Finally it was almost Christmas!

How watched the stars twinkle and glow in the sky as Sophie and Lucia got ready for bed, but as they got into their nightgowns and put their toys away, they did something weird.

Instead of putting their shoes by the bed, they walked down and put them under the tree. That was weird, because shoes didn't belong anywhere near trees.

"Why you move your shoes?" How asked, hopping up into the bed as the two sisters got in.

"Because a magical man is going to come in the house, and if we've been good, he'll leave presents inside our shoes!" Sophie smiled "And Lucia and I have done all our chores, obeyed Papa and Mama, and kept you and Paws happy, so we should get some presents!"

Before How could ask more about this magical man, Brevan walked in, sitting at the foot of the bed to tell the girls a story, and How walked out.

Ina always invited people into the house, and she was always extra careful not to let bad people like scary barbarians inside! But if this magical man would come into the house, what if he was dangerous?

He ran to Ina's bedroom, growling softly as the sound of her sleeping breathing filled his ears. He probably shouldn't wake her… so he walked back to the main room, where the tree was still standing over the presents.

Putting his two flowers for Ina and Paws had been super easy, and if the magical man didn't steal them, they'd find them in the morning.

"Paws, Paws come here! We need to protect house from magical man!" He whispered, his eyes allowing him to see in the dark as he moved over to where his friend was.

Paws hissed softly, swatting a paw at him before she turned over and continued to sleep, and How licked her forehead.

"Fine! I protect house by myself!" He decided, moving to sit in front of the tree so he could watch the shoes. When the magical man showed up, How would attack him until Ina and Brevan woke up, then they could chase the dangerous person out of the house!

….

That was the plan anyway, but instead time passed by, and How was getting sleepy.

Walking around and dunking his face in water helped, but if the magic man didn't show up soon, he'd fall asleep and then no one would defend the house!

He'd dunk his face in his cold water bowl one last time and then figure out another way to keep himself awake. Maybe if he vibrated all the emotions at once, that'd be enough!

As he shoved himself into his water bowl, blinking rapidly as he moved out of it, a noise reached his ears.

The magical man was here! He was here in the house without Ina's permission!

Stumbling backward for a moment, How growled before shaking his head and charging forward. His skin glowed red as his eyes focused on a shape that could only be the magical man, and his legs tensed to leap upwards and claw the man's face off!

Then the figure made a half turn and smiled at him, before disappearing with a poof.

"Eeeep!" How cried, his limbs flailing as he fell into an open box which was not there before with an oof!

He lay on the floor of this mysterious box for a long while, before getting up slowly as a mouthwatering smell drifted into his nose.

The smell of carrots! His most favorite food ever, even more than chocolate, and as his eyes adjusted to the strange box he was in, his mouth watered further.

The whole box was full of carrots, dozens of them and maybe hundreds, all just for him! Sophie did say that the magical man left presents if they were good, and Ina always called him the best Comforter in the world.

If that didn't make him good, then why else would this present have appeared?

Still, he thought, wasn't it bad to open presents before everyone was together? Brevan did that when he gave the diamond to Ina, and that was very bad!

Well, it wasn't like anyone would notice one or two carrot sticks gone before the morning… so How began crunching.

….

"Yay there's presents!"

Sophie and Lucia's cries brought their parents from their bedroom as they both smiled at their daughters, all four moving to look at the packages and filled shoes that beckoned them closer.

As the girls began squealing and examining their packages, Serena looked around. Normally How was always nearby, ready to greet her in the morning, but only Paws was up and about.

She was sniffing at a few of the packages marked for her, and seemingly seemed unconcerned about her missing friend.

Before Serena could call out How's name, Lucia squeaked, pointing at one of the packages. "Look, that one's breathing!"

Sophie approached it cautiously, undoing the ribbon and opening it slowly, wondering if How and Paws would soon have a new friend.

Instead, a sleeping How was revealed, surrounded by several carrots and an equal number of chewed carrot stubs as the Comforter slumbered.

Paws purred and hopped into the box, curling up beside her friend and nuzzling him as Serena chuckled. "Of course they can get the greatest present ever and still want to play with the box."

Closing the lid and setting the box aside, the girls turned back to their presents and began opening them as Serena looked at the gift that housed snoozing furballs.

"Merry Christmas HowPaws" She smiled, moving to grab one of her gifts and finding a purple flower sticking out of a piece of paper, the paper adorned with this:

This for Ina from How, love you!

Serena stuck the flower in her hair and moved to help her daughters with the presents, already thinking about how she would thank her Comforter.

After he woke up of course!

...

I hope you all enjoyed the story and if you want more cute character-oriented stories this year please let me know!

The New Year is going to have a lot of stories and novel postings, so stay tuned!

As always please leave a review, feel free to check out my other works, and have a great day!