Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)
TITLE: Family Tree
By Chrissi Dunn
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I’d never helped put up a Christmas tree before. My job was to open boxes, and unwrap all the decorations from the tons of tissue they’d been wrapped in. Every time I unpacked one, Emma, my new foster Mom would point out some story about it. They were all old, and had been carried down through the generations of her family. Some of them were even hand-made by her grandmother - not that I really wanted to know. I’ll not be here long enough for it to mean anything.
No change with Moody Judy today. She couldn’t even get into the festive spirit, decorating the tree. She just sat on the floor, sighing every time she had to unwrap a decoration, like it was the most boring chore in the world. I even heard her say a bad word under her breath.
All I wanted was a sister I could play with. I don’t know why Mom and Dad brought her here. At least she’s going back to her own house for Christmas day.
Well it looks like I’m going to be staying with the Campbells over Christmas, since Mom’s in hospital. The neighbours found her lying comatose in the middle of the street, an empty bottle in her hand. I wonder if I even care if she’s okay or not. For some strange reason, I still do.
Stephen, Emma and Lauren are out Christmas shopping at the minute. I declined the offer to tag along. I’m just sitting here listening to my music, trying not to imagine what state Mom is in.
Judy has just ruined Christmas. We arrived home from shopping only to be met with the most horrible sight. Every single one of our beautiful Christmas decorations have been smashed to pieces on the floor! Even Great-Grandma Johnson’s porcelain cherubs lie in smithereens. I can’t do anything but cry. New decorations can be bought, but a rich family history of Christmas tradition can’t.
I really hope Judy goes soon.
I feel pretty bad about doing it. Stephen and Emma are a really nice couple and I don’t like hurting them. I know there’s no excuse but I was in a bad mood after hearing about Mom. When I went into the lounge and saw that perfect tree, all of a sudden I just wanted to destroy it. So I took every single perfect little bauble and threw it on the floor. They shattered just like the bottles Mom once threw at me. Seeing that tree completely stripped bare somehow made me feel good, until I considered what I’d done.
I know what’s going to happen next. I’ve packed my bags already. Perhaps it’s better that I leave now anyway, before I get to know this lot.
Stephen and Emma came to talk to me. I asked them if I’d be going back to Fairlawns home, and I was surprised when they said no. They said they weren’t going to give up on me that easily. The other families once said that too. Stephen and Emma seem different though. They told me that they were called to be like Jesus. For once I didn’t roll my eyes when they started the religious stuff. They said that Jesus hadn’t turned his back on them, so they wouldn’t do the same to me.
I feel so sorry for what I’ve done right now.
Judy has been given extra chores as a punishment. Mom and Dad spent ages talking to her in her room. Mom says I have to understand that she hasn’t been taught all the good things that I have. She says God is teaching us a lesson in forgiveness.
Mom and I made new decorations from paper mache. I painted stripes on mine, then put family names on each one: Stephen, Emma, Lauren - and Judy.
When I gave Judy hers to hang on the tree, she looked so shocked. Then she actually smiled and thanked me, before placing her bauble next to mine.
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