The Christmas Switch – Featured Story #6

We are sharing the next story in our series, Featured Short Stories, written by students in the Creative Writing Club.

Every week, the students in the club work on writing stories, sometimes from their own ideas, and sometimes from story prompts. For the next few days, we will be sharing stories with a Christmas theme. Today’s story is from the prompt: Two poor kids make a Christmas wish, swapping lives with their rich cousins for the holiday season.

This story was written by Amy, aged 10. Enjoy!

The Christmas Switch

My older sister Grace and I sat on the bed of our room. We lived in a small house, slept in a small room, and a small bed. We shared a desk, a closet, and a bed in our old house. The whole house was always in need of some repair or change, no matter how many times dad fixed stuff. Our furniture was also old and basic, some were from the things other people got rid of. Our house never seemed to look charming, not even during the holidays, even when Mom made us tidy up and make paper decorations. Not even today. And today was Christmas Eve.

We had a small garden where mom planted rosebushes which was quite lovely, but not as grand as some of our neighbours’ bigger gardens. We also planted fruits and vegetables to make the most of the small space we had. The kitchen was always crowded and tight, and the floorboards always creaking no matter how lightly we step on them, and they always creaked at night. But we were used to it. The attic was filled with some junk that dad collected, and we had two sparrows in our room. But that made it quite cosy.

“Our cousins Elena and Flora are coming this Christmas, Olive. What are we going to do to welcome them?” Grace asked me.

“I don’t know, sister.” I sighed. “It seems like every Christmas. We always wish it to get better every year. But it’s always the same, Gracie. I have no idea how to impress Elena and Flora, they’re family is rich, and look at us!”

“Don’t worry, Ollie. We’ll figure out a way,” said Grace, though her voice was still small and sad. There was no way we were ever going to do anything impressive enough for our cousins. They were the wealthiest family in town, and we were the ones that everyone ignored.

There was a knock at the door. Grace went to open it. Flora and Elena were at the door. They both had beautiful flowing pink dresses and heavy makeup on, and they wore high heels that were polished into a bright black. Aunty Hannah and Uncle Steve were behind them. Aunty Hannah had on a green dress and even heavier makeup. Uncle Steve wore a tuxedo that was brand new, a tie, and polished shoes.

“Come on in, Uncle Steve, Aunty Hannah.” Grace said, just like how Mother had taught us. “And Miss Flora and Elena, please come in, ladies!”

They stepped in very carefully.

Flora and Elena immediately started complaining about the floor.

“Dear me, just look at this messy floor! It’s not polished or anything,” Elena said, turning up her nose.

“And look, it doesn’t even shine like the one in our house! Just look at this place, I don’t want to go in!” Flora whined.

“You are right, Flora, but you must go in. Don’t worry, I’ll get your maid to polish and wash your shoes when we get home. Yours too, Elena.” Aunty Hannah said to the girls.

We hurried around, trying to make them comfortable. I set the table, while Grace helped Mother to bring all the dishes to the table.

When it was time for dinner, I was hoping we could enjoy the meal happily together. But that wasn’t the case. The girls complained about everything. They broke two dishes and spilled their soups on the tablecloth. Flora knocked the table down too, and Elena destroyed the decorations, saying that they made the house look even uglier. Aunty Hannah and Uncle Steve just scolded Grace and I for not tidying up the mess quickly enough.

“Sister, I would very much like you to take Grace and Olive to your house, for the evening, and Christmas morning while I have to go and buy things at the store. Will you please do that?” Mother asked.

After a long argument which Grace and I ignored, because we were so happy, we joined Flora and Elena outside. They were both complaining about having to take us to their house. But Grace and I were too happy to notice. We were going to be living like the rich! This had been our dream for years, and this Christmas was going to be great! We climbed into the big car eagerly and enjoyed the ride since we rarely ever got to ride in one.

We arrived at their house, which was more of a palace. It was huge, with several rooms and a servants’ quarters. The yards were big, the swimming pool was big. The house had a lot of expensive looking ornaments, paintings on the walls, and many gold decorations. Everything was clean and polished and looked wonderful. No wonder they were the richest family in town.

Aunt Hannah said we should follow the girls to their room. Flora and Elena laughed at us because the floor was slippery. It looked like marble. We took small steps like ladies, but Elena and Flora kept telling us to stop being stupid.

Their room was bigger than our entire house. They had huge closets which were filled with beautiful dresses and shoes. They had boxes of toys, and a dressing table and a full-length mirror.

We played in their room. It was fun at first. I almost felt like someone who was just as wealthy as they were. I imagined myself living here, sitting on the soft bed, surrounded by plush stuffed toys.

We decided to play a game of checkers. But when the game finished and I won, Elena suddenly screamed, “You cheated!”

I was more surprised than scared. “What?” I asked.

“You cheated!” she screamed again.

“No, I didn’t!” I said.

“Yes, you did!” She screamed even louder this time.

Aunty Hannah came up the stairs.

“What is going on?”

“Olive cheated!” Elena said, and she suddenly burst into fake tears.

I opened my mouth to explain, but Aunty Hannah cut in.

“Grace, Olive, I am fed up with you. You haven’t even been here long, and you’ve already caused trouble. I’m going to call your mother to pick you up!” She slammed the door and stomped downstairs.

Flora and Elena smirked as Grace and I followed her down the stairs.

But I heard them fighting as soon as we were out of sight.

Aunt Hannah went into a small room to make the call, and Grace and I stood beside the umbrella stand. After a few minutes, mom came to get us. We were a bit nervous, but she smiled when she saw us. Her worried look disappeared.

“Did you have a good time there?” she asked when we were on the bus, halfway to our house. Grace and I looked at each other and shook our heads.

“Not really.” We said together.

We reached our house, the small, cosy house with small rooms. But when I looked at our house this time, it didn’t seem to be that ugly and dull. Somehow, going to Aunty Hannah and Uncle Steve’s house wasn’t so good, but it changed the way I looked at my house. For the first time I thought that it was better than theirs.

We went into the small house. It was lit up with lights and it was the same as before again. Only before I had hated it and loved to be in Flora and Elena’s shoes. But now, I knew how lucky I was. Flora and Elena didn’t really have happiness. They just had too much. But I had just enough to make me happy.

Even though we didn’t have so much money, I believed we had a better Christmas than Flora and Elena did. We didn’t have much, but we spent it in love and smiles.

And for the first time, I felt happier than Flora and Elena.

If you have a child who loves writing stories and you want to encourage them to explore their creativity and their imagination, then we would love to have them join our writing club! Just click on the link to register, and we will be in touch. Creative Writing Club – Registration Form.

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