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Last, But Certainly Not Least

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Finally, here it was…Christmas Eve. It was the night Allison had been waiting for. The family would gather around the tree as Allison and her two older brothers gave their parents their gifts. It was the first year Allison had been old enough to be part of giving her very own present to her parents.

Allison was excited about her gift because she had made it herself. As her parents sat in the two big chairs beside the fireplace, her brother Jamie pulled a red box with a green bow stuck to the top out from under the tree and handed it to his mom. She read the little tag aloud and opened the box. Inside was a beautiful red candle, and as his dad put a match to its wick, Jamie told them that it would smell like cinnamon in a minute. Everyone waited and commented on the wonderful cinnamon scent.

Next came Peter, who proudly presented a gold box with gold ribbon to his Dad, who read the tag and opened the box. Inside was a wonderful assortment of jelly candies. Everyone sampled a different flavor and commented how good their choice was.

Allison came up next with her hands behind her back. In one sweeping action she presented her gift and held it in front of her. It was a big card that had a Christmas tree on the front with Santa and his reindeer going over the top of it. At the bottom, Allison had printed “Mom and Dad” with a different color for each letter. Allison’s mom reached for the card, and both parents leaned together as they read the inside and commented on the pictures. Allison’s dad sat the card on the mantle and suggested everyone sample another round of jelly candies. He then turned the room lights down so they could appreciate the glow from the candle better.

The card Allison had made for her parents faded out of sight on the mantle as the candlelight illuminated the coffee table and the candy box. Allison began to feel her gift didn’t match up to her brothers’. The card had only provided momentary excitement as it was opened. Already it had faded in comparison to her brothers’ gifts. She passed on the next round of jelly candy and expressed her desire to go to bed so Santa Claus could come.

She went to sleep dreaming of a magic moment when her parents would like and enjoy her present the best.

The next morning she came down the stairs to the living room, and while there were so many presents under the tree from Santa, the first thing she noticed was the coffee table. The candle had burned itself away and the box that contained the jelly candy was empty. But there, sitting high and proud on the mantle, was her card.

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