Sarah smiled lightly as she finished putting out a fire in the fireplace. There wasn't any snow falling outside, as they were on Mystery Island, but there was some rain to make up for it, if at all. She gently cradled the sleeping baby Blumaroo in her arms, sighing as she planned on putting the baby to sleep and going up to bed for Santa to come. But right before she could leave the living room, Shea came in quietly, gripping a blue security blanket in her arms.
"Mom?" she asked. Sarah looked over.
"Can you read me The Night before Christmas?" Shea asked, holding up a book with the title. Sarah yawned, then nodded.
"Of course." Sarah sat back down on the rocking chair next to the lamp, turned it on, and carefully managed to hold the book and balance Amuha, the slumbering Blumaroo, in her arms. She cleared her throat and began. "'Twas the-"
"Mom, you're reading The Night Before Christmas?" Jacky's voice said. As she looked up from the book, the camouflage Peophin and Unla came in. His sister beside him crossed her shadow paws, and settled her long Cybunny ears down.
"Can we listen?" she asked. Sarah raised an eyebrow and stared at them for a moment.
"Never thought you'd wanna listen. But go ahead and sit down," she said. The two came up, sat down on the floor next to Shea, and listened. Sarah cleared her throat once more.
"'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a -"
"Miamowse!" Amuha squealed. Sarah looked down to see her baby Blumaroo cheerfully clapping his hands. Amuha knew some words and was old enough of a baby to speak a little, and one thing he remembered was that line. Sarah smiled.
"Yes, not even a miamouse was stirring. Now- where was I? Oh, right. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care..." she continued. Her voice clearly stated each word of the old story and poem, her pets listening to every word. She said it slowly but not slow enough to lose attention; every so often Amuha would squeal and clap his hands at a part he liked.
"...And to all a good night!" Sarah finished, closing the book. Her pets smiled.
"Thank you, Mom," Jacky said. His owner nodded, then yawned.
"Alright, guys, it's-"
"More stoweh! More stoweh!" Amuha cried, eyes pleading. Shea smiled.
"I'll be right back! Let me get another holiday book!" she said, running off. Sarah yawned again tiredly. Hopefully Amuha would fall asleep soon and they could all go to bed. She looked at her teenage pets before her.
"Unla, Jacky, you can go to bed if you want."
The older neopets nodded and got up and stretched and bid the owner a good night. Sarah said nothing as Shea ran back to her, holding another Christmas-related book. Sarah exchanged it for The Night Before Christmas and opened the new book. She opened the book, not even noticing Amuha gripping a lock of her blond hair.
She read the book, which was Kiko Christmas Story. Her pets listened with interest, but she had to resist dozing off from fatigue. When she was done, Shea had asked for one more story. She couldn't say no. As Shea brought her the final book, she read, this time with a big effort to not pass out.
But at the end of this story, she gave a weak "The End". And thus did she pass out with a snore. Amuha by this time had fallen asleep as well.
Shea stared at the two sleeping, owner and their youngest brother. She giggled, picked up Amuha threw a soft, tan blanket over her owner, and run up the stairs to bed. Indeed, not even a miamouse was stirring.
That is, except for Santa Scorchio. The Scorchio didn't give a 'ho ho ho' so as to not wake the slumbering owner. He carefully crawled out of the chimney, and opened his bag. First he stuffed the stockings hung with care, then pulled out presents for underneath the tree; a new wearable for Shea, a new shield for exploration for Jacky, a baby book for Amuha, and a new magic book for Unla. It was then he pulled out Sarah's gift.
A can of Neocola. That is, a neocola with much caffeine and sugar in it. He rubbed his long, white beard, then grinned and up back the chimney with his bag of toys did he go. As he flew away in the night, raindorf flying the sleigh, he called out "Merry Christmas and to all a good night!"
And a good night it was.
The neopets all squealed with joy as they opened their gifts. Sarah sat in her chair and smiled as they joyfully played with some of their new gifts. Sarah stood up and lit a Yule log in the fireplace. Outside the sun was shining upon the tall grasses of Mystery Island. Sarah read Amuha's new book to the Blumaroo, making him happy as can be. It was a beautiful morning indeed.
But as Shea managed to push some wrappings from the gifts aside, her eyes caught a present that had been unopened. She curiously picked it up and turned the medium-sized box over, then looked to see who it was addressed to. It read her owner's name. She turned her head to Sarah.
"Mom, looks like Santa left you a present!" she said, shaking the gift to try to hear what it is lightly. Sarah gave a curious "Oh!" as Shea brought it forth. She tore the decorative tree-designed paper off the package with vigor, then stared at the gift before her.
"A can of neocola...?" she asked, puzzled as she took it out. Looking over the can, she saw in the nutrition facts that it was loaded with sugar and caffeine. It was perfect for making a neopet or owner hyper, or at least waking them up. Either way, it had a use.
The rest of Christmas was spent playing and joking. Sarah scowled as she was sent a hair straightener as a gag gift from one of her friends- "For the last time, I am not going to straighten my hair, ever!"- she wrote in a neomail to said friend, much to her pets' amusement. Her pets played with their toys for a little later on until they had finally reached the point of exhaustion and went to bed.
Sarah herself hadn't tried the neocola yet; she decided to save it for future emergencies as she carefully stored it in the fridge. She had also put a label on specifying "For Sarah only" so no stray curious pets got a rush of hyperactivity. When she had gotten to bed, she told herself to write a letter to Santa thanking him for the gift and promptly went to sleep.
Santa Scorchio was done for the year- at least for a day, as afterward he went back to work making toys- and smiled. "Maybe next year I should send a hair straightener with a can of neocola," he muttered to himself, then let out another hearty "Ho, Ho, Ho!" into the night.
I wrote this about a year ago. For my friends reading this story, NO, I will NOT straighten my hair!