I helped Hodel gather up her things, even though I did not want to.
But Hodel had a surprise for me. She took out a special gift box with a big bow and said it was for me. "This is my thank you present for hosting me for the holidays this year," she said. "I hope you like it."
I was so surprised. "But you already gave me my holiday presents!" I insisted.
"Yes, but I knew you'd probably feel sad and lonely when I had to leave," Hodel said, "so I wanted to save something to give you now, so you can have a nice surprise to make you feel better."
You see, that's one of the reasons why Hodel is my very good friend, because she really cares about her friends' feelings and always wants them to be happy. I opened up the box and found a beautiful Hanukkah sweater, two white hairbows, and a little blue teddy bear!!
I was very excited, so of course I pulled off my hoodie and pink hairbows to try on the awesome sweater and bows right away. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" I squealed to Hodel. "I love it all!"
Then Hodel gave me the biggest hug. "I'm going to miss you, Anna Lee," she said. "I've had the best time with you, just like always. Thank you so much for having me."
"I'm going to miss you, too," I said, and tried very hard not to cry. "Thank YOU so much for coming."
"Don't worry - we'll see each other again!" Hodel said.
And I'm sure we will...but the house will seem so quiet and empty without her here!! Maybe I need to plan a big slumber party or something to lift my spirits.