The best present is being present

And a pair of socks, of course!

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

“All the gifts wrapped in brown paper are yours!” Said her mother, smiling.

Alana ran giggling, she wanted to open them all!

“Wait.” Said her father. “You can’t open today. Remember, we only open the gifts in the morning.”

“Why can’t we open on Christmas Eve?” He gave her the look that said it all. There was simply no room for discussion.

The magic that she loved the most was the Midnight Mass, all those people singing in the dark, waiting for something they believed like her. For a moment, Alana forgot the presents that she had at home and was just there, with her family and friends.

Alana was just ten years old, but she loved the end-of-the-year holidays. Her family was united in her grandparents’ home and all her cousins were there. It was all fun and play. The only two days of the year that she could stay awake after midnight: Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

She fell asleep in the car when they were going home. Her father picked her up, still numb, and put her to bed. She was so tired that she didn’t move an inch. All that could be heard was her deep breathing coordinated with his rhythmically rising chest.

“It’s time!” She screamed, after opening her eyes and recalling her gifts. She could not let it alone!

She stopped after flying down the stairs. The smell of traditional Christmas toasts was in the air. As a thief, on tiptoe, she went to the kitchen and used her little hand to steal the toast on the platter.

And, radiant, she went near the Christmas tree. There were at least ten magic boxes wrapped in brown paper. She remembered that her mother said that they were all hers. Where were they? She wanted to open them all and no one was there! She couldn’t break the tradition of opening gifts with them.

She called them. It took ages for her parents to come near the tree. The three sat on the floor, and it was time to open the presents!

“You can open your gifts first, Alana.” Said her father, smiling. She didn’t know, but he had a hidden agenda.

She went to the smaller one first. The brown wrap was quickly torn to shreds.

“Do you like it?” Her mother asked, seeing her confused expression.

“It’s socks.” Alana said, showing them above her head.

“Yes, don’t you like it?” Asked her father.

“Yes, Papa.” She hugged him, then repeated the hug with her mother.

“Come on, dear. Open the next one!” She made what his mother said. This one had a paper box within the paper wrap. She opened.

“More socks.” Her voice was almost a whisper.

“Don’t you like it?” Asked her dad. She nodded one yes, unsure if she liked it or not.

More three presents were opened, more socks. Her eyes were wet and she wanted to cry.

“Won’t you open another one?” Alana said no to her father. “Why not?”

“I don’t want more socks.” She finally said.

“Are you sure that it is more socks?” Her eyes sparkled; hope was raised again. But for a little time, since she opened another set of socks.

“I don’t want any of this!” She screamed and cried.

“Listen to me, dear.” Her mother embraced her; Alana was feeling despair. “You have everything that you want all year.”

“Don’t you know that a lot of kids don’t have any gifts?” Added her father.

“I want to share something with you.” Said her mother, as she wiped Alana’s wet eyes. She nodded in affirmation. “You can help others. Sharing is the best gift ever you could ever have.”

“I don’t know!” Alana answered. She approached her father with some socks. “Do you want some socks?”

“Thank you, Alana.” Her father smiled. She felt something inside her warm-up.

“Mom, do you want some socks?” She gave her mother socks, feeling a lot better. “Socks for all!”

“It’s missing someone!” Said her mother.

“Who?” Alana asked.

“Your little brother.” Her mother ran her hand across the belly. “He will need some socks too.”

That moment was the best memory that Alana would make until that day.

Giving is caring. Receiving is a blessing.

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Sofia Duarte

Sofia Duarte

⚀ Uma mulher afundada em letras creativas! ⚁ A woman deep within creative words!