The True Meaning of the Holiday Season
Christmas morning had arrived, and Walda the Baby Kacheek felt a rush of excitement when she dashed down the stairs and saw presents with her name on them. Her sisters were sitting on the couch, drinking hot chocolate and eagerly waiting for her to open them. She grabbed the first box and ripped off the shiny wrapping paper.
A stunning, wide-eyed doll was staring back at her. However, Walda still managed a frown. “This is the WRONG ONE!” she yelled grumpily. “I already HAVE this one!”
“Then we’ll return it and get the right one,” suggested Chessella, her older sister.
Walda wasn’t listening; her attention was already focused on the next present. She opened the box and started whining again. “These crayons aren’t GLITTER crayons!” she complained. “I asked for GLITTER!”
Another sister, Chessangie, nudged Chessella. “Why’d you get her all the wrong gifts?” the former asked.
“I can’t read her writing! She’s so young that she’s still learning how to write!”
“Stop being a brat,” grumbled Maldice, Walda’s other sister.
Walda had no time for reprimands. She tore open another box and found a bag of sugary gumdrops instead. “I WANTED CHOCOLATE! WAAAHHH!”
“I have no tolerance for tantrums!” snapped Maldice. “I’m confiscating all your presents until you learn to appreciate what you have.” Maldice began to collect the gifts.
“Go to your room!” Maldice picked Walda up, put her in her room, and locked the door.
The next morning, Walda sat in her room, exceptionally bored due to her lack of toys. She wondered if there was a way to convince Maldice to return the presents. She trudged downstairs and grabbed Maldice’s dress. “May I have my presents back?” she whined.
“Absolutely NOT, you brat.”
“Is there something I can do?”
“Do something to show you care about other people. Ella spent a lot of time picking out those gifts for you, and you blatantly disregarded her efforts.”
“Caring about others, eh...” All of a sudden, Walda had an idea. She had not bought any gifts for her sisters because she was low on pocket money. However, she hoped that a present or two would convince Maldice to return her toys. She opened her coin purse and saw that she had 5000 Neopoints. She intended to buy one item for each of her sisters, however inexpensive, to show that she cared.
She put on her coat and walked out the door. The outdoor freeze was excruciating, yet that was the least of her concerns when all of her presents were locked in a closet, beyond her reach. While she was walking, she brainstormed ideas about what she could buy.
“Angie would like a necklace,” she told herself. “Ella would like slippers, especially after her last pair fell apart in the washing machine. What would Maldice like? I don’t know... maybe a snowglobe? She likes pretty and magical things.”
When she reached the gift shop, she opened the door and was shocked by what she saw. She had expected to wriggle her way through lines of holiday shoppers, yet everyone had scattered. A masked robber stood in the middle of the desolate store, pointing a Battledome item at the helpless clerk. “This is a holdup! Hand over the till, and ALL OF IT!”
“R-Right away, sir,” stammered the petrified cashier, reaching for Neopoints.
Walda narrowed her eyebrows. Even though she was a child, she was one with extraordinary Battledome abilities, and thus she would not allow the crook to get away. She always carried Battledome items in her bag in case a situation arose which called for their use. She grabbed her Sword of Malum and Blazing Embers, then charged at the villain.
“What the—OWWW!!!” he screamed, collapsing to the ground. Soon he was lying on the floor, unconscious. Walda stepped on his face and smirked.
The clerk gazed at Walda in amazement. “Kid... You’re amazing!” he exclaimed. “Thank you for saving the store! That scoundrel could have stolen hundreds of thousands of Neopoints if you hadn’t come along!”
Stunned townsfolk had nervously come out of hiding to greet their savior. “Wow, kid. You’re something else!” one of them smiled, shaking Walda’s hand.
Then the manager walked in for her shift, only to see a messy store and a robber on the ground. “What in Fyora is going on here?!” she shouted. Then she saw the thief. She turned to the cashier and exclaimed, “Wow, you really put this loser in his place! You’re promoted!”
“I wish I could say I was the hero, but this child was the one who saved the store,” he answered modestly, gesturing to Walda.
“Thank you for your honesty.” The manager turned to Walda. “You rock!” she grinned. “I’m contacting the Neopian Times.”
Walda smiled with no sense of humility whatsoever while shaking hands with customers and chatting with them. No one even noticed when the Defenders of Neopia showed up and dragged away the dazed thief in handcuffs. Then a reporter from the Neopian Times showed up to interview Walda. She was anything but modest, and conveniently left out the detail about losing her presents.
After the commotion had settled down, Walda approached the manager. “Hey, are you still open? I’d like to buy gifts for my sisters.”
“Take them for FREE. You’re awesome!”
“Thank you, ma’am!” Walda exclaimed joyously. She hopped from aisle to aisle, examining the goods. After she had found some suitable gifts, she put them in her bag and went home.
When Walda opened the door, she was confronted by a chaotic argument. “You IMBECILE!” snapped Maldice. “You have to watch that brat at all times, or else she runs away!”
“I can’t keep her eyes on her every second!” answered Ella. “Instead of arguing, let’s find her.”
Angie felt the cold from outside and noticed that the door was open. While Walda hid behind the curtains, Angie walked over and picked up the Neopian Times. “I think THIS will shed some light on Walda’s whereabouts,” she smirked.
Ella read the paper aloud. “CHILD FOILS ROBBERY AT LOCAL GIFT SHOP. Walda the Baby Kacheek was shopping for presents for her sisters at Brightvale’s Blessings, a popular gift shop. According to Walda, she walked in and saw a masked robber holding up the cashier. Enraged, she knocked him unconscious with her two favorite Battledome items: Sword of Malum and Blazing Embers. The child is a force to be reckoned with in the Battledome, and claims that she has even defeated the Space Faerie. The employees and customers at the shop felt very grateful. No one was injured except for the robber, who is currently being held on 500,000 Neopoints worth of bail.”
Maldice smirked. “Not bad for a kid. I told her she should care more about others, and look what happened.”
Ella smiled. “Where is she now?”
Angie gestured to the pair of feet visible underneath the curtains. “Come out, you little bugger,” she grinned. Walda emerged from the cloth and gave her sister a hug.
“Good job!” exclaimed Ella.
“Agreed,” remarked Maldice. “That rotten crook should be held on NO BAIL. I hope he gets the maximum penalty.”
“Forget him!” exclaimed Walda. She pulled the gifts out of her bag. “These are for you.”
“Wow, a ruby necklace!” gasped Angie. “It’s beautiful!”
“A nice, fluffy pair of slippers!” smiled Ella. “Hand wash only.”
“I love this beautiful snowglobe,” commented Maldice. “Thank you. I almost forgot. You may have your presents back.” She walked over to the closet and retrieved the presents.
“Look,” indicated Maldice. “I already exchanged the erroneous gifts for the ones you said you wanted.” Walda grinned as she was given glitter crayons and the correct doll.
Thus Walda spent many joyful hours playing with her new toys. Not only did she have material goods, she also felt the satisfaction of helping others and making their day. Although she was still very vain, she was somehow less selfish. She smiled, understanding the true meaning of the holiday season.