Do you have a Christmas story? Of course you do. Everyone does. They just haven’t thought of it in a while. Remember that night when you crawled out of bed to peek at Santa (who was supposedly busy hiding your presents) and discovered the living room door being guarded by a reindeer made of softest plush? What about that time when snowflakes magically appeared on Christmas Eve out of thin dark air despite the weather man on TV denying the slightest possibility of snow in your otherwise hot climate? Finally, you haven’t forgotten that Christmas party when a seemingly bad year just dissolved into chilly winter air after someone special has (finally) told you for the first time the three magical words?
This story is about one particularly snowy winter that came almost as a surprise (but one that everyone was almost expecting). It started snowing on Christmas Eve and it snowed for seven days and seven nights until the town has disappeared under thick fluffy white blanket. Gone were the sidewalks and playgrounds; naked trees and bushes finally dressed up in white furs while the stubborn patches of yellow dry grass were finally forced into hibernation under snug blanket of snow. The town has transformed, taken on new personality: solemn and silent at night, and innocent and playful at daylight when sun casted a brief side glance on this part of Earth.
A seemingly ordinary boy woke up in one of the nameless snow-hidden buildings and looked outside his window. What he saw made him shiver with cold and excitement from anticipation of upcoming snowball fight with other boys. As he was wiggling out of his pajamas, he was developing a strategy on how to catch his friends by surprise by circumventing the single entrance to the little park across the street and gain advantage early on. He decided he needed to practice first his snowball forming and throwing skills somewhere safe, before he was ready to attack others. But where? Biting his lip in impatience, he reached for his last Christmas candy on a windowsill and thats when he noticed a sizable mound of whiteness on the balcony directly outside his window. Exclaiming with excitement, the boy ran onto the balcony and quickly began scooping up handfuls of frozen snowflakes and throwing them out, aiming at trees, birds, and satellite dishes on roofs of nearby buildings.
Eventually, exhausted, the boy collapsed on the balcony doorstep and looked around. Most of the snow from the floor was already gone, thrown outside, but the snow resting on the balcony ledge remained intact. In fact, it was almost miraculous that it was still there, huge heaps balancing precariously on the narrow ledge, ready to fall down at tiniest poke. Looking at this massive layer of snow clinging on to the lifeless strip of steel made one think of millions of snowflakes who first discovered this ledge and decided to settle there, later pulling in their brothers and sisters, holding them firmly to their newly planted roots, almost getting crushed under the weight of families they took on but unwilling to let go.
The boy didn’t think about any of this; instead he saw this extra snow as an opportunity to build a small snowman. He quickly piled the snow on the ledge into what he thought was supposed to be a round shape, unaware of the fragile balance of the snowflake community he just destroyed. He thought about the decorations he could use for face; carrot was out of question as he thought it was too much work to go down to the kitchen; pebbles would be perfect if he hadn’t lost them earlier that week to his friend in a game, and buttons would make his mother angry since she would have to sew them back to his jacket. Solution came sooner than expected – the button-head colorful pins from his soft board above the bed made for a bright set of eyes and smile, stretching across the top of the snow pile. For nose, he used his favorite apple pin. The snowman completed, the boy felt a tinge of satisfaction and hopped back into his room to get ready for breakfast and games later.
In the meantime, the snowman got bored of sitting on the ledge all morning and decided to explore his surroundings. He took one unsteady step on the ledge and then another. He could walk. But where would he go? The balcony held unexplored potential,true, but he was seeking to find something much greater – his origins. Where did he come from and why was he feeling so conflicted and confused about his identify? It’s almost as if hundreds of voices whispered to him their story, telling them what makes them happy or sad, what they find funny and what makes them upset. All his feeble attempts to silence the voices lead to them speaking louder. They were no longer whispering. They were singing. They sang about the sky and the stars, about dancing in the air and wearing elegant crystal dresses. They were filled with laughter and joy. The snowman haven’t even realized he was singing along and dancing in tune with the music in his head. He no longer cared where he came from and what brought him to be where he was – he felt alive and filled with life.