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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Countdown to Christmas/Advent (10/23/08)

TITLE: Cruising Through Christmas
By Betty Castleberry
10/29/08


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I find the old journal stuffed underneath a photo album in the trunk where I keep such treasures. Settling myself on the floor by the trunk, I flip it open. The first page is blank except for this notation:

Nancyís Journal and Day Planner

I smile and continue reading.

December 18, 1981:

Caroling with Laurenís Sunday school class tonight. Since Iím the only mom that doesnít ďworkĒ, I also get to make refreshments and host a get-together afterward. Today is also the day I have to grocery shop, return the girlsí library books, go to the bank, and take Lady to the vet to get her shots. That wonít leave me any time to clean, so Iím going to throw all the stuff from the living room into the spare bedroom and lock the door. The carolers are getting soft drinks and popcorn. If they are lucky, I might make some slice and bake cookies.

December 19, 1981:

Bryanís annual Christmas luncheon at his office. Spouses are invited, and expected, to attend. I really hate that crab casserole they serve. Iím eating a burger before I go.

Becky is singing in the junior choir cantata. Have to pick up her black skirt and red blouse from the dry cleaners. Donít forget! The cleaners close early today. Must be there by 4:00. Stop on the way to pick girls up from school.

December 20, 1981:

Take Beckyís red blouse back to cleaners. When I picked it up yesterday, I put it in the back seat. Next stop was getting the girls from school. Lauren was holding her stomach when she got to the car. Before I could ask her what was wrong, she threw up all over Beckyís blouse. Thankfully, we were able to borrow a red blouse for her to wear to the cantata last night. Bryan had to miss it because he stayed home with Lauren, who still wasnít feeling well. I really think she has just eaten too much Christmas junk.

Figure out how to make angel wings out of wire hangers and four yards of white organza. Laurenís church play is in two days, and she is an angel. (Ha!)

December 21, 1981:

Mail package to relatives in Omaha. I was supposed to do this two weeks ago, but money is tight. I had to wait until pay day, and I just bought the last gift yesterday. If they donít get the box by the 25th, they can just open the presents a little late.

Bake mini loaves of cinnamon and pumpkin bread to take to the neighbors. Bryan wonders why I do this, especially for Mr. Schnool, who can be pretty cranky. I just tell him I like to do it. Since I started doing this, Mr. Schnool has been a little more understanding when Lady wanders into his yard.

December 22, 1981:

Laurenís church play is tonight at 7:00 PM. I have an impressive collection of bent hangers on the kitchen table. I spent hours trying to twist and tape the organza to them so they looked like wings. I finally gave up, drove forty miles to Centerville, and rented a pair of angel wings from a costume shop. If I return them by noon tomorrow, they will give me a ten percent refund.

Pick up order from CarolĎs Catalogue Corral. Itís a blessing it made it before Christmas. They promised, but you know how that goes.

December 23, 1981:

Return order to Carolís Catalogue Warehouse. The boom box they sent is the wrong one. Itís plain old, ordinary black. Becky specifically asked for the Luscious Lavender one. She is going to be disappointed, but I will tell her the one she wants is on the way.

School is out early today. Pick girls up at noon.

December 24, 1981:

The turkey still doesnít seem to be thawing. It has been out of the freezer and in the refrigerator for four days. I hope it is thawed by tomorrow.

Becky has a funny rash and


The journal ends abruptly. My hands behind my head, I lean back and smile.

This Christmas, I am sending money to Lauren and Becky so they can buy my five grandchildren their Christmas presents. If I am asked to bake, host parties, or attend luncheons I would rather not, Iíll just politely say no. Bryan and I are going on a Caribbean cruise and will be gone from December 18th through December 28th. Merry Christmas, mon.


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This article has been read 699 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LaNaye Perkins10/30/08
I like the way this is formatted into a journal. Very unique and interesting to read. It reminded me so much of what it was like when my boys were still little. Well done!
Leah Nichols 11/01/08
LOL Thanks for the warning before I become the mom who tries to do everything! Great job!
Dee Yoder 11/01/08
Whew boy! Just reading this left me tired--and a little sad that all those bustling childhood parties and stuff to do are in the past. But, I like the MC's idea: Christmas in the tropics! Sand and sun...ahh.
Carole Robishaw 11/01/08
Christmas on the beach. A sandy beach sounds really good right now. A party on a cruise ship, someone else doing the cooking! Oh yeah, count me in. I enjoyed this countdown and the twist at the end.
Sally Hanan11/01/08
Well, you wanted to be red inked, so...it was a nice idea to encourage busy moms but I found it a bit boring...
Joanne Sher 11/02/08
My parents have done this (LOL both of them!). Good fit for the topic.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge11/02/08
Laced with humor...I thought the ending was stronger than the beginning. Good title.
Karlene Jacobsen 11/02/08
Another journal entry, I love it! For a while I thought it might be one of the daughters reading, and was surprised to see it was Mom. Maybe my eyes were just playing tricks on me.
Great story.
Kristen Hester11/06/08
Sounds like my Christmas scedule--well the first part,not the cruise. Good job. This was fun.