Usually, Gerald was as tight as a swollen door when it came to money. But there was one time each year when he would shower his children with gifts. That was Christmas. Gerald was so generous that each of his four children: Xavier, Mo, Khua and Geraldine each had their own special room, decorated with their own Christmas tree and presents.Bartholomew showed up at Gerald’s mansion ready to wrap presents and hoping to avoid running into Geraldine. Thankfully, she was in school most of the day. Bartholomew arrived at the same time as three other young people who were to help wrap. The Butler showed each wrapper to a room in which they would spend the next three days wrapping and decorating for one of Gerald’s children. Bartholomew was worried that he would end up having to wrap Geraldine’s presents and decorate her Christmas room. Thankfully, he was assigned to Xavier.Bartholomew walked through the wooden double-doors and found a gigantic room filled furniture and several tables piled high with items to wrap. In the corner was a ladder and boxes of lights, ornaments, and wall decorations. In the middle of the room was a thirteen-foot-tall evergreen tree.“There are some directions over by the boxes on what to do with the decorations,” said The Butler gruffly, “and the wrapping paper, tape, and materials are over on the table. There are directions there, too. Certain presents need to be wrapped with certain paper. If you have any questions, you can push this button on the wall here and The Nanny will come and tell you what to do.”Bartholomew turned to ask a question, but The Butler had already left the room.
Bartholomew felt a bit overwhelmed by all the presents, so he decided to start with the decorations. On top of the boxes of decorations was a sheet of paper with very neat hand-written directions accompanied by a detailed sketch of the room with the decorations in place. On a second page was a drawing of the tree with all of its ornaments and strings of lights. Bartholomew thought this would be easy.This story follows Bartholomew as he takes a short job to make some money to buy Christmas presents. He not only ends up back at Gerald's house, but he also meets Topping, Claire and Ned from previous stories. He also meets The Nanny, with whom he has many encounters down the road. This story has a companion story that will be the next one published. But in this story, Bartholomew and his new friends find out how dysfunctional Gerald's kids really are.
This story has an interesting origin. A friend of mine was a Christmas present wrapper for a famous writer who lives in California. I don't remember the writer's name, she wrote either romance or mystery novels. This writer had a different room for each of her three children in which there would be a tree and their presents. It took my friend three days to wrap the presents for one of the children. I must say that I really can't relate to having that much money, but I thought it would make an interesting setting for a story.
Christmas Wrap will be published December 21, 2012.