Family Christmas
Annabelle, Age 10, De Pere, WI

It was the day before Christmas, often called Christmas Eve. Snow was piled high against the window. If it wasn't already a school holiday, we would have had a snow day. Ma was in the kitchen preparing the dinner for the dinner party in the evening. Most of our extended family were already here. The only ones that had not shown up yet were Grandma Dotti, Aunt Lizzy and Uncle Moe, and their children. Aunt Lizzy and Uncle Moe have twins named Christopher and Christina.

Ma called me into the kitchen and had me help her slice carrots. The doorbell rang and I got the door. It was Grandma Dotti. "Honey, how you be doin'?" she said with her certain Southern slang. "Ain't this snow so high? A person could get lost and never be found in this heap of death snow. How do you people live in a world with snow and no sun for almost six months?"

"Boy, do I love you, Dotti, even with your crazy talking," Ma said, wiping her hands on her apron. "You brought it?"

"Why, of course. What is Christmas without a nine cheese potato platter?" Grandma Dotti said.

At dinnertime, I made a point of sitting by Grandma Dotti. Boy, dinner was delicious. Of course, being that there was a total of seventeen people at the dinner, there was barely any chance of conversation. I did talk with Grandma Dotti, but mainly about how different Arizona and Michigan are. Under the table, she slipped a small box into my hand. In bed that night, I opened up the little gift. It was a ring. A mood ring. I slipped it on my finger and it turned blue. I looked into the box. There was a note that said that blue meant I was excited. It was right. I was so excited for Christmas morning, not for presents but for family. That night I fell asleep with the ring on and as I woke up it was still blue. I got a lot for Christmas, but best of all was the ring. I loved it because it was from Grandma Dotti, and I always want to remember her.

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