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“I’m so excited, Emily!” Jessie exclaimed. “I can’t wait until my Grammy and Grampy get here for Christmas.”
“They’re my grandparents, too, you know,” Emily pointed out. “So you have to share them.”
“Oh, yeah! I forgot—we’re cousins.” Jessie giggled. “My daddy is your mom’s brother, and Grammy and Grampy are their parents. Hmm. I guess we’ll just have to do everything all together then.”
“That sounds like a good idea,” Emily agreed. Emily and Jessie went to the kitchen where Jessie’s mom was cleaning up the breakfast dishes. “Mom, when will Grammy and Grampy get here?”
“This afternoon,” Mom replied. “So I’ll need you to help me finish getting things ready for them.”
“Like making the bed in the guest room and dusting.”
“I’ll help you, Jessie,” Emily offered.
“Okay, let’s go make up the bed first,” suggested Jessie as they ran to the guest room. They pulled and tugged at the sheets and blankets until they finally got the wrinkles out.
“Phew! That was hard. But at least it looks nice now,” said Emily as she puffed up the pillows.
“Now we need to dust. Let’s go find the feather duster.” The girls went to the laundry room to look for the duster. “Here it is,” said Jessie as she grabbed it off the shelf.
“This isn’t taking long at all to get their room ready,” said Emily. “Making the bed was the hardest part but—HUH?!”
Emily and Jessie screeched to a halt and stood at the door of the guest room. “What happened?” Jessie exclaimed. “The bed is all messed up. There are crinkles all over it!”
“Who did that?” asked Emily.
The girls stared at the messy blankets. Then suddenly, a ball of orange fur leaped out from under the pillows. “Freckles, no!” Jessie shouted.
Freckles, Jessie’s cat, hopped to the middle of the bed, making squishy paw prints in the blankets. He flopped on his back and stared at Jessie. “Meow!” he said, hoping Jessie would rub his furry belly.
“That’s not very helpful.” Jessie picked up her chubby kitty, tossed him out of the room, and quickly shut the door. “I guess we have to make the bed again,” she sighed.
The girls smoothed out the blankets again and got rid of all the wrinkles. “Okay, now I’ll dust the shelves, and you can get the books straight,” Jessie directed.
Finally, Jessie and Emily finished preparing the guest room for their grandparents. “Now we can dust in the living room,” said Emily.
The girls headed into the living room. As they turned the corner, they saw something very strange—the Christmas tree was shivering. The branches shook and trembled.
“What’s happening?” asked Jessie.
“I don’t know! But I think it’s going to explode!” said Emily.
“Watch out!” shouted Jessie as she saw the tree start to tip. She jumped forward and grabbed the tree branches so the whole thing wouldn’t fall down.
Then they heard, “Meow!” and Freckles jumped out of the tree and landed with a thud.
“Freckles!” Jessie scolded, “You can’t climb the Christmas tree. You almost ruined it! Now shoo! Go take a nap or something.”
“I guess Freckles just wants to help,” said Emily, giggling.
“Well, so far, he’s not a very good helper,” said Jessie, frowning at the messed-up Christmas tree.
The girls stared at the tree. “Well, I guess we better fix it,” said Emily as she pulled a long garland of silver and gold tinsel off one of the branches. She held it up to untangle it when suddenly the whole garland was ripped from her hands—ziiip!
“Hey!” Emily turned just in time to see the tinsel speeding down the hallway. “Jessie,” she shouted, “catch that tinsel!”
Freckles raced along holding the garland tightly between his teeth while the girls chased him down the hall, speeding in and out of each room. “Let go, Freckles!” the girls yelled. But the kitty didn’t want to give up his shiny new toy. Finally, just as Freckles ran back into the living room, Jessie dove for the garland and landed headfirst on the couch. The cat let go and ran behind a chair.
“Hurray! I got it!” Jessie exclaimed. “Now let’s get it on the tree before he comes out from hiding.” They worked quickly to drape the shiny garland around the tree branches.
“What is going on in here?” Mom asked as she entered the living room. The girls explained what Freckles had done, and Jessie’s mom offered to help them fix the tree.
“Meow,” said Freckles from behind the chair.
“Uh-uh, Freckles. You’re not being a very good helper today,” scolded Jessie.
“We better hurry up. Grammy and Grampy will be here soon,” said Emily.
The three of them put the finishing touches on the tree just as the doorbell rang. Ding-dong!
“They’re here!” shouted Jessie and Emily as they ran to the door.
“Hello! Merry Christmas!” said Mom, opening the door to let Grammy and Grampy in.
“Hello there, Jessie! Oh, and here’s Emily, too! How are you girls?” asked Grammy as she gave them hugs and kisses.
“We’re fine! But tired. We’ve been getting everything all ready for you,” Emily explained.
“Oh, well that was mighty sweet of you,” said Grampy as he held out his arms for a hug.
“It took a long time because Freckles kept trying to help, too,” said Jessie, “and he’s not a very good helper.”
“Well, everything looks very nice to me,” Grammy replied. “You did a beautiful job preparing for us. But where is your ‘little helper’? I have something for him.”
Jessie looked around. “Huh, that’s funny. I don’t know where he went.”
“He better not be in the Christmas tree again,” said Emily.
They all sat down and munched on Christmas cookies as they chatted. “What did you bring for Freckles, Grammy?” Jessie asked.
“I brought some yarn for him to play with,” Grammy replied. She reached into her tote bag and lifted out a ball of red yarn but accidently dropped it. “Oops,” she said, “I guess I should pick that up.”
The yarn rolled across the floor and stopped near the presents under the tree. Just as Grammy bent down to pick up the yarn, an orange paw flashed out from behind a large gift box, grabbing the yarn and pulling it under the tree among the gifts.
“Oh my!” said Grammy. “I guess Freckles is a good helper after all; he sure helped take care of that.”
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.