Secret Santa Secrets
"Okay, everyone, this is how it's going to work." Eaganolle raised a paw to silence the chattering group of neopets. When everyone's eyes were on the disco Chomby, she continued, "I know how normal secret santas work, but seeing as how we all live in the same house, it just wouldn't work. So, in order to make it fair, what we're going to do is have everyone buy something for their secret santa, give it to me, then I'll give it to the right neopet with a clue about their identity. Any questions?"
Thinkerbell729, a Wocky who shared the same disco paint job, raised her paw and sniffed out, "What if we want to do it the good old fashioned way? Not to mention, how do we know you're trustworthy enough to give the gifts and everything?"
At this, Silent, their owner, couldn't hold back her tongue and she rose up, "Thinker, stop putting your tail down your throat and think instead. Eaganolle is one of the most responsible in our little family and she's setting aside her own selfish desires in order to make sure you guys have a little fun this year. You don't trust her, don't join in the game. It's as simple as that. Perhaps it will be better anyway; you're not exactly known as a giver."
Thinker looked miffed and began grooming her tail in a mock claim that she was too good to be talked to in such a way. Torinaar snickered and quickly covered his Techo mouth with a Maraquan webbed hand.
"So," Carvu, a Darigan Tonu, stuck his horn in the air and shook his mane, "is there any price limit for our gifts or can we spend as much as we want?" His eyes were glittering excitedly and Silent shivered in sympathy for her wallet. Carvu had too much of a generous nature and her bank account offered suffered for it. However, he was one of those causes that she was always willing to give up neopoints for.
"No, there's a limit," Eaganolle announced, much to Silent's relief. "No more than 1,000 neopoints each. We've got to keep it reasonable because though it doesn't seem much to us, considering that Silent's paying for it all, it's quite a bit." There were mumbles of disappointment but no one outright complained because they all understood the reasoning for it. Eaganolle pointed to a pile of papers and pencils, then explained that they would write their names on the papers and give them to Sweolynn, her pink dragoyle. Sweolynn, holding a hat for the paper in her tiny paws, chirruped excitedly and fluttered her wings to show off for everyone who was looking at her.
Eaganolle watched all of her siblings, including Thinker, sign up for the secret santa activity. After Eaganolle paired them all up, Silent gave each of them a thousand neopoints and sent them off to the market.
"This is really a good thing that you're doing, Eaganolle, hope you know that." Silent stroked the the smooth skin between her eyes. Eaganolle almost purred, but figured that would be unbecoming for a Chomby and instead just smiled. Sweolynn was still holding on to the hat as if it might earn her some extra attention but she had settled on one of the tables by the door rather than still fluttering in the air.
Feeling as if everyone had been gone forever, Eaganolle found herself beginning to drift off when TenderHorn arrived first. He'd bought a super blue poogle plushie for his secret santa and he placed in the box she had behind him. One by one, the other neopets arrived but by the time the last of them had, Sweolynn had fallen asleep, still clutching the hat.
When Thinker arrived, Eaganolle was stunned. Her gift for her secret santa was nothing more than a bottle of sand. An inexpensive bottle of sand that would have cost maybe one or two neopoints and nothing more. Clearly, Thinker had pocketed the rest or spent it on the new eyeshadow she was sporting.
Not wanting to seem like a tattletale or really cast any ugly light upon her activity, she was hesitant to bring it up with Silent. So, after some heavy thinking, she figured out what to do. Being somewhat of a saver, Eaganolle dug into her dubloon toy bank and pulled out the neopoints she had saved. After ensuring that her secret santa box was properly hidden from prying eyes, she hurried to the market where she proceeded to buy an abominable snowball for Carvu to enjoy.
When she returned, she was very tempted to give the bottle of sand back to Thinker and claim it was what her secret santa had got her but she couldn't do that. Christmas was not the time to remind neopets of their faults but rather to remind them of the good things. So, despite her misgivings, she gave Thinker the makeup and grooming accessories that Velolia, the halloween Nimmo, had got her.
Thinker was elated and immediately ran to the nearest mirror to try out all the new looks she could. It took a lot of willpower but somehow, Eaganolle managed to not comment on her cheap gift but instead, exclaimed, “Those new colors really compliment your eyes. Your secret santa really knew what suited you.” Thinker glowed and batted her eyes even more at her reflection. It was more than Eaganolle could take and she hurried off to hand out the rest of the gifts.
Carvu, of course, loved his abominable snowball and cuddled it before placing it with the other petpets he took care of. He was such a pushover when it came to petpets and he was pleased that someone had remembered and got him a new one to pour his heart upon. Eaganolle couldn’t deny that she felt really good seeing how pleased he was and walked away with a bit of a skip to her steps. She wasn’t going to let Thinker ruin her secret santa fun.
While waiting for her siblings to figure out their secret santa, Silent came over and sat beside her. “So, how’s the secret santa thing going? Everyone enjoying their gifts?”
”Yep.” She swished her tail around her legs and thought of Carvu, bringing a smile to her mouth.
”Good, I’m very proud of you since you’re giving everyone else their gifts and not getting anything else yourself. I know it’s probably hard.” Silent gave her a hug though it was difficult for Eaganolle not to argue. She did have some misgivings about being the one running the activity and not participating, but it wasn’t because she wasn’t getting a gift. It was simply that she enjoyed playing games and it would have been fun to try to figure out who her secret santa was. She knew, though, that seeing how excited everyone was over their gifts was more fun than the game itself would have been.
After her neopets sisters and brothers each tried to figure out who their secret santas were, she told them who was and who wasn’t their santa. She still felt resentful towards Thinker but seeing how happy everyone was, she was able to put it into the back of her mind.
All of a sudden, Silent came in with a beautiful pink tiara and presented it to her.
“What is this?” she inquired, stunned at the twinkling jewels and trying to figure out what had happened.
Thinker strode up. “It was Carvu’s idea; he asked that whoever had him only get a cheap junk item and between the extra from that and everything else, we’d have enough to get you something that you really wanted.”
Eaganolle couldn’t help herself, she threw her front legs around Thinker in a big hug. It was hard not to feel rotten for all the bad thoughts she’d had about Thinker, but the joy of sharing so much happiness with her family quickly erased that. This was the way the holidays should be celebrated and Eaganolle hugged Silent again. This was her very first Christmas ever and she knew that she would remember it as long as the world of neopets didn’t implode or fall victim to the meepits. Merry Christmas to everyone and a happy new year.