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Wonderful X'mas Gift

Ann and her mother had lived in a small unattractive cottage as long as Ann could remember.
It was party time. Christmas was so close, and so was her birthday. Ann wished she could get a new dress with frills and lace. All her friends would be getting new frocks. But Ann did not want to ask her Mom for a new dress. She knew how hard her mom worked to make both ends meet. Maybe she could make a wish - maybe Santa Claus would come...
Ann couldn't help dreaming about the new frock even though she knew that Santa Claus is just an imaginary character.
Her classmates were talking only of Christmas celebrations, which were nearing. " My rich aunt is surely going to give me a pretty branded doll again," said Ria. "I have been hinting about that costly watch to my parents. They are bound to gift that to me" told Tessi. Ann felt left out in those conversations. She neither had rich parents nor rich aunt & uncle to give her expensive gifts.
It was not just gift that worried Ann. It was her mother. Nowadays she was working overtime and looked pale and worn out.
The days passed and soon it was Christmas Eve. In everyone's except Ann's house a Christmas tree adorned the living room. In the kitchens there hung the lovely aroma of freshly baked cakes and turkey. But nothing lovely was being cooked in Ann's house.
Every child went to bed eagerly waiting for the lovely gifts that he or she would receive the next day. Ann went to bed with a heavy heart. She knew that there would be no gifts for her.
Ann wished with her whole heart that at least this time she would get a gift from Santa Claus. Ann slowly drifted off to sleep. She dreamt of Santa riding in the snow on his reindeers.
Rring... Rring... Ann jumped, hearing alarm. She suddenly remembered that it's X'mas day. Without much hope she looked if there were any gifts for her. Wonder of wonders! There lay a beautiful packet tied with a red ribbon.
Ann excitedly opened the package. It was a pretty white frock with fluffy frills and attractive lace. She touched the material. It was soft and silky unlike the hard coarse material of the dresses she usually wore.
She checked the gift carefully to find out who gave her this beautiful frock. Suddenly a small piece of paper fell out from the inner layer of frock. Ann eagerly started to read the note.
"Dear Ann,
This frock is gifted to you for being a good girl. Hope you continue to do good things and help your mother
Your loving friend
Santa Claus"
Ann felt that there was something familiar about this note. She looked into the note carefully. Then it struck her. She realized that this handwriting is similar to her mother's. Her mother had worked overtime to save money to buy this expensive gift. Ann was happy beyond words. She knew that she is the luckiest girl to have such a wonderful mother.
Story by
Varsha Varghese,
7th std,
Trichur,
Kerala.

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