Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Countdown to Christmas/Advent (10/23/08)
TITLE: Hatchet Junior's Holiday Journal
By Jason Swiney
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Seven days to go and Daddy ain’t bought no tree. Ticks me off, but what can you do when you’re twelve? I’m already in trouble for asking about it too much. Momma just says he’ll get to it when he can. She doesn’t seem too upset about it, which is unlike Momma.
Six days to go and no tree. No Daddy either. He’s busy, real busy. Work was slow all summer and fall and now he’s got more than he can handle. He owns Hatchet’s Tree and Stump Removal, you’ve probably seen his big orange truck with the bucket lift around town. It seems everybody in Jasper is worried about trees near their house after that big red oak smashed through Hutch Anderson’s place. Daddy said the long drought weakened and killed bunches and now they can’t stand up to the winds and the ice forming on the branches. But like I said, since the Anderson house got smashed, our phone ain’t quit ringing.
Mrs. Benson, I hope what I’m writing is okay for the Holiday Journal. Besides the reading and the writing, I sure do like your Language Arts class.
Five days to go, so I took a few matters into my own hands. Our property is full of red cedars. There is a giant one in the back bigger than that Christmas tree in front of the courthouse, but there are several smaller ones in the front near the road. I thought about cutting one down with Daddy’s hacksaw. It may be worth a blistering, I’m still debating. Anyway, I got all the ornaments and lights from the storage shed and set them smack dab in the living room. Maybe he’ll get the hint.
Four days to go and still no tree. It is partly Momma’s fault. First of all, she won’t let us have a fake tree so we have to wait on Daddy to bring home a real one every year in his truck. I mentioned cutting down a cedar to him yesterday, but he said red cedars ain’t Christmas trees. Then he said he’d buy a fir when he had time, which really meant don’t ask him no more.
The second reason I blame Momma is because of the back porch. For her birthday in September she wanted it turned into a sunroom. When Daddy had time to work on it, I don’t think he had the money. When he started getting good work, there was no time. So now when Daddy does get home, he eats and rests a bit, then he works on the sunroom. He hammers and drills and saws long after I’m in bed. Momma keeps saying that room is all she wants for Christmas, and Daddy just says “good.”
Mrs. Benson, did I do them quote things right?
Three days to go. All our wrapped gifts are stacked in the corner of the living room. Daddy took the ornaments and lights and moved them to the carport. There is plenty of room since Momma ain’t got a car right now. No car. No tree. At least we got presents.
Me and Momma did find a plastic manger scene and set it up in the front yard. We ran one string of lights around the front porch rail and then we made a wreath for the door. It’s real pretty.
Two days to go. Daddy was gone all day. He looked tired at supper but I didn’t feel like talking with him anyway. I can hear Daddy right now working on Momma’s durn sunroom, but I’m not even going out to ask if I can help. He must be finishing something on the sunroom’s roof because I heard him drive his bucket truck around the back of the house.
Mrs. Benson you wouldn’t believe it! We got the biggest Christmas tree you’ve ever seen! Daddy called us into the finished sunroom for breakfast before sunrise, and right through those big glass windows was that mammoth cedar tree in the backyard shining from top to bottom. It’s got lights and beads and ornaments and more lights. Daddy used his bucket lift to decorate all night long, he even put a big bright star on top. He must have never gone to bed because he is snoring hard on the couch right now. I’m going to bundle up and get outside by the tree and let him rest. My Daddy’s earned it.
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