Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sean Rosenfeld presents Santa's thoughts about Christmas.
Dear Readers: Once again, two of my student elves carved out Christmas tales. I hope you enjoy them. Have a wonderful Christmas! Diana
Santa’s View of Christmas
By Sean Rosenfeld, 9
“Humph! Come on. You slept in and now you are like a snail trying to get across the sidewalk,” I yelled at Plush, my head elf. “It’s almost 12 o’clock in Japan, Plush. I am so tired you are going to have to do it for me.
You do get paid for this!”
Finally, Plush, my best elf and all the other elves filled the sleigh. It took two hours and I’m already behind.  Now you see how it’s so hard for me.
Kids think I am a jolly old man, but I am not.
Every year, I have to fly above houses, and people leave their fire on. It smokes up the air and I start coughing and sneezing and whooping and hollering. It’s always so cold when I’m flying around in the air. Then I have to put almost seven million presents under their Christmas trees.
Well, what I’ve just told you is about to come a reality. By the way, I forgot to tell you my butt burns up, my beard freezes and reindeer pellets are always flying through the air at me.
So, if you are hearing what I have to say: Turn your fire off this Christmas Eve!
I hate Christmas!
After Flying Around the World Christmas Eve
As usual, when I came close to my secret fort, I always end up crash landing ---swoosh in all that snow.
I jump out of the sleigh very grumpy until I see the elves are lined up and ready to throw our Christmas party. The elves sing Jolly Old St. Nick. I plant myself in a cozy chair by the fireplace and the elves  bring me  cups of hot chocolate and cookies – until I practically fall asleep.
“I love Christmas!” I shout to all the elves who giggle.

Shersten Rosenfeld, 11, shows how friends can provide the spirit of Christmas.
A Christmas Surprise
By Shersten Rosenfeld, 11
 On Christmas day, well, our family doesn’t do much. All we do is open the few presents we get, eat a breakfast of cereal and hot milk, and then my dad usually sits on the couch reading the newspaper from last week. My mom usually calls her friends with an ancient dial phone and cleans up the cheap wrapping paper from the 99 Cent Store.
I just play with our toys, from garage sales and cheap stores, and watch junky cartoons on the Cartoon Network. We never have a Christmas party or anything because my mom says she is too scared in the kitchen and she doesn’t want to cook a whole feast but I think it’s just because financially we aren't doing so well.
My Mom works at Walgreens as a cashier and my Dad is one of those guys who holds a sign in front of Subway and he’s always dressed in a Subway sandwich costume.
Their two jobs don’t earn enough money to get decent food on the table or a nice house either. Instead, we live in a musty, dusty cramped old apartment and we usually eat the cheapest food including the  old canned soups that are 75 percent off.
All my other friends get to go to expensive restaurants or stuff their stomachs with gourmet food in their new homes on Christmas Day.  But we get the usual for Christmas dinner, a soggy, rotten salad with turkey and gross soup on a cheap plastic bowl and plate. We eat with silverware my mom got from a garage sale. You get the picture.
Whenever my friends ask me if they can come to my house, I always panic and say “no” because my Grandma’s coming this weekend or something. I really don’t want people coming to my “house” to see a musty, dusty cramped old apartment.
Christmas is in four days and I’m not even excited.  You’d think we’d visit our relatives or something, but we can’t because they live in Detroit and of course, we can’t afford airplane tickets. Everything is so wrong in my life.
My mom says we can’t ever afford to go to college. So I guess I’ll be a cashier too.
Now it’s Christmas Eve. My parents are still at work and I’m sitting on the uncomfortable puke-green couch watching a movie about aliens with my older sister, Amanda who’s 14. I am 12.
She can get so annoying sometimes. She’s always like: “Zoe, get a soda pop for me.” Or “Zoe, stop bothering me,” if I ask a question. But besides that, we don’t fight much. It seems Amanda saves up all that fighting for Mom.
I hear a car door close. My mom is home. She must have gotten off early.
“Hey girls, I’m home,” Mom said, closing our termite-eaten door.
“Whatcha’ bring home this time? Some chips that are a million years old?” Amanda asked in a bratty voice.
“Hey Amanda, watch it,” my mom retorts. “It’s not my fault we’re struggling.” That means my mom already had a bad day, because she’s usually happy regardless of what Amanda says.
“Uh, yeah, it kind of is Mom,” Amanda charged. “I’m not the one who dropped out of high school and became a cashier.”
“OK, Amanda. That’s it. Go to your room,” and this time my mom’s voice is raised another octave level. “
“But Mom, it’s Christmas Eve and isn’t Christmas Eve about kindness?” Amanda asked hopefully.
“Amanda, you shouldn’t be talking,” I pointed out.
“Exactly.” my mom agrees.
“Fine.” Amanda stomped off to her room with a frown.
I woke up with eye boogers in my eyelashes and chapped lips. I almost forgot it was Christmas! When I finally remembered I jumped out of bed and walked to my parent’s room to see if they were up. Yep. They sure were.
Their bedclothes were in a jumble and my mother’s teeth guard sat on her bedside table.
I walked down the stairs with the smell of coffee that is 75 percent off. My mom calls it a cruddy cup of coffee, but can coffee be cruddy? Coffee is cruddy. Period. When I went into the living room, my parents were sitting in our fluorescent blue lounge chairs, sitting by our tiny fireplace.
I was surprised to see five presents for me, each from Mom and Dad.
Mom stood up from her chair and smiled at me.
“Our helpful and kind friends have a surprise for you and your sister. Amanda come here.”
Amanda trudged to mom carrying a small package in colorful wrapping paper.
“First, Merry Christmas Zoe!” Amanda handed me the package and I smiled.
We followed Mom and Dad outside our grassy lawn.
And then I saw it. It was a Christmas tree glinting with colorful ornaments and more presents under the tree. On the tree, hung a huge signed in red letters: “Merry Christmas Zoe and Amanda! Love, the Millers and the Smiths.”
My face lit up. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I dove into the presents. My parents laughed and watched joyfully as we opened them eagerly.
I learned a lesson this Christmas. It’s not about presents. It’s about kindness and giving. I had never seen my family so happy – and that was the greatest gift of all. It showed me how right everything was in my life.