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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Reason for the Season of Christmas (12/04/08)

TITLE: He Wrote the Book
By Kristen Hester


Everett Peterson thoughtfully rubbed his chin as he looked the jolly, round man up and down. He turned to Matthew Franklin, who was staring out the window. “What do you think, Boss?”

The department store mogul shook his head as if to wake himself from a fog. He glanced at the auditioning Santa and waved his hand to Peterson. “Whatever you think.”

Peterson turned to “Santa”. “Say ‘ho, ho, ho.’”

The bearded man put his hands on his ample tummy and let out a deep, jolly chuckle. Peterson smiled. “You’ve got the job, but don’t lose any weight and don’t shave your beard before Christmas.” Peterson dismissed Santa and then turned to Franklin. “What’s wrong, sir?”

“It’s London.”

Peterson was silent for a moment, trying to interrupt his boss’s words. “The city? Do you want to put a store in England, sir, because if you do–“

“Not the city. My daughter, London. She’s got me worried.”

“Oh, of course, sir. London. What’s the problem?"

“It’s about her Christmas present.”

Peterson smiled knowingly. “What does she want this year? I’m sure you’ll find a way to meet her request just like you do every year. Remember the year you were able to get her a pet giraffe?”

Franklin smiled at the memory. “Yes, that wasn’t easy.”

“So, what does London want this year?”

“She said she doesn’t want anything.”

“Nothing? From the girl who requested diamond monogrammed cell phone when she was just seven?”

“See why I’m worried, Peterson?” The two men stared at the floor for a moment. Then Franklin glanced at his Rolex watch. “What’s next on the agenda?”

“The marketing people want me to run a few Christmas slogans by you, just to make sure they’re on the right track.”

“Go ahead.”

Peterson read from his clip board. “Franklin’s...we wrote the book on Christmas.

Franklin stroked his beard. “Nice. What else?”

“This one will read ‘You only thought he had everything’ and then there will be pictures of a few of your higher priced novelty items: 24-carat gold iPod, diamond encrusted computer mouse, Lamborghini’s Premium coffee maker..”

The men were interrupted by Franklin’s phone. He held a finger up to Peterson when he saw his wife was calling.

Franklin’s wife, Gloria, was crying on the other end of the line. Franklin could barely make out her words. “What’s wrong, dear?”

“It’s London,” she finally chocked out, “I think she’s joined a cult.”

“A cult?”

“I asked her why she’d been acting so different. She said it was because she became a Christian.”

Franklin put his hand on his head. “What is she talking about? We’re already Christian.”

“I know.”

“I’ll try to be home early today. We’ll talk with her tonight at dinner.”

“She won’t be home tonight,” Gloria sniffed. “She’s going with her cult friends to serve food at a soup kitchen.”

“Oh my,” Franklin’s face paled. “This is more serious than I thought. We’ll talk tonight.”

Franklin hung up the phone, then sat down heavily in his leather office chair. “Peterson, we need to find out what’s gotten into my daughter.”

Peterson removed his pen from behind his ear and starting scribbling on his notepad. “I’ll get right on it.”

“And while you’re at it, figure out what she wants for Christmas.”

“Yes, sir.”

Over the next few weeks, London continued to display unusual behaviors that baffled her parents. She spent hours reading her Bible, got up early on Sunday mornings to attend church, and was kind and respectful to her parents. While they couldn’t deny the new London was a refreshing change, they were suspicious of her behavior.

One morning at breakfast Gloria asked London when she wanted to go shopping for an outfit to wear to the annual Franklin’s Christmas party.

London looked down at her plate. “Actually, I was thinking I could wear something I already have.”

“What!?” both parents cried in unison.

“I thought I could use that money to buy presents for a needy family.”

Franklin cleared his throat. “London, I’d be happy for you to help the underprivileged, but you don’t have to sacrifice to do so.”

Gloria sat up, “It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a new dress.”

Franklin held up one of his catalogs. “Remember, your old man wrote the book on Christmas,” he chuckled.

London stared at her parents silently for a minute. Finally, she spoke. “Mom and dad, there’s something I’d like to tell you....” she began.

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This article has been read 720 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Tasha Reed12/11/08
Go London!
Catrina Bradley 12/12/08
I have a feeling London is about to tell her parents Who REALLY wrote the Book on Christmas. :) I LIKE this! Original and entertaining.
Gregory Kane12/13/08
An apt commentary on the reason for the season with some deliciously confused parents. I'm not a 100% convinced about your closing line - I can guess what's she's about to say. But at a pinch I could also imagine a few other things she might be about to come out with.
BTW tell me that no one really makes diamond encrusted computer mice - on the other hand, don't tell me. I probably couldn't bear it!
Joanne Sher 12/16/08
What a contrast - and i just LOVE your title!! Perfect for the entry, which was so compelling.
Laury Hubrich 12/17/08
It's so hard for the rich to 'get it' for sure. Glad London did and is willing to share! Good story!
Karlene Jacobsen12/17/08
Yeah, London!
Loren T. Lowery12/17/08
What struck me most about this well-written piece is the daughter's name, London. Immediately, it brought up images of a town, hidden in fog to the outside world. Your choice of her name for this article speaks volumes about the way its message was delivered and received.
Jan Ackerson 12/17/08
I love the name London, and the first 3/4 of this story ROCKS. To me, it fizzled a bit at the end, but the message was loud and clear, and the dialogue was particularly fresh and zippy. Great job!
Betty Castleberry12/17/08
I'm glad London's not going to grow up to be just another snooty rich kid with no idea of what Christmas is really all about. Her parents can (and no doubt will, from your closing line), learn a lot from her. I enjoyed this well done read.
Sharon Kane12/17/08
Excellent commentary on Jesus' teaching on riches, particularly 'How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven'. With a modified ending it would make a GREAT skit. Nice job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/17/08
I really enjoyed your story. It looks like the clueless parents were about to find out who really wrote the Book!
Sharlyn Guthrie12/17/08
Nice work!! Your characters are believable and well-developed. "We wrote the book on Christmas" ...how sad. I like how you left the story open-ended.
Lyn Churchyard12/17/08
I could see London's father distracted and looking out the window. The conversation was realistic and so typical of the characters.

I liked the end where London is about to tell her parents who really wrote the book
Janice Fitzpatrick12/18/08
Oh what a golden story! I love this and how London has come to find the true meaning, though her parents just don't get it..yet. I wold love to see more and maybe how in time London brings her family and many people, who sees the change, to Christ. Good job!! God bless.
Sara Harricharan 12/19/08
Heehee! I am cheering for London, I hope she keeps it up and can convince her parents she's not joined a cult. Excellent story! glad I got to read it. ^_^
Peter Stone12/23/08
“What is she talking about? We’re already Christian.” What a stumbling block to so many who think their 'Christian' traditional background means they are Christians. I'm guessing the last line is London about tell her parents that they don't actually know what Christmas means, and are not actually Christians.