“Line up, line up!” We crowded near the top of the stairs in our new pajamas. Mom was first, carrying a fragile wrapped gift in her arms. Nathan was after her, then Kiyna, Kinsey, Neal, and finally me. Dad was already downstairs. He always went down first to turn on the Christmas tree lights. It was still dark outside and the living room was lit only by the lights from the tree. “Careful,” Mom cautioned as we made our way excitedly down the stairs. I bumped into Neal somewhere near the bottom step and I grabbed his shoulders to keep him from falling. “Kira,” he complained. “Oh, you’re fine,” I mumbled. “Hurry up.” Mom sat down on the couch and cradled the precious gift on her lap.
Usually, we all grab our stockings and then start ripping, but not this time. I picked up my gift for Kiy and carried it to Mom. I could see the tears shining in her eyes as she carefully unwrapped the blanket from Kiy’s arms and sat her up. She still looked so pale and small! I handed her the package. Kiy was too weak to tear the paper herself, so Mom helped her. Within a few seconds, the doll’s blue eyes stared up at Kiy from the torn paper. Kiy looked up at me and smiled. “Ra-ra,” she whispered and reached for me. I hugged her gently and carefully while the tears slid down my cheeks. I looked at Mom and she was crying too. “You know, Mom,” I said, “the best gifts aren’t wrapped in Christmas paper.” I glanced across the room at Dad. He was trying to get Nathan to open one of his presents. I laughed, “Guess what, Dad?” “What?” Dad asked. I gently stroked Kiy’s wispy curls. “I believe in miracles.” He smiled. “And in Santa Claus?” he questioned. I looked around at the mound of unopened gifts. “And in Santa Claus!” The End