The Best Present
by: Hannah G.

Christmas music and cinnamon permeated through the air, giving the illusion of a perfect “holiday scene. Catherine was sitting with her very best friend, who also happened to be her cousin, Elizabeth. They were so close in age, being both twelve, they sometimes said they felt more like sisters than cousins. It was a typical Christmas holiday at their Grandma Betty’s house.


“Time to open presents everyone!” Grandma walked in, wiping her hands on her apron. The rest of the family gathered around in the living room. Of course, Catherine and Elizabeth were sitting right next to each other. They were so excited!


“I wonder if Aunt Leslie got us those crazy sweaters again. This would be the third year in a row!” Katherine giggled. Elizabeth nodded, a smile splashed across her face.


Just then, Elizabeth’s mother stood up, and announced, “Alright everyone. Let’s get started!” Everyone bustled around, getting their presents, and finally settling down. As the tradition usually went, each person opened one present at a time, so everyone could see what each person received.


“Catherine, why don’t you go first?” Catherine nodded, and proceeded to tear open the wrapping on her first gift.


“Oh, Grandma! I love these new clothes! It’s perfect for when we start school again. Thank you so much!” Catherine stood up and gave her grandmother a huge hug. Then, it was Elizabeth’s turn to open a present. When she went to choose one, Catherine pointed to a crudely wrapped present near the back.


“Pick that one, Elizabeth! I got it just for you.” Elizabeth reached for the present, and went to sit back down. As she ripped open the newspaper, Elizabeth tried to visualize what amazing present her cousin could have gotten for her. Maybe Catherine got me that new Justin Bieber CD. I really hope it’s something good! Looking down, Elizabeth saw that her present was far from good. All she saw was a beat up looking, dusty cloth doll. One eye was missing, and the red yarn that made up the mouth was starting to unravel.


A look of disgust covered Elizabeth’s face, but she quickly covered it up when Catherine asked, “Do you like it, Elizabeth? This doll was a big comfort to me when I was little, and it meant a lot to me. I thought you’d like to have it.” Elizabeth knew what she was talking about. Lately, Elizabeth had been not doing her best in school, and was feeling really down about it. Catherine had a huge grin on her face as she looked at the doll lovingly. Elizabeth was torn. The doll wasn’t new, it wasn’t anything she would want to brag about, but it was a present from her cousin; a present from the heart. Elizabeth put on a huge smile, and gave Catherine a hug.


“Thank you. That really means a lot to me.” As the party went on, Elizabeth thoughts lingered on the doll. After a lot of thought, she finally decided that the doll, in fact, was a great present. Although it was not beautiful, this was the best present she received.