Baby-Sitters Club doesn't belong to me. The creator is Ann M. Martin.

I was helping my stepmom, Sharon Schafer, putting a Christmas tree up we picked out together. This would be our first Christmas together as a whole family since my dad and I celebrated on our own for a long time since after my mom died when I was an infant. Dad told me Mom was alive when we had first Christmas as a family when I was three months.

I'm Mary Anne Spier I'm 14 and grew up on Bradford Court until Dad and Sharon got remarried. Like me and Dad, she grew up and they went to high school together. In fact, they used to date back then! Then, she got sent away to California for college, got married, and gave birth to her two children, Dawn and Jeff. Unfortunately, Sharon got divorced and was back here with her kids until Jeff moved back to California. He might be here for Christmas! I can't wait. I'm glad Dad and Sharon got married. Dawn, who's my best friend, is my stepsister! We attend Stoneybrook High School, here in Stoneybrook, Connecticut, for ninth grade.

"Can you get the Christmas Tree decorations?" asked Sharon.

"Sure," I replied.

I went downstairs in the basement to get them. They used to be in the attic before Dad and I cleaned it out to be a bedroom before my adopted brother, Carlos Peters, joined my family. He's been an orphan since he was only eight years old.

I also got an adopted sister, Meredith Sousa, who shares my room. She lost her entire family after a tourbus blew up a few years apart from each other. She's originally from London, England, to be an exchange student before her mom and only sister died. We share my room and have no problems to do so.

They're both thrilled to spend their Christmas with us. I came up with the box of Christmas lights. I love decorating Christmas Trees. Lights are very pretty when they lit at night. We did the lights before we put up the ornaments.

Sharon and I were alone because Dad's in Chicago on a business trip and he's due to be back either Friday or Saturday afternoon. Carlos had a basketball practice and Meredith's there with him. Dawn's baby-sitting until later on tonight.

We finished the tree in no time. Christmas is in two weeks. The house was already decorated before we did the tree, which Dad and I always do first.

"I have an idea. Why don't we have a Christmas Party on Christmas Eve? We can invite your parents, our friends and their families," I said.

"That's a great idea," said Sharon.

"Yeah. Grandma Verna would be here anyway on Friday night," I said. "I'll mention that to the others tomorrow at the meeting."

"That's a nice idea. We can do it from six to nine at night since it's on a Tuesday," said Sharon.

"True," I agreed.

That night, Sharon and I went to the mall. We planned to eat in the food court and have Burger King. I had a hamburger with Sprite and Sharon had a ceaser salad with water. As you can see, Sharon isn't a fan of sugar, sweets, or red meat. Dawn's the same way. Salad is one of the things we can agree on as a family. Eggs are the other. Later, Dawn came home baby-sitting for my boyfriend, Logan Bruno's brother, Hunter, who came down with a cold. The Bruno family is from Kentucky.

"How's Hunter?" I asked.

"He's been resting most of the day," said Dawn.

"I came up with an idea I would like to share with everyone else tomorrow during the meeting," I said.

"Okay," said my sister.

The next day, it was snowing and the streets were blocked, so all of the schools are closed. I bet the Baby-Sitters Club meeting might be postponed. Sharon didn't dare to drive in the snow. Luckily for her, the office lost its power and had to close. She was glad about that. We lost power ourselves at ten-thirty this morning. Plus, it's a good thing Dad's not coming back until Friday or Saturday otherwise I'd be worried about him. The flights and trains would be canceled, too. It would be snowing all day long.

"We should go out there to shovel," said Dawn.

"Well, count me out. I'm not going out while the snow is heavy," I said.

"I don't blame you," agreed my stepmother. "It's better off if you girls wait until snow gets lighter this afternoon."

Later, that afternoon, it got light enough for me and Dawn to go out to shovel. I was bundled up and told Dawn to do the same thing. Meredith and Carlos helped us out. Then, I was getting cold all of sudden.

"Why don't you go in for the day to warm up and either Meredith or I can finish off?" suggested Carlos.

"Good idea. I'm starting to get cold," I said.

That's what I did. I took off my wet coat, mittens, hat, boots, and scarf as I hung up them to dry off. I made hot chocolate and sat in front of the fireplace while I was drinking it. I was also reading there as well.

"Did you had enough for today?" asked Sharon.

"I was getting cold out there, so Carlos suggested me to come inside for good to warm up so he or Meredith can finish off," I said.

"I don't blame him," said my stepmom.

That night, I started sneezing every ten minutes and my nose turned red. Plus, I couldn't breathe through my nose. Sharon noticed I didn't look too good.

"Are you alright tonight? Your nose is all red," said Sharon.

"I've been sneezing every ten minutes," I replied. "My nose is blocked."

"That doesn't sound too good," said Sharon.

"I know," I agreed as I sneezed again. "It's probably the change of weather."

I usually get cold every fall or winter. That's no fun at all! Thank god I never got it around the holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, etc. I went to bed at around nine that night so I can have a good night sleep. When I get sick, Meredith would share Carlos' room until I get better. Unfortunately, I didn't get any sleep at all. All I've been doing is sneezing all night long every two to ten minutes even though I've been sleeping sitting up. Plus, I had a headache and I started to have a nasal drip. What else is new?

The next day, even though school is open, I was kept home from school because I kept sneezing and coughing and I still had a headache. Later, I was asleep when someone arrived. Then, I felt nauseous as I got up and fled to the bathroom-just in time- as I started throwing up. I don't know who heard me because that person came in to be with me.

"It's okay," a voice was heard.

I knew that voice. That belonged to my grandmother. But I didn't notice because I was still vomiting. After that, when I looked up, I was right.

"Hi, Grandma," I said.

"Hi, sweetheart. Are you going to be alright now?" asked Grandma Verna.

"I came down with a cold last night," I replied. "That's why I was kept home from school."

"Would you like some Chicken Noodle Soup?" asked my grandmother.

"That would be great. Thanks," I smiled as I sneezed. "I also had a headache and I've been coughing during the night. I didn't get any sleep at all."

In my room, I was back in bed when Grandma Verna came in with soup five to ten minutes later.

"Thanks," I said.

"No problem," smiled Grandma Verna.

After Mom passed away, Dad was so upset that he decided to let my grandparents raise me in Iowa for awhile so he can recover. Baker was my mother's maiden name. He didn't take me back until I was about 18 months old. My grandfather died of colon cancer before Grandma Verna and I got back together, so I don't remember him at all. That night, Sharon was surprised to see Grandma Verna a few days early. Blizzard was on its way to Iowa on Friday. That's why she decided to come to beat the blizzard. I was resting on the couch.

"Does Mary Anne want anything?" asked Sharon.

"She already had Chicken Noodle Soup after I arrived," answered Grandma Verna.

"Okay. Does she want Ginger Ale?" asked my stepmom.

"She has it right now," replied my grandmother. "She might be asleep anyway."

When she checked to see how I was doing, she noticed I was sleeping. Sharon saw a taxi showing up in front of our house.

"I bet I know who might be," said Sharon.

She noticed it was Dad.

"He's early, too," said my stepmom.

That was when he came in.

"Hi. You're home early," said Sharon.

"We're having a blizzard this weekend, so Randy decided to come home early," said Dad.

"Smart idea," said Sharon.

"Iowa is having a blizzard, too, so that's why I arrived today to beat the blizzard," said Grandma Verna.

I started to feel nauseous again. Thank god I had Ginger Ale. But I almost threw up as I covered my mouth and I got up to go run upstairs to the bathroom as I started puking.

"Was she okay?" asked Dad who must have noticed that.

"She came down with a cold last night," replied Sharon.

"I'll go check on her while you can get settled in," offered Grandma Verna.

"That's okay, I can always unpack later on," said Dad as he came up to comfort me while I was still throwing up. "It'll be okay, honey."

After that, my headache was getting worse. I was glad to see Dad home!

"Sharon was telling me you caught a cold last night," said Dad.

"Yes, unfortunately. I also had a headache and a nasel drip during the night," I told him.

In the middle of the night, I was coughing when Dad came in with some water from a paper cup.

"Oh, good. Thanks," I smiled as I sat up to drink some.

"Are you going to be okay now?" asked Dad.

"I'll be alright," I replied.

"Do you want me to stay in here with you in case you need me?" asked Dad.

"Sounds good," I agreed.

An hour later, I was nauseous and fled to the bathroom as I started throwing up. That was when Dad came in to comfort me.

"It'll be okay, sweetie, I'm here," said Dad.

The next day, I still had the cold. Thankfully, the cough and the headache went away. Since the cold wasn't as bad, I was back at school. I had a package of tissues in case I need them. I did the make-up that I missed yesterday and I was all set now. Later, at the Baby-Sitters Club meeting, I kept sneezing a few times. Luckily, Claudia gave me plastic gloves and I had to change them three times after I sneezed each time. It was a big pain. I told the other girls about the Christmas Party on Christmas Eve from six to nine. My best friend, Kayla Willis, got all excited about it.

"And your families are welcome to attend if they're not busy," I added.

"Okay," said the girls.

Dad already knew about it and liked the idea.