheese or box of candies simply wouldn't express the meaning of the Christmas season. No, this year I vowed to find the perfect gift.
I also noted that in the middle you repeated the typical gifts. By deleting the list at the beginning or the end, it'll give you more words to show the emotional toll on the M.C.

I think you did a brilliant job of nailing the topic in a fresh and interesting way. You evoked AL kinds of emotions in me, including pride at the end. I'm not sure I'd have the guts to quit my job. I was curious if the husband quit too. As I think about it though, I guess the husband didn't have to work there, he may have just been her guest. You really did a fabulous job with this story. It has conflict, suspense, and resolution, all well delivering a well-timed message that pretty much everyone can relate to.
04/21/15
You did a lovely job of describing the unique crosses--I could almost see and feel them. I also liked the flow of this piece; it had some of the best characteristics of fiction (characters, a plot structure, dialogue) while retaining the definite feel of a true first-person narrative.

Watch out for misplaced modifiers. The first sentence of the 5th paragraph reads as if you were wrapped discreetly, not the gifts. There are also a few minor mechanical errors: "partner" does not need to be capitalized, for example, and there were a few phrases that needed hyphens (gift-giver, ten-dollar, squared-off, among others).

I would have liked a bit more in the final paragraph.

All in all, the strengths of this entry far outweigh the few minor glitches. It's a very good entry, one that I might expect at a higher level.
04/22/15
This was well written. The short paragraphs made it easy to read, and the piece flowed effortlessly. good job. Keep writing.
Time reveals all and maybe also "a bottle of wine".

A note of sadness could be felt through-out the piece. The writer knew what was coming even if the reader did not have a clue.

Well written example of one way to "Stand up for Jesus".
Congratulations on ranking 2nd in your level and 12th overall! The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.