Editor's note: This is the final installment of a fictional holiday story. Parents are encouraged to read along with their children.
"Phoebe, it's 7 o'clock. Aren't you going to get up?" Phoebe's mother opened the door to her daughter's room and peeked inside.
Phoebe blinked in confusion for a moment, then sat bolt upright in her bed. "Mom! What day is it?"
Her mother laughed. "Why, it's Christmas Day, silly. What day did you think it was?"
Phoebe's father poked his head around the door, too. "What are you still doing in bed, sleepyhead?" he asked. "I think this is the first Christmas ever where you didn't wake us up first."
Phoebe stared at her parents in amazement. "It's really Christmas?" she demanded. "You're sure? This isn't some joke?"
Phoebe's parents looked at each other, then at her. "It's really Christmas," her father said. "It's Dec. 25, the same day it is every year."
"It worked!" Phoebe yelled. "It really worked!"
She jumped out of bed as her parents moved out of the doorway so Phoebe could get through. She ran down the stairs. There was the Christmas tree, with Grandma Bramwell's angel on top, and all the decorations her family had collected over the years. The lights twinkled and the colors bounced off the tinsel that was draped all over the tree. Presents wrapped in brightly colored paper were stacked beneath. Phoebe's stocking hung by the fireplace, and it was filled all the way to the top.
"We did it!" Phoebe exclaimed as she ran to examine the packages under the tree.
"Did what?" Phoebe's mother asked as she and Phoebe's father came into the room.
"We saved Christmas," Phoebe said. "Someone named Old Floovenhopper took Santa and the elves and the reindeer hostage, and all the grown-ups forgot about Christmas. Brenna, Cate, Cienna and I got all the kids at school to help everyone remember again."
"Old Floovenhopper?" Phoebe's father questioned.
"That sounds like it was some dream, Phoebe," her mother said.
"It wasn't a dream, though," Phoebe insisted. "You and Daddy forgot all about Christmas, too!"
"Forgot about Christmas?" Phoebe's dad scoffed. "How could anyone forget about Christmas?"
Phoebe shook her head in exasperation. She knew there was no way the grown-ups would ever believe what had happened over the past month.
However, tucked in her stocking, Phoebe found a note. While her mother made breakfast and her dad went to clear snow off the driveway, Phoebe curled up in a chair and opened the envelope.
"Dear Phoebe," the note read. "I am writing this to thank you and your friends for all you did to save Christmas. I knew that you would remember the true meaning of Christmas, and that was all it took free us from Old Floovenhopper. Old Floovenhopper was devastated that his plan to destroy Christmas had failed, but I made him a deal - he will work in my reindeer stables throughout the year, and every June 25, everyone here at the North Pole will celebrate Floovenhopper Day.
But as for you, Brenna, Cate and Cienna, when you showed kindness and compassion to the people around you - your friends and family, teachers and neighbors - you and your friends showed that the spirit of Christmas lives in your hearts. Keep that spirit with you always - not just when December comes around.
"Your faithful friend,