The Sorting

Photograph by Dimitriy Uvchenko

I sit up in the dark,
it’s Christmas! I think to myself.
I creep into the living room.
Presents surround the sparkling Christmas tree.

I rush back to my room
and shake Maddie awake.
“Shh, come on,” I whisper.
I drag her into the living room, “Look!”
“Woah,” is all she can mutter.
I look at Maddie. We both know what to do.

The presents glow under the tree.
I dive for the biggest present first.
Is it mine?
I shove it aside and continue to dig
through the pile of gifts.

There’s a rustle in the hallway. I pause my search.
Have we been caught?
Bella hops over the arm of the couch and joins us.

After the presents are cleared from the tree,
I examine each of our piles and smirk.
I have the most presents.

I crinkle a bit of wrapping paper,
trying to capture a glimpse of the box underneath.
“Shhh, we have to put them back before Mom
and Dad notice,” Bella whisper yells.

Together, we rearrange the boxes
under the tree like we were never here.
I flop onto the couch,
to admire our small bounty of precious gifts.

The clock hand moves to five.
Time to try to wake up Mom and Dad.

I poke Mom and she mumbles, “Five more minutes,
and start the coffee machine.”
Maddie wakes Callie up,
and Bella makes a pot of coffee.
The timer beeps at 5:05, and the smell of coffee fills the air.

Mom and Dad inch out of bed.
They lumber into the kitchen
to fix themselves a strong cup of coffee.
I scramble to turn on all of the lights.

The six of us sit together around the tree.
At 5:15 Mom and Dad unleash us on the presents.
They’ll never know
about our Christmas morning
before Christmas morning.

Abigail Kestle is an eighth grader who lives in Rolla, Missouri. She is an avid reader and writer. Abigail enjoys being outdoors and spending time in Michigan over the summer as well as playing with her dogs.

Dimitriy Uvchenko is a 16-year-old who lives in Kiev, Ukraine with his mum, brother, a cat named Zefitka, and a big parrot named Gosha. When he has free time, he likes to take photos, fix electrical appliances, ride scooters, and learn English.

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