December 25, 1899, London:
The twin boys rushed down the stairs, stumbling over each other as they raced to the sparkling tree. They squealed with joy when their eyes fell upon the presents under the Christmas tree. Their eyes then fell upon the couch, where their parents sat with another man and woman.
"Uncle Greg!" said one of the boys excitedly.
"Aunt Holly!" said the other.
"Hello boys," said Greg, hugging them both. "Looks like you got some great goodies there."
"Yeah we did!" yelled one of them. "Can we open yours first?"
"I forgot mine at home. Sorry boys."
"Why don't you open the ones from Santa Claus first?" Holly interjected.
"Haha! Now, now Holly," said Greg, "let's not fill their heads with lies."
"Lies? Where do you think the toys came from?" she retorted.
"I don't think they should care. There are piles of things with their name on them, what should they care where they came from?"
"Of course they should care!" Holly blurted. "The giving is what it's all about! It's all about hope."
"Let's not ruin the morning by arguing," Greg said with a sneer. "Let them have their fun."
"Can we open them now?" asked the boys.
"Of course you can," Holly said with a gentle smile. "After you answer a question."
"Aw! Do we have to?" they whined.
"Yes, you do. Now here's the question: who gave you this?" Holly held up a wooden soldier. There was a tag hanging from its leg that read, "From Saint Nick."
The boys looked at each other, puzzled. They shrugged their shoulders and looked back at Holly.
"Of course," they said.
"That is correct," she smiled. "You may open them now. But your uncle and I must be going. We're quite busy. Have a very merry Christmas, boys."
They hugged their aunt, and said goodbye to their uncle, then dove into their toys. Holly and Greg picked their coats off the hook by the door, and Greg put on his hat and picked up his black cane. They stepped out the door into the gentle snowfall into the cobblestone street.
"It may be about you for now," Greed said to Hope coldly, "but soon enough... soon enough they'll learn that it's all about me."
They both turned and walked in opposite directions away from the house.