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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)

TITLE: You're the Best
By Rebecca Jones


Lynn stood back, chomping down hard on a chocolate Tootsie Roll pop, with hand firmly planted on her hip, as she appraised the newly adorned Christmas tree. Standing below her was a smaller-looking version of herself, sucking hard on a grape-flavored version, hand also firmly planted on her hip.

She looked down at her little girl and stated, “Personally, I think we did a mighty good job. And look at how beautifully your ornament sparkles in the lights! So, what do ya, think, Kiddo?”

“Looks good to me, Mommy. Are you sure yours really doesn’t look as pretty as mine?”

“You have made the most gorgeous ornament that I’ve ever seen made by a seven year old; you did so much better than I did at your age,” replied Lynn.

Louise smiled a proud smile, and then inquired of her mother, “Do ya think your Grandma Ev’lynn would like what we did?”

“Yes, I think so,” replied Lynn.

“Good – cause I need help!” remarked Louise as she flung her hands around, trying to shake off the glue-caked glitter.

“Whoa, whoa, honey – don’t do that – run over to the bathroom, start the water, and I’ll be right there.”

As Louise scurried away, Lynn thought about Christmases past, or more importantly, her now-deceased grandmother. This would be her first Christmas without Evelyn, her beloved Gram. Her grandmother would gather Lynn and her siblings together to make their own ornaments for their Christmas tree. Somehow, beyond the knotted strings, the gobs of glue and sequins galore on the floor, her Gram would create the most startling ornaments – yet still she’d take the time to marvel at each grandchild’s ornament and make each child feel that their ornament matched the master craftsmanship of hers.

But now, Gram was gone, those beautiful, encouraging words were no longer able to be heard, and she wished she could hold one of Gram’s ornaments in her hand, just to touch something that belonged to her dear grandmother.

Her thoughts were broken by the “ding-dong” of the doorbell. Lynn asked her daughter to thoroughly wash her hands and then headed to the door. At the door was her mother, holding a box.

“Hello, Stranger!” laughed Lynn, “I already gave at the office – come back next month.”

“Okay, I’ll go – but you won’t see what I brought,” her mother, Hope, responded as she started to jokingly walk away.

“Oh, you brought presents? Well – in that case, come in, come in!” The door flew open wide, and in walked Lynn’s mother.

They sat down on the couch, and Hope remarked, “What a nice tree! So, you’re keeping the tradition alive, eh?”

“Yeah, but it’s not the same this year; I’m only decorating because of Louise.”

“Ah, the namesake – even if it is your grandma’s middle name. Now I know for sure that I’m doing a good thing; here, you’ll like these for sure,” her mother softly replied, as she opened the box and handed it to Lynn.

Tears started streaming down Lynn’s cheeks as she saw the gorgeous ornaments that her Gram made when Lynn was Louise’s age. Wrapped in tissue paper, she discovered an ornament made of popsicles, glitter and paper, with her seven-year old scrawl: “I love Jesus and My Gram”.

Lynn held the ornaments close to her, and said, “Thanks, Mom.”

“Anytime, baby – I miss her, too. She was my mother, you know, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.”

From the bathroom, a voice could be heard: “Oh, somebody! The sink is filling up with lots and lots of bubbles!”

Lynn and Hope laughed. Hope got up, walked down the hallway towards the bathroom exclaiming, “Okay, Munchkin – Grammy’s here! As soon as we get those hands wiped off, you and I will make my Christmas specialty: rolled sugar cookies!”

“Gee, Gram, I love you -- you’re the best! Hey, ya think Mom will let me hang some of the cookies on the tree?”

Lynn smiled as her mother and daughter chattered away in the kitchen. As she placed the ornaments on the tree, she whispered, “Merry Christmas, Gram – you’re the best!”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Fiona Dorothy Stevenson10/19/08
Enjoyable story. Special seasons, like Christmas and Easter, times when families get together, often stir memories, usually of the ones who have left a vacant chair. We aren't always able to express our stories with the ease you have showed in this. Good writing. God bless you.
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/22/08
This is a beautiful "family" Christmas story. I just hope my grandkids will cherish my memory like this.