Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

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Tomorrow is Christmas!  And Santa is a silly billy! Making a list to find out who’s naughty or nice.  And reindeers with electrical issues flitting around dropping presents into houses with gas heating!  Okay!

But still.  Christmas eve is nice.

Sabby spent all day making goodies.  Sooooo many goodies.  Cookies, and cakes, and things for dinner tomorrow…  soooo much food.  There’s chocolate stuff, but sugar cookies and ginger snaps and, well, she goes all out!  I offered to help but she shooed me out of the kitchen and told me she gets lots more done when no one’s bothering her.  It’s like she dances around the kitchen!

I asked her why Dave doesn’t help.  She says she doesn’t want him to.  She says that men are perfectly welcome in the kitchen, but not her kitchen.  I guess she can be a bit old fashioned.  She says he can take care of the tree and the decorating and all that fun stuff, but the kitchen is hers.

And the food just kept piling up.  I swear, when that woman gets going, she gets going.  And there’s even more tomorrow.

I went over to Liz’s house with Jack’s presents, and he was there.  They had a fire going – for whatever reason I don’t know, because the temperatures are at record high.  If you want a white Christmas, Texas ain’t where to be!  But we sat by the tree and the fire and exchanged our presents.  They were nice enough to give us a little time alone.

Jack told me he’d been thinking very hard about what to get me – that I’m very difficult to shop for.  It’s not so much that he doesn’t know me, but he can’t think of anything I’d actually want.  So he thought and he thought and he thought some more, he thought and he thought till his thinker was sore, and he finally had an idea!  Hah, Dr. Seuss reference there.  He handed me a small box.

“What is it?,” I said, those same stupid words that every women everywhere from the beginning of time says to their man, and his response was the same response that every man everywhere says back.

“Open it.”

So I did.  As I was tearing into the package, he just kept talking.  “I didn’t think you liked jewelry all that much so I didn’t get you that, and clothing isn’t really a good gift, and electronics is something a boy would want, and…”

But he was just kind of droning on, my attention was totally on the package.  I tore into that, and…  oh my God.

Oh my God.

“Where did you find that?”, I said.  In my hands sat the most beautiful and intricate glass spider lily I’d ever seen.  It glimmered in the firelight, and seemed to shine inside with a light of its own.  “It’s beautiful,” I breathed.

“I had to order it special,” he said.  I think he wanted to say more but wasn’t able to as my lips were pressed against his.  I pulled back and looked in his eyes.  “I love it,” I said.  “I absolutely love it.”  I looked down.  “I feel bad that mine isn’t as nice.”

“That kiss was the best present,” he said.  I handed him his present, half ashamed, and he opened it.

“I love it,” he said simply.

“Really?  I didn’t spend a whole lot and I don’t think I thought as hard as you and…”

He kissed me.  “I really do love it,” he said.  It was an intricate painted figurine of a woman who looked a lot like me, in a magical pose.  “It’s beautiful.”  It’d cost me a pretty penny too.

“You don’t sound…”

“No, I do!,” he said.  “She looks like you.”

I blushed.  “But she’s beautiful.”

“And you don’t think you are?  My God, Lily, have you looked at yourself in the mirror?  One reason I never look at other girls is because none of them measure up to you!”

“You… you mean that?”  I melted.  Just melted into a little puddle of Lily-goo.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he said.  Liz walked in and sat down. “You lovebirds done?  Can I give Lily her present now?”

I didn’t leave his side, but she sat down next to us and she handed me her present.

“I forgot to bring over my present for you,” I said sadly.

“You’ll give it to me later.  Now open it.”

I tore the wrapping off, took one look at it, and blushed deeply.  “Liz!”

She grinned.  “I knew you wouldn’t buy those, so I did.  Maybe you’ll wear them for Jack later?”

Jack looked curious.  “What are they?”

I hid them. 

“Maybe you’ll find out soon,” Liz said, smirking.

“Liz, I can’t figure out whether to kiss you or slap you!”

“I’ll take a hug.”

So I hugged her.

Jack and I spent a couple of more hours together.  He didn’t mention Liz’s gift again, and thankfully.

Oh, and a little later, Jack’s parents gave me a gift too.  That was so nice of them, they didn’t have to.  They didn’t give me an actual box or anything, but they gave me their blessing.

“Lily,” his mother said, “You’re one of the best things to happen to our son in a long time.  Jack’s told us how seriously you take your relationship, and you seem like a nice, smart girl.  We approve.  We hope someday you’ll get married and give us cute grandchildren, but you’re young.” 

“Anyway,” Jack’s father said, “We approve of you.  Don’t hurt our son, but welcome to the family.”

“I’m not -“

“To us, being our son’s girlfriend is a serious thing.  We expect that the two of you will make it legal someday, and if not, then you’ll break it off sooner rather than later.  But it’s still serious, to us.  While you are with our son, you’re family.”

I hugged both of them.  “Thank you,” I said, sincerely.  I handed them Grace’s present.  “Will you make sure Grace gets this?  It’s nothing big but…”

Jack’s mother accepted it.  “Thank you for thinking of her.”

“It’s nothing special -“

“She’s four,” Jack’s father interrupted.  “She’ll break it in a week no matter how expensive it is.  She’ll just appreciate that you thought of her.  I’d let you give it to her personally but she’s napping.”

After a little more socialization, I went home.

Dave had been busy!  There was so much cardboard and stuff sitting around, and there was a brand new, shiny digital piano sitting next to the tree!  It was pretty high quality too!  I sat down and played a few chords.  Dave came in, hearing me playing.

“Merry Christmas,” he said.  “That’s your present from us.”

“Oh my God!”, I said, and hugged him.  “Thank you!”

Dave took all the cardboard out to recycling, and we had a very nice dinner.  After that, we sat around the tree, I played some carols (Sabby made sure to get me some music), and we just had a very nice night together.  Maybe Sabby’s right.  Family’s the most important thing.  I have so much family now.  Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful.  Christmas is a time for family.

And you all are my family too.  I don’t know everyone who reads this.  I don’t know how many people read this.  It could be five, it could be five thousand.  But I know you’ve been reading my diary, and following along with my life, and learning about me, and Sabby, and Dave, and Beth, and Jack, and all of the family I’ve been collecting over the past few months.  I don’t have a gift for all of you.  But you are all my family just the same, and as I say every single day when I end this diary, I

Love you all!!!  ❤ 

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