I remember Christmas in 2007 very vividly. I would have just turned 7 years old by this point, and I remember this day as a time where I was flooded with a rollercoaster of emotions. Like most children, I was extremely excited the night before Christmas. With Christmas approaching fast, the excitement I felt from wondering about what gifts I’d receive was so high up through the roof, I knew Santa Clause would be able to feel it as he passed from house to house delivering presents to all the good boys and girls. The Nintendo Wii was the hottest thing at the time, and I just had to have it. I asked my mom for it some time ago, but it was sold out nearly everywhere. The expectation was that Santa Claus couldn’t disappoint. He never did before. My mom always got me what I wanted, but Santa Claus got me what I wanted and more. Christmas was my favorite day of the year and nothing, and I mean nothing, was going to ruin this day for me.
I was up early Christmas morning because my brain wasn’t going to let me lose any time during this glorious day. Getting out my bed, I felt like a champion from Sparta. I rushed down the stairs, with the cheesiest smile on my face. When I got downstairs, I couldn’t believe what I had seen. One gift and it was a sweater! What did I do wrong? I didn’t know what to do, but I couldn’t contain my sadness and disappointment. I had a good report card, but what I could have done to deserve this. I rushed upstairs to my mom’s room crying, asking her what was wrong. Surely, I should have received something I liked. My mom brought me downstairs and “explained” to me what was going on. She told me that I needed to go upstairs and pray that Santa would come back. She told me I was a good kid and if I prayed hard enough, there’s no reason I wouldn’t receive have any gifts. So I went upstairs and prayed my ass off. I cried and prayed until my mom called me back downstairs. I had zero hope anything would be there, but to my surprise, there was a Nintendo Wii and much more. My mom stood there by the tree, with the most “surprised” look on her face as I dived into my gifts. I couldn’t fathom what had just happened. Truly at the time, I didn’t want to know. An important lesson I learned this day couldn’t be summed up in words, but at this moment in time, I was simply grateful.
I chose to emulate the Atwood style of letting the readers know exactly how the narrator felt. With the story I chose to tell, I felt that vague about the character’s emotions, feelings, and most inner thoughts would not do the narrator, the reader, or the overall memory any justice. The scenes in the Handmaid’s Tale where the readers knew how Offred felt while still being able to follow along with what was going on felt really coherent to me. I felt that going with a light-hearted story such as this would make this process easier.