Christmas at the Baxter Building

Summary: Lisa Richards goes through the ordeal of finding the perfect gifts for everyone the first year they are all together. Set after "Someone to Care." Merry Christmas all of you and a happy New Year a few days late!


Lisa Richards shivered in the freezing cold as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade ended. Usually every year they watched the parade on TV, but this year her father, Dr. Reed Richards had come up with the idea that everyone should stand out and watch the floats. Lisa didn't like cold weather that much. And the fact it was a snow shower added to that feeling.

Thankfully it was almost over. Lisa stood next to Dad, wrapping her arms around his waist as Santa Claus came down the road in the new look for the holiday season. This was the only part of the parade Lisa liked. She liked to see what the designing team would come up with for 'Jolly Ol' St. Nick."

Dad hugged her tightly with one arm. "The parade's now officially over. You ready to go back home?" Dad asked as the crowd went back to their homes for Thanksgiving Dinner.

"You had to ask? Dad, it's snowing," Lisa said, placing one hand against his chest.

"Maybe that's why you and Reed watch the parade every year on TV," Uncle Ben interjected in a teasing tone. Uncle Ben was her father's friend and had been her friend since her real father had died when she was eight years old. Lisa had been abused by her father and when she came to live with her Uncle Reed Richards she was afraid he would be just like her father. To her surprise he had loved her almost as much as if he had been her father and now she saw him in that role. The adoption had been finalized two months ago. So to him and the rest of the world she was his daughter; not his niece.

"Can't argue with that one. I like snow, but standing in it for hours is not my idea of fun," Lisa said, as they walked back home.

"Well, the turkey should be close to being done," Sue said on the other side of Dad. Susan Storm was a regular Suzie homemaker when it came to holiday meals. Sue had gone shopping with Lisa two weeks before and the refrigerator was fairly bulging with all the foods still to be made. The turkey was the only thing that Sue had to spend hours on. The dressing was Stove Top and the pies just had to be warmed in the oven.

"And after today it'll be time to think about Christmas. Do you have your list all written out, Lise?" Dad asked, jerking on one of her dark braids.

"I wrote it out last night. I'll give it to you the day after tomorrow. I know how much you and Uncle Ben hate shopping on Black Friday," Lisa said as they entered the Baxter Building.

"You are too, too kind, Shorty," Johnny teased.

"Keep it up, Flame thrower. I might not get you a gift this year," Lisa said with a grin on her face. Johnny, Uncle Ben, and Lisa always teased each other since the day they first met. Uncle Ben was, well, like her uncle. And Johnny was like the older brother she never had. Teasing Johnny Storm was just too much fun!

"So, when do you want to do your Christmas shopping?" Uncle Ben asked.

"I'm thinking in the next two weeks, but it'll have to be two trips," Lisa said as they all entered the elevator. Dad had made a new invention that reinforced Uncle Ben's weight. Since the accident in space Uncle Ben was the one who had been affected the most. Lisa could break the sound barrier and go through walls; Sue could make herself invisible; Dad could bend his body like rubber; and Johnny could set himself on fire and fly. Uncle Ben was like a huge rock mountain.

When it first happened Uncle Ben had to take the stairs, but dad had thought of a way to make the elevators compensate for his weight. So far it worked. "Why two trips, Lisa?" Dad asked.

"Because I can't buy a gift for the first person who takes me. They'll see what I get them otherwise," Lisa said as they all took off their coats and Johnny went to the plasma TV for the football game that always came on Thanksgiving Day. Usually Lisa and Dad didn't watch the game since neither of them liked football, but both had gotten used to Johnny's obsession with sports in the five months the Fantastic Four had been in the building.

"That sounds about right, Reed," Sue said as she went to the kitchen to check on the turkey.

"Do you know what you're getting everyone?" Uncle Ben wanted to know.

"Like I'm going to tell you, Uncle Ben," Lisa retorted with a grin on her face.

"She's right, Pebbles. The first rule of Christmas is; you don't tell anyone what you're buying," Johnny said.

"Turkey's ready. Lisa, you can help me with the pies and dressing," Sue said, changing the subject as she came back into the living room from the kitchen. Lisa followed Sue back, relieved that she wasn't discussing presents for Dad, Johnny, and Uncle Ben with them in the same room.

"Sue, what do you think I should get for Dad?" Lisa asked as she put an apple crumb and pumpkin pie in the oven.

"What do you normally get Reed?" Sue evaded the question with one of her own.

"I normally don't. Uncle Ben has bought all the gifts and I just put my name on it. I love Uncle Ben, but this year I want to buy my own gifts," Lisa said, blowing her hair out of her eyes as she dished up olives.

"I'm sure you'll think of something. I do know Reed will love whatever you buy him," Sue said, giving her a hug. Sue had been good friend to Lisa since the accident on the von Doom Space station and had been there for Lisa whenever Lisa just wanted advice.

"Has he given you any hints? The only gift I can think of is maybe yours or Alicia's," Lisa said. Alicia was Uncle Ben's girlfriend. Lisa almost considered taking her on the shopping trip since Alicia was blind and wouldn't see her own gift, but on second thought, maybe not. Alicia was blind, but she had a way of knowing what someone would get her for Christmas.

Lisa had planned to go to Borders and get a book about Andrew Wyeth written in Braille since Alicia was an artist.

"I think he's been wanting some science equipment. I saw him looking at a catalogue the other day. Do you want me to get the book for you? I think your father left it in the lab," Sue said as they came into the living room and both of them set the table.

"That would be great! I don't want to get something someone hates," Lisa said with relief as she put out the wine goblets with a fall leaf pattern on it.

"I'm sure he won't. Reed loves you," Sue said.

"I know. Sue, do you need me for anything else?" Lisa asked, changing the subject.

"Not now. The food will be ready in two hours. Why don't you go watch the game with Ben and Johnny?" Sue suggested.

"Nah. I don't really like football. I just hope the game ends soon. Me and Dad normally watch "It's a Wonderful Life" on Thanksgiving Night," Lisa said as she heard Johnny cheer over a touchdown.

"So does Johnny. He watches that every year," Sue whispered and both of them started laughing.

"Johnny likes old Jimmy Stewart films?" Lisa asked, trying not to laugh and coughing in the process.

"It's funny watching him watching that. Especially at the end with Zuzu's line to her daddy about angels getting their wings when bells ring," Sue said as Dad came up to them.

"What's so funny?" Dad asked, kissing Lisa's head gently.

"Did Sue ever tell you that Johnny likes "It's a Wonderful Life?" Lisa asked with a smirk.

"No she didn't. That's good since it's a tradition for us to watch it every year," Dad said as they walked towards the living room and heard another cheer as another touchdown was scored.


The city was decorated for Christmas two weeks later as Sue and Lisa fought the crowd at Macy's Department Store. Lisa was going to get all her gifts and Alicia would take her shopping to get Sue's.

Lisa looked around the men's department, shopping for Johnny and Uncle Ben first. "So, what does Johnny like, Sue?" Lisa asked. Lisa didn't know what Johnny would like. It had been easy when shopping for Uncle Ben, Dad, and Debbie in the last three years after Lisa's real father had died. This year buying for Johnny and Uncle Ben would be a challenge since Johnny was new to the family and Lisa couldn't buy him a plaid shirt like she did last year unless she preordered it like Uncle Ben had done with Reeboks.

"Johnny likes sports equipment. Why don't we go to the Sport's shop first?" Sue suggested. The mall was more jam-packed than Macy's and a line had formed outside Big Al's Sport's Barn

"So what do we get Johnny?" Lisa asked as she passed a rack of skies.

"Johnny likes snowboarding. So why don't you get him a snowboard?" Sue suggested, holding out what looked like a surfboard to her.

"It looks okay, but how am I gonna hide it from Johnny? He'll see it behind my back," Lisa said in a fretful tone.

"Well, we can leave it with the doorman when we arrive and when Johnny goes to do his Christmas shopping we can bring it up to your room," Sue suggested.

"I like that idea. All right," Lisa said, going to the line to pay for the gift. Dad had given her a charge card and told her that she could buy whatever she wanted on it in the spirit of Christmas presents.

The line went by fast and soon Lisa and Sue were out of the shop with Johnny's gift. "So, where to next?" Sue asked.

"Well, there's Borders. I was going to buy Alicia a gift," Lisa said as she handed the snowboard to Sue and went to the entrance.

"I'll just wait right here," Sue shouted after her.

Lisa went all the way to the section filled with books for the blind. The book that she had planned on was still there. It was the last copy, so Lisa felt like she had picked the right time. The picture of Andrew Wyeth was on the cover and the price had been chopped down to 5 dollars instead of 15. Lisa also saw two more books on her way out about DNA.

That would save Lisa from finding out what equipment her father didn't have. Her father was a scientist who had been interested in the DNA of plants. These two books might be of interest to him. They also didn't look like ones he had in his collection of scientific books. Lisa paid for her purchases and found Sue watching the kids as they met Santa Claus.

"Hi," Lisa said, stepping up beside Sue.

"Took you long enough. Did you find Alicia's gift?" Sue asked.

"Yep. I found Daddy's too," Lisa said, sitting down.

"What did you find for him?" Sue asked after purchasing two soft pretzels and two drinks. Lisa took a long drink of her Dr. Pepper before answering.

"Two books on DNA since Dad studies that kind of science," Lisa said, munching on the warm pretzel.

"He should like that unless it's someone who he thinks is a total goof when it comes to science," Sue commented as they walked around. The Twelve Days of Christmas was blaring through the mall radios and was being sung by someone who made Lisa cringe at the off key notes. It was the only Christmas song that Lisa had trouble remembering. She could only remember up to the part about five golden rings.

"So where to next? I don't know about you, but I need to run to the Stationary shop to buy something for my mother," Sue said as they went to the second floor.

"Okay," Lisa said, following Sue to a shop that was full of pencils, decorative paper, and every kind of stamp you could think of. There were even movie stamps and Lisa saw every kind of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and even a few for the new movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Lisa looked around hoping to find something that she could get for Uncle Ben when some stationary caught her eye. Since the Fantastic Four had come out certain items resembling them came out. The other day she had seen Fantastic Four shoes. Now she saw stationary with the Fantastic Four logo. Next to the paper was stamps that had Dad, Sue, Johnny's and Uncle Ben's faces on it.

Grinning Lisa, tugged on Sue's coat sleeve. "Sue, look," Lisa said. Sue groaned audibly.

"Oh good grief!" Sue exclaimed, her face redder than a tomato.

"I didn't think you guys would become this popular at Christmas," Lisa said as she put down the paper and looked at the decorative plates that the shop carried.

"Neither did I. If they make action figures of us, I'm out of here," Sue snapped, embarrassment in her blue eyes.

Lisa stopped as she looked at a picture from Gone with the Wind on a plate. This was for Sue. Sue had taken her to see the movie at an old theater in New York and also had given her the book to read a couple of months before. The movie was one of her favorites and Lisa knew Sue would like the plate. Next to it was another plate from the movie. The first was of Rhett and Scarlett walking around Tara Plantation. The other was the title of the movie under Rhett getting ready to kiss Scarlett.

Lisa went up to the cashier and put the plates on the counter. "Do you want these in a box?" The young girl wearing a Santa hat asked.

"Please. These are for the person I'm shopping with and I don't want her to see," Lisa said, watching Sue nervously out of the corner of her eye.

Lisa paid for the purchase and made her way back to Sue. "What is that?" Sue asked as Lisa put the Borders bag in the bag with the plates.

"Not telling," Lisa said with a grin.

"I guess it's for me then," Sue said after she paid for some stationary with snowflakes on it.

"Yep. Now I need to find something for Uncle Ben," Lisa said, blowing a strand of hair out of her eyes.

"Here's something," Sue said, looking at a candy shop. Huge glass jars of peanuts were standing there. The thing that made them special was that they were shaped like football helmets.

"That looks good. Do you think he'd want that since I'm kind of at a loss what to get him? I can't get him a plaid shirt like I do every year," Lisa said as she handed the bags to Sue.

"I'm positive," Sue said.

Lisa paid for the peanuts and gave it to Sue since her arm were all full. "Where now? I'm finished with my Christmas shopping," Lisa said as they went to the food court which was on their way to Macy's.

"Why don't we get some lunch? I feel like Chinese," Sue said with a smile.

"Sounds good. I think I want pizza from Cbarro's," Lisa said. The shopping had taken Lisa not as much time as she had thought and now she was ready for something more substantial than a pretzel.


Fortunately Johnny and Uncle Ben were out when Lisa and Sue came home. Their gifts were the more noticeable. Lisa hid one gift in her closet and walked down to the lab with Uncle Ben's gift in her hands. Dad was at a microscope and writing something on a pad of yellow paper.

"How was the shopping?" Dad asked without even looking up at her.

"Good. I just have this gift for Uncle Ben and I was wondering if I could hide it in here," Lisa said as Dad finally looked up.

"That's a big gift, Sweetheart," Dad said, furrowing his forehead as he looked at the gift and then her.

"I know, but Sue said he might want it," Lisa said as Dad took the gift and hid it in a desk with doors that opened.

"That should do it. Ben doesn't come in here any more," Dad said, hugging her with one arm.

"Thanks, Dad. Oh, and here's your credit card," Lisa said, handing him the Visa card.

"Thank you. Should I be worried next month when I get the credit card bill?" Dad teased, pulling one of her braids.

"I don't think so. I won't even need it again. I found Sue's gift without her even noticing," Lisa said, resting her forehead against her father's chest.

"Well, that's good," Dad said, stroking her hair gently.


Christmas Eve was snowing and cold as Lisa got out the collection of holiday DVDs that people had sent them since the Fantastic Four had formed. These were for the party since they were all staying up late. Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve were the only days that Dad let Lisa stay up until dawn.

The thing that made this day festive, besides the Nativity scenes on cards, puzzles, and a few stained glass windows that Lisa had made, was that Dad and the others wouldn't be fighting crime tonight. What criminal would be so dumb as to go out in this weather Lisa had no idea.

Lisa stepped out of the room Lisa and Sue shared. Johnny was at the island in the kitchen, drinking eggnog, Dad, Sue, Alicia, and Uncle Ben was dancing to the Eagles' "Please Come Home for Christmas."

"Hey, Shorty, may I have this dance?" Johnny asked beside her as she grabbed a sausage ball from the pile in the bowl. Uncle Ben made them every year and they were a big hit.

"Sure, if you don't step on my feet, Flame Thrower," Lisa said as Johnny danced with her.

"You aren't so bad, Shorty," Johnny said as the song ended.

"Thanks. When Scott wasn't drinking he actually pretended to be my father. He taught me how to dance when I was eight. About two or three months before he died," Lisa said as they all went to the table.

"He taught you well," Uncle Ben commented after prayers and they all filled their plates.

"Yeah. He was a good dancer," Lisa mumbled around a mouthful of olives. Lisa hadn't thought of Scott Richards as her father since the day Reed Richards had said that he wanted to adopt her. It was easier to think that Reed was her dad and not Scott. But now wasn't the time to ruin the holiday to think about Scott. The holidays weren't the best when Scott was alive. Christmas and New Year's Eve were the days that Scott would drink and be meaner than a snake.

The past 3 Christmases had given her a sense of relief. Dad didn't drink like Scott had and he had spoiled her with Christmas gifts and plenty of love since Scott had died.

"So what do we do after we eat?" Alicia asked.

"Normally me and Dad watch "A Christmas Carol" on Christmas Eve," Lisa said.

"It's sort of a tradition. Lisa had been living with me for three months and had said that she had never seen it in the quiet, timid voice she used back then. I decided to treat her to it," Dad said in the loving tone that Lisa knew well.

"She's not quiet and timid now," Johnny said, eating a piece of cherry pie.

"No, she's not. She's changed a lot in three years," Dad said, squeezing Lisa's hand across the table.

"I just realized I was tired of being scared of being hurt. I just want to enjoy the rest of my life. Who knows, maybe I'll decide to help the Fantastic Four next year as the Siren," Lisa said, with a grin on her face.

"I don't know. We could use it, but you're only ten," Dad said doubtfully.

"So? I was only ten and you let me come on the von Doom Space Station," Lisa said as she grabbed a piece of hot apple pie and eggnog.

"She has a point, Genius. She was infected by the cloud like the rest of us and she looks left out whenever we go on a mission," Uncle Ben said.

"It's against my better judgment, but all right. You can be a hero-in-training, but you do everything we tell you. Understand?" Dad asked sternly, fixing his dark brown eyes on her.

"Yes Sir," Lisa said, finishing the crust on her pie.

"So, why don't we watch the movie now? Then we can open gifts?" Johnny asked like an exuberant little boy.

"Why don't we leave that up to Lisa? Lisa, what do you want to do? Do you want to open all the gifts tonight or wait until Christmas Morning?" Sue asked as she poured hot coffee into cups and served them around.

"How about we all open one gift and save the rest for tomorrow?" Lisa suggested as Sue gave her a cup of hot apple cider. Lisa was too young to drink coffee so apple cider or hot chocolate was the only drinks that were given to her.

"Sounds like a good plan. I'm open to it," Dad said as they all got up and went to the plasma TV.

"Why don't we let Siren pick out the one present for everyone and, Reed, you can pick out her gift?" Alicia suggested a warm smile on her face.

"I'm up for it, Lisa?" Dad asked, squeezing her shoulders gently as he hugged her tightly.

"Sure," Lisa said, going over to the tree. There was what amounted to an avalanche of Christmas gifts. Since the Fantastic Four were heroes they had gotten gifts from the city and other places in the world.

She handed the first gift to Dad since to her she thought Dad should open the first gift. "Let's see. This one is from a family in Britain," Dad said, pulling off the stylish ribbons. A box containing a microscope was revealed.

"Wow! That looks nice, Reed," Sue said.

"Looks like a top-of-the-line microscope, Egghead," Uncle Ben said as Lisa went to the tree and picked out a small gift for Sue.

"Okay, this one is from Lisa," Sue said, unwrapping the silver snowflake paper.

"Only one of them. The other is under the tree," Lisa said, with a smile as Sue's blue eyes widened.

"Oh, Lisa, it's beautiful!" Sue said, with tears in her eyes as she showed the plate of Scarlett and Rhett at Tara Plantation.

"Where did you find that, Lisa?" Uncle Ben asked.

"The stationary shop. I found out that they don't just sell paper, pencils, and stamps," Lisa said, giving Sue a hug.

"I love it. Thank you, Lisa," Sue said, giving Lisa a kiss on her cheek.

"You're welcome," Lisa said, going back to the tree and picking out a small box for Alicia.

"Who's it from, Siren?" Alicia asked, touching the plaid wrapping paper. Lisa leaned over to read the name tag.

"Uncle Ben," Lisa said. Alicia unwrapped the gift and opened the jewelry box. Instead of a tennis bracelet a crystal necklace with snowflakes on it glimmered in the room.

"Wow, Uncle Ben that is so pretty!" Lisa said as she and Sue looked at the necklace.

"A snowflake necklace. Thank you, Ben," Alicia said, tears in her eyes as she hugged Ben and kissed his cheek.

"You deserve it," Uncle Ben said in a soft gentle voice.

"Now, here's one for Johnny," Lisa said, handing him a gift. The tag said it was from Sue. Johnny opened it to reveal an autographed football.

"Wow! This is incredible! Thanks, Sis," Johnny said, hugging Sue.

"Now, last but not least, Uncle Ben. It says here that it's from some kid in California," Lisa said, reading the tag as she handed him the gift.

Uncle Ben opened the gift and saw a harmonica. Lisa choked on a giggle. "What do you think the kid was thinking?" Uncle Ben asked, holding the musical instrument in his rocky fist.

"Maybe he thinks everyone should play a musical instrument," Lisa said, sitting down next to Dad and wrapping her arms around his waist.

"The kid is only seven years old from what the tag said, Ben. Now, Reed, don't you think we should pick out a gift for Lisa?" Sue asked, changing the subject.

"Of course we should. We've all opened a gift; except her," Dad said, patting her knee gently as he stood and stretching out his arm, pushed a few of the gifts aside. He picked up a medium sized box and handed it to her.

"It's from our friend Peter Parker and his girlfriend M.J.," Sue said, reading the tag. Peter Parker was Spider-man and he had become friends with the Fantastic Four. He often said he didn't care much for Johnny's teasing, but he had been a good friend to all of them.

Lisa opened up the package, revealing a jewelry box with a snowflake pattern on it. Opening the box there was a pair of earrings with snowmen on it. The only drawback was that they were for pierced ears and Dad had said she could get her ears pierced when she was fourteen or mature enough for it.

"Well, I can use the jewelry box, but I can't wear the earrings. Dad won't let me have pierced ears yet," Lisa said, admiring the gifts.

"Well, I might make an exception. You've been very mature this year and I might go back on what I said just this once," Dad said with a smile, pushing a few strands of her dark hair behind her ear.

"Really? You really would let me pierce my ears?" Lisa asked with a mixture of excitement and unbelief.

"Yes, really," Dad said as Lisa, Sue, and Alicia picked up the wrapping paper around the room.

"I think Shorty would look good. Now are we ready for "A Christmas Carol?" Johnny asked, sounding like an excited little boy.

"Go get the DVD, Lisa," Dad said. Lisa walked over to the DVD collection on the entertainment center and popped it in.

Lisa got down on her stool and rested her head on Dad's knee. She felt her father's hand go through her hair gently as the movie started. This was the way they always watched movies since she was eight. Her father's hand always made her feel safe.


The next day was like "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" and it snowed at the end. It was beautiful and the Plaza Hotel that Lisa saw from her window looked like a Christmas Card. Sue was asleep in the twin bed next to Lisa's bed.

"Sue, wake up! It's Christmas Morning!" Lisa said a little louder than she normally talked. Sue started, looking a little grumpy.

"Lisa, I'm sleeping," Sue complained as Lisa opened the window and a draft of cold air came in.

"Sue, come on. It's Christmas and it's snowing!" Lisa all but shouted as she put on her fuzzy bed slippers and ran out of her room.

Dad was in the room, wearing a turtleneck shirt and slacks with his white lab coat. "Dad, it's a holiday. You shouldn't be Bill Nye the Science Guy on a holiday," Lisa teased as Dad kissed her gently.

"Very cute. Don't make me take your gifts back," Dad said, trying to look stern and failing miserably.

"Like you ever have," Lisa teased, wrapping her arms around Dad's waist and resting her head on his chest.

'There's a first time for everything," Dad said as Johnny, Uncle Ben, and Sue came out of their rooms, looking sleepy. Everyone had stayed up late watching Christmas movies and hadn't gone to bed until 3 in the morning.

"Shorty, you should sleep in on a holiday," Johnny grumped, looking like a little boy wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt with a Superman symbol on it.

"I doubt you ever did, Johnny," Lisa teased.

"Now, do all of you want to eat first or presents?" Dad asked, looking at each of them.

"I think I want to eat first. I'm hungry, Daddy," Lisa said. Everyone else nodded their agreement. Everyone agreed to that idea. Breakfast was warm and cheery with everyone teasing the other. All too soon it ended.

They all went to the tree and Uncle Ben handed out gifts. "Excuse me, I better go get the two gifts in Dad's lab for Johnny and Uncle Ben," Lisa excused herself and practically ran through the walls to Dad's lab.

"I'd better go help her. The gifts are big," Dad's voice followed her. Dad ran to catch up to her.

"Dad, you don't have to help me. I got everything under control," Lisa said as she pulled out Uncle Ben's gift wrapped in red cellophane.

"I'm sure you can, but the gifts are big and I'm sure you don't want to make two trips. I also have Sue's gift in here too," Dad commented as he put Johnny's snowboard and a small jewelry box out.

"Dad, I'm glad that you adopted me before Christmas came," Lisa said, wrapping her arms around Dad's waist.

"I am too, Lise. And to think you almost didn't. I know that you had been hurt by Scott, but I love you as if you really were mine. I want to make every Christmas special for you. The first year you came to live with me something told me that you hadn't celebrated the holidays. I saw how big your eyes were when I gave you that doll," Dad said, kissing her forehead gently.

"Yeah, I never had a doll. Scott never gave me a gift on Christmas. He always went out on Christmas and left me alone," Lisa admitted.

"I'll never do that to you, Lisa. You are my daughter and I love you. Now we'd better go open the gifts before Johnny gets impatient and beats us to it," Dad said with a smile as they walked down the hall. The gifts made it awkward since they were so heavy and big.

Johnny whooped as they entered the room. "Yay, Shorty! Which one's mine?" Johnny asked as Dad and Lisa put down the gifts.

"Neither one if you don't pipe down," Lisa retorted as she sat down and Uncle Ben started to pass out gifts.

It didn't take long to start unwrapping gifts and all the gifts took over an hour to unwrap. Lisa got a lot of gifts that year. Sue had bought her the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and a turtleneck with a snowflake design on it, Dad had gotten her a new book on origami since that was a new hobby, Uncle Ben had bought her a bead set since she was interested in making her own jewelry, Alicia had gotten her two Nancy Drew mysteries, and Johnny had gotten her all six "Star Wars" movies.

Judging by everyone else's expressions they liked their gifts and Lisa got hugged by everyone. "These are great, Lisa. Thank you," Dad said, kissing her forehead.

"Really? I wasn't sure if you read them or not," Lisa said as she looked at the porcelain doll Matt Murdock from Hell's Kitchen had sent to her. The blind lawyer was Daredevil and he had helped the Fantastic Four on occasion. Lisa had mentioned to him that she liked collectible dolls when the Fantastic Four had teamed up with him to stop Kingpin, a mobster that operated in Hell's Kitchen and other parts of the city.

"I think I will. I like other people's ideas on DNA," Dad said with a smile.

Lisa opened the rest of her gifts. She loved the ones from Dad and the others, but it was going to be a pain to write notes tomorrow to the 30 gifts she received from Peter Parker and M.J., Matt Murdock, and the other people around the world. The coolest gifts she had gotten was the Nativity set from Grenada, Spain and the skirt and peasant flowered top from Turkey.


Lisa snuggled down into her covers as Sue turned the lights out. "Lisa, thanks for the gifts," Sue said.

"You're welcome. Thanks for the movies and the shirt," Lisa said sleepily.

"You're welcome. I wish we didn't have to write thank-you notes," Sue commented. Lisa looked at the window where snow fell softly.

"Me too. I hope they have a translator in Spain, Greece, Turkey, China, and Italy. I got five gifts from those places and I don't know Spanish, Greek, Chinese, or Italian. I don't even know what the language of Turkey is," Lisa said, sitting up and pulling the quilts over her shoulders.

"I don't either. I guess you can just wing it on that," Sue said.

"I figure it out tomorrow. Night, Sue," Lisa said, falling asleep. The snow was making her sleepy and this had been the best Christmas Lisa had ever had. Everyone loved her as much as she loved them and she was happy.

The End