This week, the Story Dam Writers Community challenged us with: “Holiday Leftovers“.
Dam Burst – Write a piece, non-fiction or fiction, in which your character is figuring out what to do with their “leftovers”.
Wet Feet – Choose one direction or topic along the “leftovers” concept. It can be some additional weight gain from the holidays, a wanton shopping spree that will be showing on the next credit card bill… it can even be the pain-in-the-neck start of a New Year’s resolution. Once you have your topic, write a descriptive piece (fiction or non) in which your character is working through it. We’re shooting for realism this week, but be creative.
Here’s my take. While I normally write fiction, this seemed pretty fitting to the prompt. I hope you enjoy it.
As a child, I lived in New Hampshire — a place where the running joke was “nine months of winter, three months of spring and fall (plus 2 or three days of summer).” That place branded snow and ice as the norm to me. I loved the way the frozen branches of the trees sagged and formed outlines of frosty faces and snowflakes. I never let the cold faze me—in fact, I would be called in before I gave in.
It also brought the most magical day of year for me. I loved the decorations—the tree lights glistening off the tinsel, most of all. My parents would hang all the cards they received around doorways. My chubby little finger was the official holder of knots tied with curly-q ribbon on the presents I was allowed to see.
Of course, as I grew older I saw what everyone sees. Presents were curiously identical to the suggestions I pointed out in Riches, Kmart, and the malls. One year, I overheard the cursing as my uncle and father made their way to the highest roof peak of our three-story home where a sled I asked Santa for lay buried under five to six inches of Christmas Eve snow. Yes, I was realizing that there might not actually be a Santa.
Still, over the course of my 35 years, I never let that thought taint my absolute love of the season, the purity of the air, the bite of the frost, and the slight possibility that exists in all things “magical”—just because I cannot see it, that doesn’t mean it does not exist…
This year, it started to become apparent that my youngest (and last) child was seeing the signs we all see at some point. She loves the season and the snow (when she gets it). She adores the magic and the wonderment, but she also hears the children at school. It’s also been harder and harder over the years to cover for the mall and in-store Santa’s, when everyone has one, and the costumes are getting worse. Her eyes will be fully open next year, I believe, despite our best attempts at maintaining that magical experience.
It’s happened before with our other kids, but it doesn’t make it any easier. The best I can hope for is that among the carnage from Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, I will find at least a little piece of leftover hope and belief that I can store away for her to use in the years to come.