She liked Christmas a lot. Not just because of the presents, but because she got to meet Santa, and hear the carolers sing, and have fun with family and friends. In fact, the presents were the least of her concern.
This Christmas was supposed to be pretty similar to the previous ones she celebrated. It would always start with her running down the stairs towards the Christmas tree, where she would find a few presents, neatly wrapped and gingerly placed beneath it. She would tear through the wrapping to uncover the gift she received, as her parents happily snapped away with their camera, capturing those precious moments of joy and excitement.
However, this Christmas was noticeably different.
"Hey Daddy! I found something on my other present!"
"...Other present? You sure you didn't mistake it for mine or Mommy's?"
"No, it has my name on it! See?"
This was quite strange indeed, for Daddy had secretly bought only one gift for her. He counted the boxes underneath the tree... strange, there is one extra!
"Um, honey? Could you come down here for a moment?"
Mommy trotted down the stairs. "What's wrong honey?"
Daddy quietly explained the situation to Mommy, while the girl was holding up the extra gift at different angles, trying to find out what was inside.
"...I only purchased your gift, darling. You told me that you were responsible for buying the book–"
"–which I did! Yet that box looks like something much larger than the book I got for her! What's going on?"
"Mommy! Daddy! Can I open this up nooooow?"
The couple stared at each other. Mommy sighed.
"Alright honey, you can open it up."
"YAAAAAAY!" And the girl ripped the outer wrapping into countless shreds, revealing what was underneath...
"WOW! It's a set of Lego bricks!!!"
"Did you buy that?" Mommy whispered to Daddy.
"Well I wanted to, but it looked too expensive. I swear, I didn't buy it, even if I knew that she would like it!"
"Look! Mommy! Daddy!"
"There's a letter on the top! It says 'To Mommy & Daddy' on it!"
A letter? This clearly wasn't the work of either parent.
"Do you want to read it?"
"Yeah, sure. Pass it here."
So Mommy took the envelope from the girl. She and Daddy went off into the kitchen to open it, while the girl fiddled around with her new toy.
"Who would send a letter to us both? And figure out what our daughter wants, and where we live?"
"I'm not quite sure... maybe the letter will tell us something."
Mommy cautiously pulled out the letter from the envelope, and unfolded it.
The green handwriting was unnaturally neat:
Dear Rick & Madison,
It's my first year on the job! Just thought I'd drop a note to tell you I've shifted house again, and am hosting another party tonight. It's kind of a celebration of my "succession" too. I'm certain you're both free tonight! My new address is on the underside of this letter.
(Oh, and I don't think Denise will like the book that much! Hee hee.)
"Well, that explains it." Rick was at least relieved it wasn't a ghost or a burglar. Dominic could have been more polite in his opinion on the science book, though.
"So? Shall we go there tonight?" Madison asked as she examined the address on the letter's underside.
"Of course! There's no question about that. We're already considered friends. It's just courteous of us to visit a friend when invited!"
"Well then... Denise?"
"Daddy and I will be going to a dinner party tonight. Can you be good and stay over at Granny's house for the night?"
"Okay, Mommy! I like Granny too! ...but whose party is it?"
"...can you keep a secret?"
"I can keep a secret. I kept a lot of secrets in school!"
Was Madison supposed to be relieved to hear that?
"Anyway, don't tell anyone, but... we're visiting Santa!"
"Really?!? Can I come???"
"I'm sorry Denise, but it's adults only. We're just having a little fun together, eating and chatting..."
"That sound boooooring!"
"Aha, but if I find out from Granny that you've been naughty at her place, she can call me, and I can tell Santa directly!"
"Oh NO! Please don't, Mommy!"
Madison smirked. "Sure, just as long as you behave at her house tonight. Understand?"
"Okay, Mommy." She did it again, Denise with her puppy eyes.
"Good girl! Now have fun with your Lego toy!"
Denise resumed with her indulgence in the colourful plastic bricks, ready to create new worlds that she could imagine.
Madison walked back upstairs into the bedroom, looking for a nice dress to wear to the party, while she hummed a few Christmas tunes.
Rick just slumped onto the couch, turning on the TV to see what Christmas specials were being shown at the moment.
And so the three of them continued to live happily ever after.