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Everyone's looking forward to Christmas. Jess's older sisters tease him about Leslie and what he should get her for a present. Brenda insults Leslie, saying that she doesn't even look like a girl, and Jess gets super mad.
Afterwards, he feels closer to Leslie than anyone in his family, and feels like he doesn't belong. He fantasizes about belonging to another, better family.
Then he thinks about what he should get Leslie. He has barely any money, but really wants to give his friend a present. Jess considers giving her some drawings, but they aren't as good as he wants them to be.
He has to use the little money he has to buy presents for the other family members, like a Barbie for May Belle.
Jess thinks if he were rich he'd get Leslie a TV. He's despondent, riding the bus, but then he suddenly sees a sign out the window.
He jumps out, even though it's not his stop, and heads toward a place where puppies are being given away for free.
Jess has a plan: he gets the puppy all ready and arranges to see Leslie at Terabithia on Christmas Eve. He takes special care of the puppy getting over to Terabithia and isn't even mad when it pees on him.
Leslie loves the present. She asks what gender the puppy is and says his name will be Prince Terrien. She gives Jess a present of art supplies, but tells him the puppy is better.
Jess can't say how much that means to him.
He acts like the dog and they laugh really hard.
That night, Jess stays in a good mood and is nice to May Belle and even to Joyce Ann.
On Christmas, his dad gives him a cheap racing car set. It cost more than his dad could afford, but it's still wonky. Jess is sad that his dad doesn't feel good about the gift.
Everyone else is in a bad mood because of dissatisfaction with presents.
Jess's mom makes him go milk the cow, then compliments Ellie.
When he goes to milk Bessie, he runs into Leslie, and is happy again.