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I smell butter cookies, hot chocolate and the stickiness of sleep
As we gallop up the stairs to the family room
My brother jumping up and down beside me
Like a monkey in his tree-green plaid pajamas
The tree is glowing like a pyramid of radium
And the presents, mysterious cubes and ovals
wrapped in slippery wax wrapping paper
The color of fluffy foamy whipped cream
I hope to get a new skateboard or a surfboard
Or any kind of board that moves
I imagine tearing through the boxes to discover
the treasure within
We stare at our thumbs as we wait as impatiently
as dogs about to be fed
For my parents to wake up so we can open presents
But we only hear our dad snoring
As loud as the howl of the wind on a crisp, cold winter night
But then we turn around and see our rumply tousled parents
in the pine-scented hallway
"You can open your presents now," they say
With smiles as wide as two slivers of the moon
"Finally!" my brother and I shout as we rush towards the pile
of mysterious presents
In the boxes I find root-beer-scented surf wax
A black leash to hold me to my surfboard
and my surfboard to me
And foamy grip tape to help me from slipping off the board
And as I hear my mom's gracefull laughter
As she watches my brother bounce around the living room
With a ribbon tied around his legs and arms
as if he were a present
I feel cozy in a blanket of happiness and love

Happiness in the Johnson Family Colin Johnson
Colin Johnson, 11
Laguna Beach, California