Episode the Seventh: Little Dot Has Christmas

By: Mr. E. S. Stranger

Dot knew Christmas was coming weeks in advance. For one thing, there was the smell in the air-though that may have been due largely to Thanksgiving. There was also the cold, but even more importantly, when Dot looked at the calendar, she saw that a day in the not-too-distant future was labeled "Christmas." The signs were clear.

Dot loved this time of year, for she knew there was ham and turkey in abundance to look forward to, and junk food was temporarily perfectly good for her. It was also hot chocolate season; she imagined the great fields of hot cocoa packets just now turning ripe.

Before Christmas, many things had to get done. For example, the Christmas tree needed to be put up and decorated. This got done not long after Thanksgiving. Presents needed to be bought and wrapped. She got started on the shopping right away.

As she shopped, she found it easy to find things for herself. It was other people that posed a problem. Luckily, she had a special kind of paper that would tell her what gifts to buy. When it touched a potential gift, it would change its color: the redder, the worse the gift, and the greener, the better the gift. This made her shopping easy. It still took a while because Toona and Funny Bunny kept wanting to look at things. They enjoyed Santa, too. Dot's mother took Dot to sit on his lap, and when Toona and Funny Bunny found out that he gave out candy canes, they each demanded a turn.

Jimi loved Christmas time, too. He didn't understand the season, but he did understand that he was suddenly getting a lot more biscuits. The only thing he hated was the musical Rudolph that sat under the tree. He could see the insanity in that reindeer's eyes; he waited for the night when Rudolph would make his move.

Once Dot had bought everyone's present, she took measurements and drew blueprints for the wrapping process. Late into the night she worked on this, and in the morning the perfectly wrapped presents went under the tree.

She had until Christmas to figure out, without unwrapping them, what the presents for her were. She had ordered some litmus paper, an X-ray machine, and several other tools, and she promptly got to work. She subjected each present to a battery of tests, but as she was fond of surprises, she made sure not to remember the results.

Finally the day came. There was a big meal on Christmas Eve, and delicious desserts, and hot cocoa. Dot ate what she could and made plans for the leftovers. She and her family sat around drinking coffee and cocoa afterward. They talked, listened to music, watched a movie, and finally went to bed.

Dot's wide-open eyes lit her ceiling or a few hours. At last, she decided it had been long enough. She looked at the clock. Four, it said. She was almost too late. She hurried to her parents' room

"Christmas!" she said, and she stood there until her mother agreed to get up. She rushed to her brother's room. "Christmas!" she said, and her brother threw her out and blocked the door with furniture. Dot wasted no time getting breakfast, and she and her mother settled down to some hot cocoa.

She waited for her brother to rise. There was a knock on the door, then, and Toona opened it. He came back with a Christmas card.

"For you, I think," Toona said. He handed the card to Dot.

Dot looked at it. On the front was a beautiful picture of snow falling. She opened it. A rose was pictured, and in pen was written: "Merry Christmas, Little Dot." There was no signature. Dot hid it away.

Her brother finally lumbered out of his cave. He got food, belched, rested, and was finally ready to start. They all gathered around the tree. Her brother handed out presents.

When Dot got her first present, she carefully removed the ribbon for later use and then annihilated the paper. Inside was a box. She opened it. Inside was another box. In that was bubble wrap encasing tissue paper wrapped in tape. When she finally opened that, she found a brick inside. She looked at her brother.

"You got me a brick?"

Her brother and mother were laughing. Her brother handed her mother a present, and Dot stared at the brick. After that, her brother handed her another package.

"Here's your real present," he said.

Dot smiled and took the present. As she unwrapped it, her brother grabbed the brick. Dot's head snapped up.

"What are you doing with my brick?"

Her brother gave her a weird look, and she finished opening her present. She kept her eye on him as they finished trading presents.

Later they ate more leftovers and watched a movie. Dot's brother went outside at some point and returned without the brick. Dot went outside later and looked for it, but her mother called her inside before long. She never forgot the day her brick was taken from her.