Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)
- TITLE: The Grand Plan
By Leah Nichols
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Four Tootsie Rolls lay on the wooden floor, next to a small pile of Christmas wrapping leftover from the year before. Alina had endured the teasing of her family members last year, while carefully opening her presents so as not to rip the paper. Of course, since she had preserved it, she now has plenty of wrapping paper for her grand plan.
This year, she will give a present to every single member of her family.
With her Little Twin Stars scissors in hand, she carefully lines up the Tootsie Rolls on a piece of wrapping paper, then cuts around the edge of the paper to have just enough to wrap them. Next, she folds the paper just as she had seen Mother do it last year, securing the edges with Scotch tape. The first few she had wrapped in cardboard as well, but the boxes out of the recycling had dwindled, and she had found that Tootsie Rolls held their shape well enough.
Finally, she draws out a piece of curling ribbon, also leftover from the year before, and wraps it tightly around the present, leaving an inch and a half on each side to curl. Only one side of her scissors does the curling just right, she has discovered. She carefully pulls the ribbon into tiny curls, a festive appearance for the small gift.
Having completed her task for the day, she draws out her list to decide to whom she should give the present. Immediate family, check. Grandparents, check. Cousins, check. Halfway through the cousins she had run out of the really nice candy....all the remaining candy in her bag from the church's Harvest Party came from the Toosie Roll company. Aunts, check. Hmmm....that leaves just a few more uncles. Well, Aunt Jill was married a long time ago, but I never met her husband, so I guess I can leave him out. I do remember Aunt Sally's husband....they've only been divorced a couple years, so I can probably do one for him!
Painstakingly she inscribes “To: Mike From: Alina” in her very best handwriting on a tiny scrap of wrapping paper. Attaching it to the tiny present with tape, she admires her handiwork. Then she draws out the grocery bag from under the bed and adds the gift to the rest. Of varying sizes and shapes, the presents reflect the work of a month-long project, coming to an end as her candy supply gradually dwindles to nothing.
This fact means little to Alina, as she gathers her supplies and tucks them back into the dresser drawer, and pushes the bag back under the bed. While her little brother Sammy enjoys all five pieces of candy out of his bag each day, Alina enjoys one out of hers, while tucking the rest into her pocket for this project. Giving a present to everyone would give her more joy than all the candy in the world, especially because she has no money to buy gifts. With her limited resources, she has calculated that this plan will work the best.
Having stashed everything away into hiding, Alina gathers the remaining scraps of paper and tape into her hand. Slipping out of her room, she drops them into the bathroom garbage and hides them with a few squares of toilet paper. Satisfied, she ends today's work with a smile on her face. Only a few more days, and she will have the grand plan complete.
Christmas cannot come soon enough!
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