“Joy, are you awake? Tina and I want to go downstairs to see if Santa came last night.”
Opening her eyes, she saw two little faces bending over the bed looking into her face. Smiling and grabbing them both, she pulled them into her bed with her, “Good morning and Merry Christmas, I will just bet Santa found you here last night.”
Getting out of the bed, she put on her soft white robe and matching house shoes, then said “Now what are you two lazy kids doing in bed? I’m going to go find out what Santa brought last night, anyone want to go with me?”
“I do,” David said as he swung his feet of the bed.
Tina was sliding of the side of the bed as she said, “Me too Joy, I wasn’t to see if Santa brought me a doll. I hope he remembered to bring me a ‘Cat in the Hat’ book too.”
“I think Santa has a very good memory, if he had that book, then he surly brought it to you.”
Opening her bedroom door, Joy heard the doorbell ringing. “I wonder who that could be at seven-thirty in the morning,” she said to the children. Daniel stopped and looked back at Joy, raising an eyebrow and giving her an outlandish half-smile.
“Ok Mr. Smart guy, what was that silly smile all about?”
“You know who it is, it has to be Richard because it’s Christmas and Richard said he would see us today. He likes you and you like him,” Daniel told her.
“Ruffling his hair, Joy said, “Yes I do like him, and I think he likes you and Tina also.”
“He does like us, he told me he did,” Tina told her.
As they came to the top of the stairs, they heard Joy’s father say “Merry Christmas Robert. Come in, you are just in time for fresh coffee and breakfast. I would imagine Joy and the children will be down very soon, especially since everyone will to see what Santa brought last night.”
Daniel and Tina were so excited when they saw the Christmas tree with its lights on, and surrounded by presents. Both children started squealing with delight.
“Joy, have you ever seen so many presents before? I think there must be hundreds of gifts under the tree. Oh look Joy, there is a train and the train is going around the tree on train tracks,” Daniel said as he started clapping his hands in excitement.
“Look,” Tina said in an awe-struck voice. “It is a doll in a stroller, and she has brown pigtails just like me. Is she mine Joy, is she really mine?”
“Yes sweetheart, she is really yours, unless Santa decided to give my Dad, Robert or David a doll this year.”
Joy heard laughter behind her as everyone came into the living room.
“I do not think Santa meant that beautiful doll for me or Daniel, but maybe David asked for a doll for Christmas.”
Daniel and Tina ran to Robert and gave him a hug. Then they went to hug Joy’s parents David and Beverly.
“Is it all right if we open presents, or do we have to eat breakfast first,” Daniel asked them.
You know Daniel, I learned one important thing when Joy was a little girl and that is, that on Christmas, presents come first,” Beverly told him.
“Dad, would you mind handing out the presents,” Joy asked her father.
“My pleasure, but I think I will ask Robert if he will help me. There are so many presents here, that I would have to miss breakfast if I don’t get some help,” David said laughing.
As the children were opening their gifts, Joy whispered to Robert, “Did you buy out every store in town yesterday? I swear they have everything for children their age.”
Keeping his voice low and unsuccessfully trying to suppress a laugh, Robert said, “Yeah, I told you it was hard trying to stop buying for them, last night. I also added a few things to the back yard this morning, before your family woke up.”
“Are you serious? Thanks for reminding me, there are so many presents here, that I had forgotten the tether ball, in the yard.”
“When are you going to show them the tether ball?”
After breakfast, I guess would be best. What did you buy for the yard,” Joy asked him.
Before he could answer, Tina ran to them to ask if she could put on her dolly and me dress.
“See Joy it looks just like my dolls dress,” she said holding it up for everyone to see. “I also got some dress up shoes, a tea set and a table and chairs and I got a whole bunch of clothes too.”
“Hey Robert, do you want to play with my remote control car with me? We could take it out to the driveway to drive it if you want to,” Daniel asked.
“Why don’t we wait until after breakfast, Daniel? You will have to get dressed before we go out anyway.”
“Ok, I am kind of hungry anyway.”
“Then I think Joy and I should go into the kitchen and get started fixing breakfast for everyone,” Beverly told them.
As Joy got up and started to leave the room, Robert asked them to wait a moment and open their gifts from him. He asked David if he would help him bring in their gifts. David followed him into the front entry room.
Robert brought an armful of gifts, placed them on the coffee table, and went back to the entry room.
When David walked back in the room, he had a large box in his arms and he carried it to his wife and set it down on the carpet in front of her. “I don’t know what is in this, but it is real heavy and Robert said I was to be real careful when I set it down,” he said with a big smile, as he once again followed Robert, to get more gifts.
When they came back into the room, they were carrying a box that was six feet in length and about four-foot in width. Sitting it down on the carpet closest to the wall, Robert told David that this was his gift, but he wanted him to wait until last to open it. David agreed, but everyone knew the he was dying to open it.
After they brought all the boxes into the room, Robert asked Beverly to open her gift first.
The first gift she opened was filled with drinking glasses of all kind, they were Waterford Crystal. Beverly was stunned.
“Oh Robert, you shouldn’t have,” she said with tears of joy in her eyes.
“Yes I should have, now please open your other gift.”
Opening the large box, she gasped with surprise. The box contained fine china dinnerware.
Standing up, she walked over to Robert, hugged him, and told him thank you through tears of joy.
“Now, David, I want you to open these three gifts in any order you want, then you may open the large box.”
David chose the smallest box to open first. Opening it up and seeing what was inside, had David’s mouth hanging open. He reverently lifted it up for everyone to see it was an authentic antique Jim Bowie knife. There was a letter of authenticity that said it was the very same knife that Jim Bowie used in a duel, known as the ‘Sandbar Fight,’ on September 19, 1827.
After David had thanked Robert, then exclaimed it was the best gift in the world, he opened his other two smaller gifts. In the next box was a set of first edition Samuel Colt gun dated eighteen-thirty-eight,
the world’s first practical multiple-shot revolver, the “Patterson Revolver,” six-shooter, revolvers. In the last box, there was a small black velvet box and inside it was a key.
David was told to open the big box and when he did, he saw that it was a beautifully hand carved locked gun case.
Next, was Joy’s turn to open gifts from Robert. He handed her Three small boxes. After opening all three boxes, Joy had received a four-carat diamond teardrop necklace with matching earrings and a diamond bracelet.
“Oh Robert, thank you, but your gifts were too much. It makes my gift to you seem so insignificant in comparison,” she said as she kissed him on the cheek.
“No Joy, the cologne you gave me is wonderful, and I will wear it every day.”
Before Joy could say anything else, Beverly said, “All right now Joy, why don’t we go fix that breakfast. I am sure the children will want to go outside to play pretty soon.
As they started to go into the kitchen, the doorbell chimed.
Joy went to the door. Opening it, there was a police officer and a tall skinny woman with short black hair and black rimmed glasses, standing there with him.
“May I help you,” Joy asked them.
“I am Officer Delray and this is Miss. Beasley from the child protective services. We are here to pick up Daniel and Tina Masters.”
The color drained from Joy’s face. “No, please don’t take them. It is Christmas and it would devastate them, to be taken away today of all days,”she said with tears streaming down her face.
To be continued…