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It was New Year?s Eve, and it was snowing outside! The schools were closed for the holidays, and all the students were enjoying their vacation time, especially Annabelle Copeland and her family. Annabelle loved the holiday season, and she loved vacations even more. Her family had just returned home from their ski trip in Vermont, and now the year was about to end. As Annabelle started writing in her special journal that she used to record memories of her unique experiences, she became a little emotional. She had created such amazing memories that she knew would last a lifetime. She had made a lot of new friends and met a lot of people who truly had a positive effect on her life this year. This was actually her third journal because she started a new one each year. As Annabelle made her last entries for the old year, she continued to think about all the good times as well as all the bad ones. She came to the conclusion that the bad times really weren?t that bad at all. They were just lessons she needed to learn for that particular time. Annabelle thought about all the amazing things she learned, experienced, witnessed, and explored, and tried to describe every detail into her journal before the year ended. Of course she had already made some great entries, but now as she looked back at them, she needed to finetune the facts. She also wanted to use up Martin Luther King Jr. Day the remaining pages of blank paper in her journal. Just then, Annabelle?s mom peeked into her room as she lay on her bed writing. ?Hey, Annabelle, we?re starting to decorate for our New Year?s party. Would you like to help us?? Mom asked. ?Sure, Mom, I?ll be right down,? Annabelle said with a smile. This would be Annabelle?s last celebration for the year?or would it be the first celebration for the new year? Annabelle decided it would be a little of both. She quickly wrote her last entry and then went downstairs to help decorate. Annabelle jumped right in and started helping Alice hang some streamers in the living room. Alice began complaining and being bossy right away. Happy New Year ?Annabelle, you have to twist the streamers before you actually tape them up!? Alice said with an attitude. Annabelle wondered why big sisters always have attitudes for no apparent reason. Annabelle knew about twisting the streamers and was going to do just that when she got to the other side of the room. Annabelle decided not to waste her breath by trying to explain. Just then, Jason got ahold of the party horns and decided to use one as he ran through the house. Alice lost it and shouted at Jason. ?Can you stop with the horn already!? she yelled. ?It?s not time for the horn blowing! We have at least seven more hours!? Alice grabbed the horn from Jason. Jason ran to Mom and started crying. Mom sent Alice upstairs to take a little Martin Luther King Jr. Day break and let Jason go with Dad to pick up the food for their celebration so he would stop crying. Annabelle wondered what had gotten into Alice this evening to make her act so mean. She thought, Maybe Alice just needs an extra nap or something. Annabelle was fine with finishing all the decorating while Mom went upstairs to talk with Alice, although there was still a lot of decorating to do. Annabelle finished hanging the streamers from the ceiling and sprinkled silver tinsel all over the furniture and tables. She ended up blowing up seventeen balloons and taped them on the walls. She also left some on the ground to kick around. After about an hour and a half, she was finally finished. Annabelle lay on the couch to rest and eventually fell asleep. Annabelle didn?t even hear the door Happy New Year open when Dad and Jason came back with all the food. When Mom came downstairs, she looked at the decorating job that Annabelle had done and was completely surprised that it looked so good. Dad was a little surprised too. Jason loved it, of course, and started kicking the balloons around the house. When Alice came downstairs after a short nap and saw all the decorations, she started to laugh really loud. Mom and Dad started laughing as well, waking Annabelle up from her nap. ?Why is ever yone laughing?? she asked, rubbing her eyes. ?We?re just so happy, honey! You did an amazing job with all the decorations!? Dad said as he gave her a hug. ?Don?t you think it?s a little overkill?? Alice asked with a frown. Mom replied quickly, ?No, it?s not. It?s Martin Luther King Jr. Day just perfect, Annabelle. You did the most amazing job!? ?Great! Then let?s eat because I?ve worked up a big appetite,? Annabelle said as she got off the couch and headed toward the kitchen. Even if the decorations were a bit much, Mom didn?t care because Annabelle had done her very best to Happy New Year make the house look amazing for the last celebration of the year. The whole family sat down to eat together and shared about what had been their favorite experience the past year. Afterwards they played board games like they do every New Year?s Eve. Jason couldn?t keep his eyes open and eventually fell asleep on the couch during the games. Later they turned the TV on and started watching a New Year?s Eve special until it was time for the ball to drop. Everyone put their hats on and got their horns ready as the countdown started. ?10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!? everyone shouted and blew their horns as loud as they could.
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