Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)
TITLE: All They Want for Christmas
By Robyn Burke
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He dreamed about the Lincoln log set day and night. The page, torn from the catalog, was posted above his bed where he could lay and stare at it imagining all the fun things he would build. Cities surrounded by fortified walls, castles with towers, and of course, the basic log cabin. He could use his G.I. Joe figures to live in the houses he would build and maybe even ‘borrow’ a girl figure from his sisters stash so there would be a damsel in distress to rescue. Yes, that Lincoln Log set was impressive and so were his dreams.
The first section she turned to when the Catalog arrived was the jewelry section. There on the bottom of page 98 lay her heart’s desire; the gold locket. Oval, engraved and on a long fine chain, it opened and could hold two miniature pictures, or, she thought dreamily, a lock of her lover’s hair. She blushed at the thought. She didn’t have a boyfriend. And if she did she imagined she would probably be studying the rings a few pages over. She carefully folded the corner of the page down, the locket circled with a yellow marker.
He wasn’t usually fussy. But he knew what he wanted and if he got his wish this year, wow, would he ever be happy! The signature red Swiss Army Knife was every boy scouts dream. Sure he had a knife already, but THIS was the REAL THING! He could clearly see how much quicker he would be able to cut through a rope. The bottle opener would come in handy on a warm day when you wanted to buy a pop from Sam’s Mini Mart. It had a screwdriver, tweezers, magnifying glass and even a toothpick! And it came with the official Boy Scout Logo on the handle. Oh it was a fine tool and wouldn’t it look impressive tucked neatly in its sheath and strapped to his belt? He whistled softly and slid his bookmark in between the pages and laid the catalog on top of the coffee table where his dad would be sure to see it.
It was dark long before she struggled through the door, one arm filled with a paper bag of groceries, purse, and the mail, the other hand fumbling for the keys. Once inside she collapsed on the couch and let out a huge sigh. Oh, what she would give for someone else to cook dinner. Her eyes fell on the Christmas Catalog lying on the nearby table. She shook her head wryly. What she wanted wasn’t going to be found in there. Peace on earth? Oh, give me a break! I just want what every working woman needs: a housewife! She wearily rose from the couch and headed to the kitchen to fix dinner.
He almost missed the little chapel tucked in the cedar grove, but a light caught his eye and he took his foot off the gas pedal. The tires crunched gravel and then as he got out of the car, all was silent. It was just as he remembered. He stood, hands on hips, head tilted back, as snowflakes gently tickled his face as they drifted down. There would be a Christmas Eve candlelight service tonight and his heart quickened in his chest, knowing she would be there. He hadn’t written to tell her he was coming, wanted it to be a surprise, and he patted the pocket of his overcoat to assure himself that the little square box was where it should be. This would be the best Christmas ever…as long as she said yes.
And in the heavens, gazing through the portal, the One who had given life to each and every one of these individuals, yearned for his beloved children to recognize the greatest gift ever given, the gift that signifies why we celebrate Christmas at all.
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