Christmas Spirit

“Let’s decorate the tree!” six-year-old Jaimie shouted jumping up and down, her blond curls bouncing with each jump.

“Bah humbug. You know Santa isn’t real.” Timmy, her 11 year old brother told her. He slumped on the couch reaching for his cellphone.  Timmy hated Christmas. All the holiday cheer and fake smiles grated on his nerves. Christmas has never be the same, not since his dad left.

Jaimie grabbed the phone, giggling at the shock on his face. “Don’t be a spoil sport,” she said.  “You have to help me.”

“Why?”

“Cause I’m only this tall.” She pointed to the top of her head.  “And the tree is this tall!” She threw her arm in the air and jumped up as high as she could.  She kept jumping trying to make her hand reach the top of the tree, which she knew was impossible but Jaimie loved jumping up and down.  Her face flushed with exertion.

“Decorating’s stupid,” Timmy continued to sulk. “Mom’ll do it.”

“Please help me,” Jaimie stopped jumping and pleaded with sad soulful eyes, her mouth formed into a pout.  “Please, please, please.” She begged, when the pout didn’t work. 

“Why now?”

“Cause Mom loves Christmas!” Jaimie shrieked. 

“Fine,” Timmy said giving in. He never could resist his little sister’s endless energy. “Stop screaming though.”

“Yay,” She squealed wrapping her arms around him in a hug, squishing with all her might.  Timmy snorted despite himself. 

They were both laughing and giggling as the last ornament went on, just as their mom walked in the house.  She was exhausted.  Timmy could see it in the lines of her face. She was a police officer, pulling double shifts. Christmas was always busy for officers.

“Surprise!” Jaimie yelled.  “Timmy and I decorated the tree.”

Their mom’s face transformed into joy; all of the exhaustion seemed to melt off her.  Timmy looked at his little sister’s beaming smile and was amazed, not for the first time, at how awesome she was.

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