Glitter and Nim stared in disbelief at Lil. She was perched on the water filter, grinning at their shocked faces.
“Lil!” they said in unison.
“I don’t understand,” said Nim. “It’s the last night, how do you have time to stop here when there is so much to do?”
Lil’s smile faded just a little.
“The girls have grown up and no longer need me to keep an eye on them,” Lil said wistfully.
Nim looked at her and thought of the day the boys would no longer need him to come for the season. He smiled sadly and tried not to cry.
“But,” said Glitter, noticing Nim and Lil’s melancholy. “You had a lot of fun with them while you could, right Lil?”
“And Nim, the boys still need us to keep an eye on them don’t they?”
Nim nodded too.
“Then let’s have fun on this last night of the season and enjoy these days while we still can!”
Lil and Nim shook off their doldrums and got to work.
But, as it turned out, they didn’t need to come up with anything. The boys, as they did the previous year, had left them a present as a thank you for all the fun they’d had this season.
Dear Nim and Glitter,
Thank you for another great December!
We’ve had so much fun waking up to find out what you had done each morning…even with the messes you made.
We thought you might have fun making yourselves into Christmas trees, so we left green streamers, garland and paper ornaments out for you. We even dressed Leonard up as a tree!
Joe and Jake
“Wow,” said Glitter. “I can’t believe they are giving this to us after all the messes we made.”
“Well,” said Nim. “We did make them laugh all season. And, we did remind them what Christmas is really about.”
The trio laughed as they took turns becoming a Christmas tree and even left some streamers so the boys could play in the morning.
“What are you doing next year Lil?” asked Nim once they were all satisfied with their costumes.
“Santa has already assigned me a new family,” Lil smiled.
“Wow! That was fast! How many kids are there?”
“Two boys,” said Lil.
“Just like here!” said Glitter.
“Yes,” said Lil. “Just exactly like here.”
Lil’s smile grew and grew as she watched Nim’s face.
Confusion clouded his eyes and then cleared as he realized what Lil meant.
“You…you are going to be here? With us?”
Joy and excitement filled the room. They were all going to be together, the three of them planning mischievous fun for the boys.
“Oh, and there’s one more surprise,” said Lil when the laughter and celebration died down.
“What is it? asked Nim.
Glitter couldn’t imagine being any happier or more excited for the new year.
“Here boy!” Lil called.
A Saint Bernard came bounding out from behind the curtains.
“Wow! A new friend!” squealed Nim.
“He’s so sweet and cuddly!” said Lil. “I hope the boys will give him a good name.”
“Now there are four of us!” said Nim.
Glitter looked down at the dog with a slight frown.
“Yes,” she mumbled. “Now there are four of us.”
Be good and kind throughout the year.
Olive the other reindeer.