Hello, my friends! It’s Holly O’Hair! I hope you had a lovely Christmas Eve.
I can’t wait to tell you all everything, so here we go!
This morning, I awoke with both eyes open. I couldn’t wait for everything to happen today and tonight! Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year, even more than Christmas Day. I just love all of the planning and getting ready…but this Christmas, the other girls and I had a mission. Besides our Christmas Spectacular we were attempting to create an amazing reunion for Alistair and Bunny. I wanted this moment to be one they would remember forever. I drew in a deep breath before shaking Poppy awake. She smiled at me and we both breathed in deeply.
“You ready for tonight?” she whispered. I nodded, and impulsively hugged my twin sister.
“We can do it,” Poppy said determinedly. “I know we can.”
After a hearty breakfast, everyone set to work. We put our finishing touches on the stage and ran through a final rehearsal, and I couldn’t help but picture the look on Alistair’s face when he would see Bunny! 🙂 After Bunny’s makeover yesterday, we had a sleepover with just a few of the girls closest to me and Poppy. It was so much fun, and Bunny gave some more insight into her journey from the time she left Target and departed from Alistair to arriving at the thrift store where Grace found her. However, that’s a story for another time. 😉
This morning, I went to go visit Bunny, who was hiding out in Grace’s room until tonight. Her blue eyes were sparkling and she couldn’t stop saying,
“I just can’t believe it!” I couldn’t either…this was truly a Christmas miracle. :’ )
Fast forward a few hours, and Poppy, Evie, and I were hard at work doing everyone’s hair and makeup, whilst Clawdeen went from doll to doll, making sure that everyone’s costumes were in tip-top shape. I had absolutely no idea what was happening in the next room.
(note: I’ll be publishing the Christmas Spectacular Narrative in a separate post right after this one) I’m also going to switch a bit here from being a narrator to being a story-teller…just so you know. 🙂 The only way that I know what happened is because Toralei told me afterwards.
It was 7:00 pm, and the show was going to start at 8:00. While all of us were bustling with outfits and stage decorations, Toralei was slipping around the Christmas tree, behind the performance area. She was wielding a bottle of acetone nail polish remover, and it was evident that she planned to dump it over the beautiful dance shoes in the next room that Cedar had stayed up all night to finish painting.
Just then, she let out an ear-splitting yawn and said to herself,
“I’ll just stretch out for a minute and catch a little…cat nap.” Within a few minutes, she was snoring lightly.
As she drifted off to dreamland, she leaned against the bottle of acetone and murmured,
“That’ll show those goody-goodies not to cross me. Christmas joy my foot!”
And this is the dream that she had.
“Are you sure you want to do that?” a soft voice asked from the shadows.
“What?” Toralei inquired confusedly turning around in every direction to see who was speaking. “Who’s talking?”
“Oh, no one that you need to be concerned about,” replied the voice. “But I ask again— are you sure you want to go through with that?”
“Well, DUH!” Toralei scoffed. “I want to teach these goody-goody dolls a lesson.”
“Funny,” the voice responded. “I thought that was what I’m here for.”
“And who are you, exactly?” Toralei snorted in disgust.
“I,” the voice proclaimed, as she perched on a branch of the Christmas tree, “Am the Doll of Christmas Past, and I have a bone to pick with you.” She had long, platinum blonde hair and wore a fluffy, translucent white gown with thin, glittery fairy wings. Her large brown eyes twinkled mischievously.
“The Doll of Christmas Past?” Toralei inquired with a snicker. “What are you, a history teacher?”
“In a sense,” the doll answered. “But that’s not important. At the moment, we need to get going.”
“Going? No way,” Toralei frowned. “I’ve got an entire household’s worth of dolls’ Christmas to ruin!”
“On the contrary,” the doll in white replied as she fluttered down from her branch and grabbed Toralei’s hand. “We’ve already left!” With that, Toralei realized that she was spinning through the air, with snowflakes swirling in her face.
“Where are we?” Toralei asked slowly. They had landed on the soft carpet of an unfamiliar room. There was a Christmas tree in the middle, with presents stacked around it and a little girl sitting underneath.
“Don’t you recognize it?” the Doll of Christmas Past inquired. Toralei’s eyebrows rose and her eyes grew wide.
“This—this is my first home…from before Grace bought me on Craigslist.”
“Mhmm,” the other doll replied. “And that is you being opened on Christmas morning in 2014.” As the pair watched, the little girl finished opening Toralei’s box and held her aloft.
“She’s so cool!” the little girl exclaimed. “I love her!” As she watched, Toralei’s face softened.
“I was so excited to have a real owner,” she explained. Then her face hardened again as they continued to watch. The little girl laid aside the new doll and opened another box, which contained an Ever After High Holly O’Hair doll.
“Oh, I love her! She’s the most beautiful doll I’ve ever seen!”
“And that is why I hate Christmas…and all of those Ever After High brats,” Toralei muttered, lowering her head and crossing her arms. “Just when you think you’ll fit in, someone else with more bells and whistles steals your spotlight. Then you’re forgotten.”
“That’s not what seems to be happening here,” the Doll of Christmas Past tapped her on the shoulder.
As Toralei looked up, she saw the little girl look around confusedly.
“Where’s my Toralei doll?” she asked. “I thought all of my new dolls could have a party together.” The Monster High doll watched as her past self crouched hidden behind the Christmas tree.
“I didn’t think she liked me anymore,” she frowned.
“Apparently, she did,” the other doll said gently, placing her hand on Toralei’s shoulder. “You know, she looked and looked for you. But you did your best to avoid both her and every other doll she owned.” Toralei’s face still wore a frown.
“Well, she should have looked harder,” she complained as she brushed off the other doll’s hand. The Doll of Christmas Past rolled her eyes good-naturedly and snapped her fingers.
A whirlwind of snow blinded them once again, and when it cleared Toralei was standing once again backstage at the Christmas Spectacular, with the bottle of acetone still in her hands. She looked guiltily at it, and was only just starting to unscrew the cap again when another voice, this time quite jovial and chipper, interrupted her.
“Hiya, Toralei!” she called in an echo-y voice. This time, the voice belonged to a short, joyful doll wearing a full green dress decorated with large bows. “I’m the Doll of Christmas Present!”
“I could have guessed that,” Toralei sneered while eyeing the bottom hem of the doll’s floor-length dress, which was coated in ribbon and decorations.
“Yeah, I do love gifts!” she exclaimed. “But that’s not what I’m here for.”
“Then what are you here for?”
“Oh, you’ll see,” the Doll of Christmas Present replied with a grin. “Let’s go!” With these words, she waved a hand through the air and a waterfall of green glitter encompassed the two dolls.
“Wh—where are we?” Toralei stumbled back in shock. They were standing off to the side on Grace’s coffee table, which the other dolls were using as a dressing room.
“This is a glimpse of what you’re missing,” was the giggly answer. They watched as Clawdeen made a final hemming adjustment on Raven’s dress. Scarlet, Ashlynn, Cupid, and Megara sat doing their hair and makeup.
As they observed, Sour Sweet and Liana entered wearing green and silver Christmas gowns.
“Where did they get those?” Toralei practically yelled.
“You’re lucky that they can’t hear you,” the Doll of Christmas Present laughed. “And I believe they got them by including themselves.”
“What do you mean?”
“Others can try to include you as much as they can, but unless you make an effort to include yourself, there’s not much else they can do. It’s like trying to have fun with a brick wall!” the doll explained before putting her finger to her lips. “Now, let’s listen.”
“Gosh, thanks so much for letting us join in the show, guys,” Sour Sweet smiled as she twirled in her new dress.
“You’re very welcome,” Clawdeen replied before putting a pin in her mouth and holding it there.
“Traitors,” Toralei muttered.
“I presume Toralei didn’t want to participate?” Cupid asked while she adjusted Megara’s ponytail.
Liana looked down disappointedly with a simple, “No.”
“If you ask me, Toralei is a great big curmudgeon,” Megara stated in her usual cynical tone.
“Santa is nothing but a guy in a suit at the mall!” Scarlet mocked, imitating Toralei’s whiny voice perfectly as she stirred sugar into her tea. They all laughed, angering Toralei, whose face grew more and more red.
“Who do they think they are?” she fumed. The Doll of Christmas Present joined in their laughter, which only enraged Toralei even more.
“You must admit, she did sound just like you,” she giggled.
“That’s it,” Toralei grumbled. “As soon as you take me back, I’m ruining those shoes, and I—” Her voice trailed off when she saw Sour Sweet flop onto the nearby sofa edge and start sobbing.
“What’s the matter, dear?” Ashlynn asked the younger doll gently.
“It’s just—Liana and I have seen Tori loosen up and have fun sometimes, and I wish she would do it now.”
“You guys may not understand, but Toralei is really important to us. Believe it or not, she isn’t always this bitter…and she’s basically our sister. We care about her—a lot,” Liana explained. Toralei’s eyes grew wide.
“I—didn’t know they cared.”
“Isn’t that what friends— and family— do?” the doll beside her inquired.
“I guess, but I didn’t think…” before she could finish her sentence, there was another shower of glitter and Toralei found herself standing once again, alone, before the rows of shoes with the bottle of acetone beside her. She hesitated as she looked down at it.
“Doll of Christmas Present?” she called. “Where are you?” There was no answer. Before she could think of what to do next, she fell backwards at the echoing voice that greeted her.
“Toralei Stripe,” it boomed. “I am the Doll of Christmas Yet to Come.” Toralei gulped.
“So you’re going to show me what my future Christmases look like?” she nervously inquired while scrambling to her feet and looking around for where the voice came from.
“Yes,” the voice continued. “And…to show you why you desperately need to change your outlook on life—now.” The voice emerged. It belonged to a tall figure cloaked in red.
She threw back her hood, waved her arm, and a blizzard of freezing snow blinded them both.
When it cleared, Toralei could not believe her eyes. She blinked several times to see if she was truly seeing correctly.
“I see that you do not fully believe what you see,” the Doll of Christmas Yet to Come noted. “I wish that it were not this way.” Before them sat the future Toralei. She wore not the stylish leggings and vest that she usually did. Instead, she was outfitted in ragged, mismatched clothes. Her hair, usually tied into a neat ponytail, was mussed and bedraggled. Perhaps worst of all, her surroundings were completely unfamiliar. She was sitting behind a laundry basket in a strange, dingy room that was totally unknown to the present’s Toralei.
“What—What is this place?” she asked slowly.
“This is where your next Christmas will be if you carry out your plan,” the doll beside her explained gravely. “When you poured the acetone over the shoes and ruined them, your friends could not perform their show. Grace could not post her Christmas Spectacular, and the views on her blog plummeted.”
“But—how did I end up here?” she asked, afraid to hear the answer.
“Grace couldn’t keep up her blog anymore, and she had to sell most of her dolls. You—and many others—went to homes like this one.”
“I—I didn’t mean for that to happen,” Toralei said regretfully.
“Didn’t you?” the Doll of Christmas Yet to Come raised an eyebrow. Before Toralei could say anything else, snow was pelting her again, and she could see nothing.
“Doll of Christmas Yet to Come?” Toralei called while reaching out into the blizzard. “I don’t want my life to end up that way! I don’t want to be alone! What can I do?!”
She practically screamed her last statement before she woke up with a start from her deep dream. She scrambled to her feet and looked around frantically.
“Is it too late?” she worried aloud. She glanced down at the bottle of acetone beside her before screwing it closed as quickly and as tightly as she could. She placed it as far away from the shoes as possible, then practically ran to the dressing room area.
“Hello?” she called timidly as she climbed up the edge of the table.
“Who’s there?” a soft voice that could only belong to Cupid inquired
“Um, it’s me,” Toralei replied softly. “T—Toralei.” She had to wait by the door for several minutes before it opened, and she was faced by a crowd of confused looking dolls. Before any of them could question her, she started the apology that she had been trying to put together in her head.
“I just wanted to say that I’m really, really, really sorry,” she looked down at her feet. “I didn’t really understand Christmas, or what it was all about. Now I do. It’s about spending time with the people who are important in your life.” With this she smiled timidly at Liana and Sour Sweet, who were staring with wide eyes. They had never, ever heard their longtime friend utter anything even remotely close to an apology.
“What I did—ruining your Christmas display last week,” Toralei continued. “That was inexcusable. I would understand if you never wanted to speak to me again. But I am sorry.” She kept her eyes on the floor and started to walk away. “I guess I’ll be leaving now.”
The dolls around her were looking at each other. No one had expected this. From little Diana all the way up to Elsa, no one could have anticipated that the hardest hearted doll they had ever known could change. There was a long pause before Scarlet spoke first.
“We forgive you,” she said slowly. Toralei’s head popped up in shock.
“I—what—I—really?” she stuttered.
“Everyone deserves a second chance,” I grinned as I plopped a Santa hat on Toralei’s head.
“Thanks,” Toralei said with a genuine smile. Such sincerity had never been seen nor heard from this Scrooge of a doll.
“Now this,” Maddie whispered to Elsa and Mariposa. “This is a Christmas Miracle.”
And it was.