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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: It’s Christmas Day (in the present or living memory) (11/27/08)

TITLE: The Phone Call
By Sheri Gordon


“Hey Ash, it’s me. Can you talk?

No way…your parents got you the iPhone? They are soooo cool.

Me? Are you kidding? My parents are soooo lame. They gave me a fake gift certificate that my mom made out of construction paper. It’s supposed to look like a cell phone. It’s totally lame. They said if I want a phone that’s more than a hundred bucks I have to pay for the rest myself. And I’m like ‘where am I supposed to get that kind of money?’

I’m totally serious. Dad said the drugstore where he works will be hiring in January…like I really want to work there.

How was my Christmas? You mean other than not getting an iPhone? Typical Christmas—which isn’t saying much. Mom makes me and my sisters wait in the hallway with the door closed until quote Santa is ready. Cassie always tries to look through the slats in the door to see what’s happening, and Mandy hits her to make her stop and then Cassie starts crying and Dad tells us to stop arguing or we won’t get our Santa presents. It’s the same thing every year.

No, really. You’re lucky not to have to deal with any siblings.

So after Cassie stops crying, Mom takes the traditional waiting-in-the-hallway Christmas morning picture. This year I made sure to put on make-up though.

I know…that would be awful. Can you imagine if Tristan saw a picture of me with no make-up?

After the pictures we march out to our stockings at the fireplace that’s always too hot ‘cause Dad builds a humongous fire.

Yes, we really do march…except I wouldn’t do it this year, which made everyone mad. My dad always says ‘march, march, march, march.’ Cassie and Mandy think it’s funny…I just think it’s lame.

No, Ash, it really isn’t funny…it’s annoying.

No, I’m not lucky to have a fun family…you’re lucky to have an iPhone.

So anyway, after Mom takes the holding-our-matching-homemade-stockings picture, we have to empty our stockings completely and hold everything up for more pictures.

I don’t even know why we bother…it’s always the same things inside. An orange that fills the toe of the stocking. Mom says that’s because oranges were a treat to get at Christmas when she was a kid. Never mind that we can buy them at the grocery store all the time now. And lots of peanuts…that’s just to take up space because the stockings are so big. And rolled up underwear and socks.

Yes, she makes me take them all out for pictures. And it isn’t even cute underwear. These are those big, giant granny underwear things. At least they don’t have butterflies or tulips on them. I put an end to that after last year.

I know…how embarrassing, huh?

Trust me…I won’t be wearing those to school. I wouldn’t be caught dead changing into my p.e. clothes with those things on.

Oh yeah, I did get my favorite marzipan candy, too. Mom has to go to a special German store in some other town to get it…so I guess I should be grateful that she still does that. And she buys us each a Santa candy to stick out of the top of the stocking. Mine’s always marshmallow filled and Mandy’s is dark chocolate and Cassie’s is milk chocolate.

You’re right…my mom can be thoughtful, I guess…except when it comes to cell phones.

Yes, my dad got us pajamas again…and wrapped them in his traditional sausage roll style. He even did a pajama roll for my mom this year. She said that Dad actually did the shopping by himself. I find that hard to believe, except he was grinning from ear to ear when we opened them. And he kept asking us if we liked our pajamas. Mine are really cute…they’re light blue with polar bears, and even the right size.

Of course we all lined up for the annual pajama picture, except Dad had to take it this year since Mom was part of it.

Oops, gotta go. It sounds like they’re back from looking at Christmas lights. Next comes hot cocoa and singing around the piano. How lame is that? I faked a stomach ache so I could get out of it all.

Sure…I guess you can come over for a while, except my mom will probably try to get you to drink some cocoa and sing carols with them.

Oh…well…if you really want to…”

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This article has been read 762 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 12/04/08
Somehow the iPhone didn't cut it, eh? I found the conversation a little confusing, but all in all, I enjoyed the story and the lesson.
Jan Ackerson 12/04/08
Wonderful! It's hard to write just one side of a phone call, but you definitely pulled it off. And I suspect that it won't be too many years before this teen "gets it." You really nailed the teen voice. Good job!
Sharon Kane12/05/08
You must have a teenager, or spend a lot of time around them? The voice is spot on. Well written.
Dianne Janak12/07/08
Wonderful voice.. I raised three daughters and during those years, omgosh, totally bad on... whatever.. Down deep you caught me with a real love for her family underneath the show of embarrassment... I liked that!
Charla Diehl 12/09/08
Great conversational dialog and the MC's voice was so true to teens today. Hopefully she'll recognize the blessings of her family--it appears her friend did.
Karlene Jacobsen12/09/08
Awe...it's such a tragedy that too often we forget that what we have others view as a blessing while we may be complaining.
Thank you for the reminder to give thanks in all things.
Teresa Lee Rainey12/10/08
I really like this. You totally captured the teenage voice and successfully told the story from one side of a conversation. Great job with getting the message across that she was blessed and didn't know it, but her friend did. :)
Catrina Bradley 12/10/08
This sounds so much like a teenager, lingo, whining, and all. Great job on the one-sided phone conversation. I think my favorite part was the end where the friend wants to come over and experience a "real" Christmas.