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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)

TITLE: Where's the Light?
By Beckie Stewart


“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know I’m just a kid. What do I know about anything? If you’re one of those adults that thinks kids don’t know anything, then you may not gonna like what I’m about to say. You know what. I’m entitled to my own opinion, and so I’m gonna say it anyway.

My family and I moved to this town about three years ago. We lived in New Jersey before we came here. You know, we only lived an hour from New York City. We moved here about a month after those crazy people ran airplanes into the twin towers killing thousands of people.

You see my dad’s a preacher. He said God told him to come to Illinois to be the pastor of this church. I don’t hear God talk to me like that, but I guess my daddy knows more about that then me. I mean he is a preacher.

My brothers and I were kinda bummed about leaving our friends to move here. Mom started talking about putting us in the school. Being taught at home is okay, but I got kinda excited about going to a real school. She said it wouldn’t be too scary since it wasn’t a really big school. When we got here, mom did just that. She put us all in school. I loved it.

Well, one morning we’re on our way to school when we get to the middle of our town. You’re not gonna believe what we saw. Right smack dab in the middle of the road was a huge pine tree. It was as tall as the buildings and the branches hit the side of our car when we tried to get around it.

“Why is there a tree in the middle of the road?” my brother asked my mom.

“I think it’s there for Christmas,” she said.

“But why is it in the middle of the road?” I asked her again putting emphasis on the word middle.

“I’m not sure. Doesn’t make much sense to me,” my mom said.

Well, I’ve to got to tell you, this tree in the middle of the road made even less sense to me as the weeks went on. Do you know they never put any lights on it? What good is a Christmas tree without lights?

Would you like to guess what they did for decorations? All the classes at my school colored pictures of stockings, candy canes, trees and whatever. We punched a hole in it, tied some yarn on it, and went downtown to hang them on the tree.

Again, it’s just my opinion, but it’s dumb. There were decorations only on the bottom of the tree since we’re all just little kids. Worse then that, the day after I hung my paper candy cane on the tree, it snowed. By the time Christmas arrived all of our decorations looked like we put on wrinkled paper with no colors on it at all.

I think a Christmas tree should look pretty. People should want to drive by and want to stare at it. This tree was ugly and that’s just not right.

“Mom, I don’t understand. Why don’t they make the tree look pretty?” I asked one day when we drove by it. “Don’t the people care?”

“I’m not sure they do. I’ve been told that they’ve just always put the tree there. They don’t want to stop doing it.”

“Then why don’t they want it to look pretty? How can we get them to care about it?”

“We can start by praying for them to care,” she said.

“Can we also buy some lights for them to put on it?” I asked.

“Well, that would be a start, wouldn’t it?”

So that is what we did. The following year we got some people to help us, and we put them on. In my opinion, the tree looked a whole lot better with lights on it. If you come and look at it someday, you tell me if you like it too, okay?

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 10/16/08
A tree without lights in the middle of the road? This must be a true story - who would make this up? LOL. I like the child's voice. Good job.
Lollie Hofer10/16/08
I loved the voice of this young narrator. I also liked the fact that this is simply a funny story. No big points to make, no sermons to preach...just a fun story.
Seema Bagai 10/16/08
I really liked the main character's voice in this piece.
Marlene Austin10/19/08
Hm-m-m-m, got me wondering WHY they put it in the MIDDLE of a road, too..... Glad your MC was happy with the lights they added and that others in the community supported his idea. :)
Sheri Gordon10/23/08
Congratulations on your Highly Commended. You did a good job with the MC's voice. I, too, wonder what the plain tree in the middle of the road was all about.