Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tess's Tidbits: Christmas Morning

"I can't believe it's already Christmas Eve!" I whispered to my sisters as we sat bundled up together.   I couldn't see Hailey and Ella in the dark, but I could almost feel their excitement. 

"I can't wait until Christmas morning!" Ella whispered back eagerly.

"Me too!" Hailey agreed in her own whisper.  "What time is it?"

I glanced over at the digital alarm clock on Papa's nightstand.  "It's only 12 pm...not time yet."

"Will you girls be quiet over there?" Maggie's hissing whisper reached us from the other side of the dresser.  "You're going to wake everyone up!"

I leaned over close to my sisters.  "I say we go out to the living room and look at the big Christmas tree...what do you think?"

"Let's do it!" Hailey agreed eagerly.

We got up and started climbing down the dresser, fumbling in the dark.

"What are you guys doing?" Claire whispered frantically.  "We're supposed to be quiet!"

"Mama and Papa and the girls are gone, remember?" I reminded them in a hushed tone. 

"Then why are we all whispering?" Maggie asked.

"I don't know...habit, I guess!"  I peered through the darkness, trying to see them.  "We're headed out to see the big tree in the living room...want to come with us?"

"Sure!" Maggie answered.  "Wow, Tess was this your idea?"

"Yes," I answered defensively.  "I'm not a complete stick in the mud!"

I could hear Maggie chuckling as she, Claire and Lucy climbed down the other side of the dresser.

It wasn't long before we'd traveled down the long hallway and made it to the living room.  We had to stack some things to reach the light switch, but it was worth it to see the beautiful lights.  We all sat in front of the tree and gazed at it in happiness. 

"I love Christmas!" Hailey burst out, overflowing with joy.  "I wish Mama and Papa would keep a tree up all year long!"

"Then it wouldn't be as special," Claire pointed out.  "We'd be so used to it, it would be no big deal."

"I guess so," Hailey admitted reluctantly. 

"We'd better just enjoy it while we can," I said, leaning my head back to see as much of the huge tree as possible.

"It sure is weird not having Emma here," Ella remarked.  "I figured Mama would keep us all together for Christmas.  I'm just so glad she got Emily fixed in time!"  Ella smiled over at her best friend, who returned the smile.  Yes, Emily was finally back with us.  She was still pretty weak, but she was back.

I noticed Maggie watching me carefully.  Are you all right? she mouthed.  I nodded and tried to swallow around the lump in my throat.  This was the first Christmas that Mama had taken another doll instead of me with her. 

Everyone knew I was Mama's favorite.  It was a little embarrassing, and I felt bad for the others, but I didn't know what I could do.  Thankfully, no one seemed to be too hurt by it, and no one gave me a hard time.  Maggie was fiercely protective of me...maybe that was why no one said anything.  They probably would have ended up with Maggie's fist in their face.

I tried not to worry too much about Emma.  These things happened in a doll's life.  And Emma was so sweet, it was impossible to be upset with her.  It was an odd feeling to have second place in Mama's life, though.

Oh well, at least I would be able to spend Christmas with my sisters and my close friends.  One thing about being a doll is you realize how much you need to treasure every moment.  Our lives are filled with uncertainty.  There's no guarantee that we'll all stay together, or last the same amount of time.  There's always the prospect of eBay or Craigslist looming over us.  Claire was the only one who hadn't had a previous owner, but even she understood the seriousness of our situation.

I knew Mama loved us, but I also knew she'd been really stressed out trying to care for us all.  I shook my head.  It would do no good to think about all that now.  I wanted to live in the present and enjoy this Christmas as much as possible.

I suddenly had a crazy idea.  "Hey, does anyone want some Reese's Fudge?" I asked mischevously.

"At midnight?" Hailey asked me skeptically.

"Why not?" I grinned.  "Just for's Christmas!"

Maggie eyed me suspiciously.  "Okay, it's official:  you've been hanging around me too long.  Since when have you come up with all of the bad ideas?"

I just laughed and ran back to the bedroom where my tin of Reese's was waiting beneath our tiny tree.  Then I hurried back to the living room and opened the lid.  "Merry Christmas, everybody!" I said happily.

Everyone took a piece of Reese's.  After I'd served everyone, I took a piece for myself and sat down again.  I took a small bite and let it sit, melting in my mouth.  I wanted to savor every bit of fudge, just like I wanted to savor every moment of this Christmas time together. 

The Reese's were good, but one piece was definitely enough.  We got drinks of water from the fridge and then headed back out to the big tree. 

All at once, Hailey broke out into a soft rendition of "Silent Night."  One by one, we all joined in.  I stared at the lights on the tree as we sang, picturing that first Christmas so long ago when Jesus came as a baby to the earth.  What must it have been like for Mary and Joseph on that night in Bethlehem?  And the shepherds, visited by many of God's angels?  I wished I could have been there.  It must have been wonderful!

We finished "Silent Night" and moved on to "Angels We Have Heard on High".  I smiled as I heard Hailey's sweet soprano on the glorias.  She really did sound like an angel.  I could hear Maggie's strong alto, Lucy's childish warble, Claire's soulful warmth, Ella's timid notes and Emily's voice, slightly off-key.  I closed my eyes and let the music surround me.

By three carols later, my head was nodding and I was finding it difficult to keep my eyes open.  I wasn't the only one.  Lucy had already dropped off to sleep, her head in Maggie's lap.  Ella and Emily kept making each other yawn.  I lay down on my side and listened to Hailey, Maggie and Claire, the only three still at it.  They made a beautiful trio.

The next thing I knew, I was waking up from laying on the floor, stiff and cold.  The soft, grey light of morning was peeking through the curtain.  I sat up slowly and looked around me.  Everyone else lay in various uncomfortable postisions, sound asleep.  I peered up at the clock, trying to clear my fuzzy head.  It was 6:30 in the morning.

I climbed up onto the glider rocker where Hailey was sleeping and shook her on the shoulder.  "Merry Christmas!" I said softly.  She rolled over and blinked up at me sleepily.  "What?"

I pointed to the clock.  "It's Christmas morning.  Want to help me wake everyone?"

A grin spread across her features, and she nodded excitedly.  Within moments she was up, shaking shoulders and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

Giddy with excitement, we all hurried back down the hallway to our little tree.  Mama had been kind enough to take our stockings down, so that we could reach them, and fill them for us.  We started with those, oohing and ahhing over the fun goodies.  Each of us had a yo yo and a little koosh ball.

We decided that we were all pretty hungry, so we headed out to the kitchen to fix breakfast before opening our gifts.  Maggie and I got down the cereal, while Claire and Hailey got out the milk.  Thankfully, Mama had a smaller carton in the fridge that we could actually manage.

We all sat in a circle and ate our cereal.  Maggie finished first and read us the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2 and Matthew chapter 2 while the rest of us finished up.

When everyone had eaten, we put our dishes in the sink, washed up, and hurried back to the bedroom to open our gifts.  We'd all drawn names so that each one of us got a gift for one other girl.

I had drawn Hailey's name, so I grabbed her gift and handed it to her.   I couldn't wait to see her open it.

"It's a Rapunzel doll!" she shrieked excitedly.  "Oh, thank you Tess!  I love it!"

I gave her a hug.  "You're welcome," I told her.  I had known she would like it.  Ever since we'd seen the movie 2 weeks ago, she hadn't stopped singing the songs.

Now everyone got up and gave each person their gift.  Maggie beamed down at me as she handed me a box.  "I was so glad I got your name," she confided.  "I hope you like it!"

"I'm sure I will," I assured her.  I opened the box and found a beautiful porcelain church.  When I picked it up, it jingled.  It was a bell!

"Thanks, Maggie!" I told her.  "It's beautiful!  It'll be perfect with all of my figurines."

"That's what I figured," Maggie said happily.

All around us was a flurry of brightly colored paper and cheers and laughter.  Everyone was opening their gifts.  There was a soft elf doll for Emily, a little Scotty dog figurine for Claire, a set of bear Peter Pan figurines for Maggie, and Christmas dolls for Ella and Lucy.

There was one package left that remained unopened.  I blinked back tears as I looked at it.  I had really hoped that my cousin Katie would be back by Christmas.  Her coming would have made this Christmas complete.  I said a quick prayer for her, that her Christmas would be special, too, even though she was far away from us.

"Look what I found!" Maggie suddenly called out.  She was holding a package that said:  "To all my gals from Mama".  Inside was a miniature Nativity Set.  There was Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus, an angel, a donkey, a camel, two sheep, a shepherd, the star, and the three wisemen.  They were so cute and tiny!  We all took turns admiring them.

"Let's set them up," Lucy suggested shyly.

We all agreed, and in no time, they had a place of honor on our shelf.

Maggie turned and looked at all of us.  "Merry Christmas, everyone!"

"Merry Christmas!" we all said back.  Then, laughing, we went back to our gifts and chattered the rest of the morning away.


MyLittleMegara said...

Aww that sounds like so much fun! My girls and i love celebrating Christmas together- one of my main traditions since I was 8 has been to dress them all up fancily and then have a photo shoot in front of the tree. :)

beastsbelle said...

We had a wonderful Christmas. Mama loves to dress us up and take fancy photos, too. :) I always love having an excuse to wear a beautiful dress. Maggie usually protests, though. ;)


Emma :) said...

Just wondering: how does the whole dolls having dolls thing work?

beastsbelle said...

Good question, Emma. :)

Surprisingly enough, our own little dolls don't talk or move around like we do...I don't know if it's that way in every house. Rather odd, don't you think? I wish I could explain it, but that's all the information I can share at this point in time...