From Santa This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   "G-r-r-r-r,"I groan as I stretch, awakened by my five-year-old niece. "Let mesleep."

"No, Scotty, it's Christmas!" she exclaims. Ihad forgotten the one day over Christmas vacation, other than Sunday, that Icould not sleep in.

"The whole family is up, and waiting foryou!" she insists. Rubbing my eyes, the posters on my wall come into focus,and I catch sight of the cutest little girl dressed in festive red and green,awaiting her favorite day of the year. The ear-to-ear smile on her face nearlymakes me cry, but since I am a tough guy, I hold back my tears and follow her tothe living room.

"Morning, sleepyhead," my mother sayscheerily. It is clear that she has already consumed several cups of coffee, whichhave given her a rush of energy that I could not muster this early in themorning. Soon, the Bible verse is read depicting the triumphant birth of Christ.My dad, the usual reader, passes this honor to my brother because this morning heis too tired to keep his eyes open.

After my brother finishes, my motherasks, "Now who was the best in the family this year, because they get toopen the first present." Playing along, my two older siblings and I answer,"I did some bad things, so certainly not me."

"I've beengood all year, I promise!" my niece, bursting with excitement, proclaims.

"Okay, then pick out your first present," my dad tells her."And hurry up, the Bears play the Lions today, and I want to see thekickoff."

After several minutes of testing every gift by shaking andsqueezing them, she finds what she claims is the "perfect present." Sheslowly sounds out the words on the gift tag " To: Joleigh, From:Santa." With excitement she declares, "Santa never fails me."

Taking her time, as though she is going to save the wrapping paper fornext year, she peels the tape off the dancing elves paper. Her eyes beam withsurprise when she sees the Christmas Barbie. This will complete her collection ofhundreds of Barbies, and it has been on the top of her Christmas list from dayone.

Looking up (toward where she assumes is the North Pole), she says,"Thank you, Santa," and this time a tear does rush to my eye. Thereason? I bought her that present, but I surely was not going to be the one toreveal that it was not from Santa. So, I keep to myself and continue the annualtradition of happiness known as Christmas, but with a new view as to what it isreally all about.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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