It's The Thought That Counts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   This past Christmas was one of the best I have ever had. This was made possible by my sister, Amy. She is eight years my elder and has already made it into the "real world."

My sister bought me three wonderful gifts, but only one would capture my heart forever. First she handed me the smallest. Because Amy usually carefully calculates her actions, I knew this was her least favorite. It was perfumed body lotion. I was very happy with it, yet curious as to what lay ahead. Next she handed me a box. After tearing away at the festive plaid wrapping paper, I found a stylish and expensive sweater. I was deeply moved that my sister had been so incredibly generous. Then she handed me the last gift. Judging by the familiar size and shape I knew it was a CD. It was the soundtrack to the movie "Rocky," with songs inspiring to all athletes, dreamers, underdogs, and achievers. I immediately loved it, but not as much as I would after my sister's explanation. She explained she had been thinking about me and all that I had endured this past fall.

She was referring to a knee injury that cost me half of my soccer season. This injury stripped me of one of the most precious parts of my life. I longed to be with my teammates and suffered each second I sat on the bench. I worked hard to rehabilitate my knee. This was what led my sister to purchase the inspiring CD.

After explaining the thought behind the gift, Amy played the CD for me. Even though I had heard those songs a thousand times before, each note struck me as wondrous and it all seemed so new. It simultaneously played in my soul and on my emotions. Amy told me to listen, as the words "Trying hard now. It's so hard now" blared through the family room. It touched me in a way beyond the superficial happiness most gifts bring. Together we both started crying and hugged, giggling at ourselves for our sappiness. My sister told me that while listening to the CD in the store she had started to cry. Knowing that my sister had felt my problem so deeply that she cried for me in front of strangers made me realize I am the luckiest little sister in the world. I had never received a gift with so much thought behind it. To know that my sister cared so intensely was the best Christmas present I had ever received. So, believe me, there is credence in the phrase, "It's the thought that counts." c


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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