Making Christmas cards can be a monstrous job.
My eyes darted to the neat stacks of cards we had left to decorate and sign. Normally, I loved this part of Christmas, but this year I just wanted to hang out with my friends.
"Yeah, making Christmas cards is taking a long time," my sister agreed.
"As soon as we finish up all these cards. You two are quite lucky to have so many relatives."
Aunt Bertha grabbed another blank card from the mountainous stack and set it on the table.
"Make this one for your great grandmother."
"Gramma Brown?" I asked. My aunt nodded her head in agreement, and I added, "But she lives so far away and she can't remember things very well. She wouldn't notice if we didn't send her one."
"It's a good thing to do, nonetheless. So get on with it."
"Yes, Auntie Bertha," Julia and I said simultaneously, our voices monotone and without spirit.
Just as we each began coloring the 'M' for 'Merry' on the front of the card, my little brother decided he needed more attention than he was getting from our sleeping uncle. The two year old boy climbed onto the table and began jumping up and down, jostling the cards and making us scribble. However, the worst part was that he knocked the neat tower of unused cards down and into the pile of ones we had written on already, creating a huge mess.
"Oh, Bobby!" Aunt Bertha exclaimed, "Get off the table!"
My aunt picked up the young child and set him down on the floor. While she and my sister were looking away, the giant pile of cards grew larger and larger until it all fell off the table. Next, the cards pushed away from each other and formed thick paper arms and chunky paper legs. A face also took shape, including a mouth from which a loud roar emanated.
Julia and Aunt Bertha turned around and I heard a scream. I never found out who screamed, although I have a strong suspicion it was Uncle Gerald.
Aunt Bertha scooped Bobby up as the monster began chasing us throughout the house. In a rush to protect us, Aunt Bertha grabbed the closest thing she could and threw it at the card beast. The marker she chucked only seemed to color the mostly white monster and made it madder at us. However, after a couple more, it started to back off.
With a shrug, I grabbed a handful of colored pencils, crayons, and markers and launched them one at a time at the huge paper creature. Julia looked at me and started doing the same.
It wasn't long before we ran out of ammo. The beast noticed that we weren't hurling anything anymore and began creeping back to us. It roared again. Aunt Bertha took the small pause it made as an opportunity to fling something else. Without looking, she heaved the paper clip toward the card monster. Amazingly, the paper clip connected to several cards and made them fall to the ground, destroying half of the paper creature's arm.
"Come on, girls," Aunt Bertha rallied after she noticed the effect of the paper clip, "Throw some!"
Julia and I each grabbed a few paper clips from the container and chucked them all at once. The same thing happened to the rest of the one arm, the other arm, and one of the legs. I reached for another clip, but there was nothing left in the box.
"Bobby! Give those back!" I shouted when I noticed he had a handful of the much-needed paper clips.
I ran over to my brother, the one-legged monster following close behind. I managed to snatch a couple paper clips from his hand and flung them at the beast. In an instant, his one remaining leg and his torso deconstructed, the organized cards falling to the floor. Bobby tossed the remaining paper clips at its head, that too becoming simple cards once more.
"I guess we've got some cleaning to do," I said, picking up a bundle of cards.
"What about finishing the cards?" Julia asked.
I picked up a couple stray cards and opened them.
"They're all ruined," I explained, "We'll have to get more."
She and I sighed at the same time.
"See?" Aunt Bertha said, "Making cards can be exciting!"