Regan crept into their bedroom, where Lily was still asleep. “Wake up, Lil,” Regan whispered.
When Lily kept on sleeping, Regan shook her. “It’s Christmas! Get up!”
Lily groaned and pulled the blanket up over her face.
“Lil-y!” Regan said, louder.
Finally, Lily rolled over to face Regan. “This is my third Christmas without my parents,” she said softly.
Lily sat up. “But what am I talking about? I can’t go back.”
“Just let me do something with this mob, okay?” She held up her hair.
” ‘Kay.” Then Regan left.
Lily got out of bed, quickly pulled her hair back, and followed Regan downstairs.
Lily got to the living room where everyone — except Amy and Nellie — were waiting in their pajamas.
“Where’s Amy?” Lily asked.
“She went to get –” Maddi’s voice dropped to a whisper “– Nellie’s present.”
“Which present do you think is yours?” Ellie asked.
“I think that one’s mine.” She pointed to a black bag with white and pink leaves and flowers on it.
“Hmm, maybe this one?” Lily walked over to the biggest gift. “It could be a karaoke machine!”
Suddenly, Amy came running into the room. “I got it!” she said. Then they heard footsteps in the kitchen. “Quick — hide it!”
Natalie grabbed Nellie’s present and stashed it behind a chair.
Just then, Nellie walked into the room, holding a cup of coffee. “Morning , kiddos,” she yawned. “Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas!” the girls sang.
She sat down on the couch. “Mornings,” she grumbled. “Why?”
She drained her cup of coffee and stood up. “Why don’t those who are able sit on the ground, and I’ll start passing around presents?”
She placed a shopping bag on Natalie’s lap.
“Wow!” Natalie exclaimed. “New boots!”
“Here, Regan.” Nellie put a bag down on the couch.
Regan pulled it’s contents out. “A soccer ball and a basket ball. Thanks!”
Then Nellie gave Amy a small, blue box.
Amy opened it up, and pulled out some earrings. “I love them! I’ve been eying them for quite a bit now.”
Maddi got a purse and a charm necklace,
and Ellie got a mermaid figurine and a pillow made out of a saddle-blanket.
Nellie gave Lily a little black box.
“Open it,” she encouraged.
So Lily did. “It’s a locket.”
Nellie nodded. “Now see what’s inside,” she said with a gentle smile.
Lily opened it up and gasped. Inside were the smiling faces of her parents. Her eyes shone with un-shed tears.
“Oh. We’ve got something for you, Nellie,” Amy announced, standing up to get it.
Once Nellie was seated on the floor, Amy gave her the box.
Nellie pulled each item out of the box. “We made a gift that showed all of our talents,” Amy told her.
Maddi leaned over and pointed to the thing she’d made. “It’s a coupon for one play written by me.”
Lily picked up what she and Amy had made together. “It’s a CD of Christmas carols. I sang them. Amy recorded me, and then she did a special feature by her at the end.”
Regan gave her a water bottle by a brand called ‘Running Queen,’ and Natalie made a purse.
“I made you a clay unicorn!” Ellie giggled. “I’m an animal lover, and a bit of an artist, too.”
Nellie’s phone started beeping. ” ‘Scuse me.”
“Hello? Yes, this is Nellie Rodriguez. What?! . . . oh, thank you, thank you!!!”
Nellie turned back to the girls, tears pricking the corners of her eyes.
“What is it?!” they all asked in unison.
“They said I could adopt you! They really did!” The tears were falling freely now.
The girls surrounded Nellie in an enormous hug.
And the laughing and crying and hugging and joy on that day would never be forgotten.
And it was official: this was the best Christmas ever.
And that’s the end! How did you like it? I had a lot of fun making it, but I’m also glad it’s over. I’m sure I can make a better photostory next time!
Now, to answer a question many of have asked: will there be a season two?
It’s possible. There probably will be. Season one would make a lot more sense if there was one! But if I do make a Season 2, it won’t be any time soon. I’ll do Victorian Beauties and another photostory series I’m planning first.
So if you have any questions about S. 1, feel free to ask me!