The flip-flap of slippers pounded down the carpeted steps.
"Presents! Presents!" shouted Britney, Annie, and Margaret in unison.
"A horsie! A horsie!" yelled Margaret, jumping astride the oversized animal. "Giddiup, horsie!"
"That's not a horse," Alicia said with a yawn. "That's our dog."
Lady lifted her head and blinked at the doll on her back with a look that said, "I hope there's a doggie treat in this for me."
"I wanna check the forum," said Becky. She flipped on her laptop.
"Meow," said White Didi.
"Meow," said Titi.
Julia rubbed her eyes. "I'll get you two a saucer of milk."
The fifteen-inch dolls picked up presents and began shaking them.
"Girls, don't you dare tear into those presents until everyone is up," scolded Lynda.
"I hope I get a new doll," said Emily. "I told Santa I wanted a Mini Emily."
"Mini Emily doesn't look a thing like you," said Alicia. "Who wants tea?"
"And cookies!" added Jennifer.
"You can't have cookies for breakfast," said Lynda. "I'll make everyone French Toast--after we open presents!"
"That doesn't matter," said Emily, following Alicia into the kitchen.
"And there's no such thing as Santa," Alicia added.
"That doesn't matter either," said Emily. "Christmas is about more than presents, and a doll doesn't have to look like you for you to love her."
"Emily, why don't you set the table?" said Lynda.
"Of course, she's right," said Lily. "I'll get the plates, Emily."
"And I'll get the silverware," said Marisol.
"Presents! Presents! Presents!" sounded from the living room.
With the table set, all the dolls trooped back into the living room.
"I hope Mom doesn't get another American Girl doll," said Kailey. "One house can only hold so much perfection."
"Mini dolls excluded," added Kailey.
But the mini dolls weren't listening. They were working in unison to open a large package marked, "To the Mini Dolls." The paper came off with a loud r-r-i-i-i-ip!
"Ooohh!" they said. "It's a dollhouse!"
Mini Kit ran in the front door of the house and stood in the dollhouse's entry way. "And it's just our size!"
"Colored pencils!" cried Julia as she unwrapped her present. "Just what I wanted!"
Melissa opened her present. "Classic Poetry to Read Aloud!" she exclaimed, reading the title.
Margaret tore the paper off her package. "It's not a Dalek! It's a rubber ducky!"
"Sorry, Marge," said Alicia. "Dalek wouldn't let us wrap him up."
"That's okay," said Margaret, hugging the duck until it squeaked. "I love it anyway!" She jumped up. "I'm gonna go take a bubble bath right now!"
"After breakfast," said Lynda. She handed a gift to Becky.
Becky examined the size of the package. "Well, it's not a new laptop." She pushed aside the paper, and a face smiled at her from behind a plastic window in the box top. "Oh! It's a doll!"
"She's sleeping," said Britney. She grabbed the box and began to shake it. "I'll wake her up! Hello! Hello!"
"Not like that, Britney." Becky took the box back from Britney and lifted the top off.
The doll blinked at her. "Hi!" she said. "Who am I? Where am I? What's my name? Who are you?"
"She reminds me of when we opened Margaret's box," said Julia. "She came out asking questions--"
"And hasn't stopped talking since," added Alicia with a laugh.
Becky took her new doll out of her box and smoothed her hair. In the box behind the doll, she found a small pair of wire-rimmed glasses. "I think these are yours," said Becky.
The doll slipped them on. "Oh, yes! That's better! I can see now! Oh, you're wearing glasses, too! And you have your hair in braids, just like me!"
"My name's Becky."
"My name's Becky, too!"
"I like her!" said Annie.
"Well, if you want to be Mini Becky, that's okay by me," Becky to the doll. "But the name of your box is Molly."
"I like Becky!" said Mini Abeka Louise. "I want to be just like you!"
"Isn't that cute," said Marisol. "Just like Mini Marisol wants to be just like me."
Emily tore into her box. "Yes! It's Mini Emily!"
Mini Abeka hopped off Becky's lap to see. The other mini dolls left their dollhouse.
"And look!" cried Jennifer as she unwrapped her gift. "Another new doll!"
"I'm Mini Josephina," said the new mini doll.
"Nice to meet you," said Jennifer. "You and I are going to be great friends!"
"Yeah!" shouted all the mini dolls together. "New mini dolls! Let's have a mini doll party and take lots of pictures!"
"After breakfast," said Lynda.
"Yes, I'm hungry!" said Becky.
"Me, too!" said Mini Abeka Louise.
"Us, too!" said the other mini dolls.
And all the dolls laughed.