Ella settled onto her blanket, squirming with excitement. She could hear her heart beating -almost as loudly as Baby Mia’s breathing, from the crib.
Ella knew, when morning came, there might not be presents under the tree.
When she and Jake wrote letters to Santa forever ago, Mommy had said, “Don’t expect too much.”
When they had gone to the stores to see Santa, Daddy had said, “Now, don’t expect too much.”
That night, they had read about Jesus. “Jesus was the greatest gift,” Daddy said. He had looked at them, reminding them what was important.
Then, they had unwrapped the pajamas Mommy made. Ella wondered why Mommy kept crying. “Don’t expect too much, Mommy,” she’d said.
Ella heard a knock. She scampered to her door. She could see Jake’s dark face, peeking.
Mommy opened the front door. There were happy voices. Daddy turned, and scolded, “Ella, Jake! Get back in bed or Santa won’t come!” Jake’s nose went back into his room. Ella went back to her blankets.
Who is at the door? She wondered, as she drifted off to sleep.
Soon, Jake was shaking her. “Ewha! Chwismas!” He danced around the room, shouting. Mommy came in, looking tired. She scooped up Baby Mia.
Ella jumped up and followed Jake to the family room. She stopped, toes curling in carpet. There were boxes and boxes in bright, shimmering colors. Slowly, wondering, Ella walked forward.
She stopped, then looked happily at Mommy. “I guess I should have expected too much!”