Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Annabelle is determined to have a Christmas Tree that lives forevernow if she can just convince her Scroogey father.


Christmas really can last all year longif you have enough courage and determination. Twelve-year-old Annabelle Cunningham wants a big Christmas tree, but her father thinks his Santa Claus collection is enough and says the tree must go the day after Christmas. She defiantly selects a big tree, decorates it beautifully, and she and her parents celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together. Defying her father’s threat to chop up and burn the tree, Annabelle plants it right in front of the house with all its decorations. The neighbors gather round the tree, and when her father walks out with his axe, they urge him to put it away. Annabelle vows it’s going to be Christmas all year long. Her father sighs, looks at her and the neighbors in utter disbelief, and retreats. Annabelle celebrates Christmas all year long with appropriate holiday decorations—and eventually so does her formerly Scroogey father.

The determination of 12-year-old Annabelle Cunningham makes Christmas last all year long. She wants a big Christmas tree, but her father thinks his Santa Claus collection is enough. Annabelle’s mother reminds her that Mr. Cunningham never celebrated Christmas as a child and asks Annabelle to be kind to her father.

As Annabelle and her father drive out to the Christmas tree farm, she hums “O Christmas Tree,” ignoring her father’s humbug. She selects a tall, plump evergreen, and her father swings his axe. As the tree falls, the lot manager pulls it all the way to the truck on a sled. Annabelle climbs in the front seat, reminding her father not to act like Scrooge.

When Mr. Cunningham stops in the driveway, he threatens to chop the Christmas tree for stove wood, but Annabelle insists it will be the Christmas tree that lives forever. With her mother’s help, she pulls the tree all the way into the living room, attaches a tree stand, waters it and carefully arranges the red tree skirt. Stringing caramel popcorn and cranberries, Annabelle watches “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and sings along to “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Silver and Gold.” The decorated tree stands proud and tall all Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day. It hovers over the presents as they are wrapped and unwrapped and re-wrapped to give away to someone else. Of course, Annabelle would never give a Christmas gift away, but Mr. Cunningham is too stingy to buy Christmas gifts in the first place. One year he gave Annabelle a gift she had given him—a singing reindeer head. As her father turns off the lights on the Christmas tree, he reminds her that he is throwing the Christmas tree in the wood stove first thing in the morning. She vows he will not burn her tree.

Early the next morning Annabelle drags the Christmas tree into the front yard and plants it with all its decorations right in front of the house. The neighbors gather round. As Mr. Cunningham yells that the electric bill is going to be enormous, the neighbors all beg him to put his axe away. It’s going to be Christmas all year long. Infuriated, her father sighs, looks at her and the neighbors in utter disbelief, and retreats back inside the house. Annabelle enjoys Christmas all year long with various seasonal decorations on the evergreen tree. So does her Scroogey father.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

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