Fountain pen profile

Lara Isabel

Canada

“Which of us has not felt that the character we are reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us?”

Message from Writer

Hello! I'm Lara, a thirteen-year-old aspiring author whose best friends live within her laptop's Pages application. When I'm not reading, writing, or doing homework, my life consists of drinking tea, playing board games, and singing along to my ukulele.
Any feedback that you have for me is welcome; I am always seeking to improve myself as both a person and a writer.

Ours

December 6, 2017

    December is a special month of the year.

    Imagine a perfect Canadian Christmas night. It would be December, of course. The children would be camping by a star-topped Christmas tree in hopes of seeing a certain fabled, fur-lined saint. Outside, if you were to go outside, would exude an air of a winter bundled away in a black and white blanket of stars, glowing with spectral pixie lights that can't be seen at any other time of year.
    And there would be snow. Snow everywhere, falling, falling, falling. 'I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,' goes the song. So that's what we would be doing. Hoping that, come Christmas morning, we would be 'walking in a winter wonderland.'
    There would be an unmistakable reverence vibrating in each voice, mixed intermittently with the scents of sugary cinnamon and freshly baked cookies. Christmas Eve is the only time of year when I would be experiencing olfactory hallucinations and saying nothing of it. Those phantom perfumes are simply a part of the magic.
    Perhaps when we were all finally 'nestled all snug in our beds,' we would hear it. 'Jingle bells, jingle bells.' That is the sound, the children would think, the sound of Santa's sleigh!
    But they would all be dreaming, one way or another. Because that's what Christmas is, isn't it? A dream.
    At the very least, that's how I'd like to think of it.

    Every year as December approaches, the golden feeling of Christmas spirit seems to settle over everything, veiling the stress and the negative emotions. My family is not particularly religious, and the most prominent themes that we promote in December are kindness and generosity. But Christmas is always more than that. It's difficult, always, to describe the hallowed emotion that is Christmas. Perhaps because it changes every year. And now December comes knocking once more.

    When I was younger, Christmas was about the magic of Santa Claus, coming down the chimney to bring all of the well-behaved children of the world their presents. As that doe eyed four year old, I grinned at the thought of reindeer prancing, and eagerly put out the cookies and milk every year, in hopes that I had once more been good enough to merit a present... or three.
    Christmas was also about joy; the happiness that a room illuminated only by a light-strung tree could bring was unparalleled, and so too was the ecstasy that could only be produced by singing along with the Christmas radio stations. The ebullience of racing to wake my parents in the morning after sneaking downstairs for an illicit look at the present-skirted tree was always my favourite part of Christmas; I loved it even more than the anticipation of opening presents after the annual Christmas dinner. If my mother shushed me and my father waved me away, telling me to "go back to sleep," it was even better.

    Now, the magic remains. But as a young lady about to experience her fourteenth Christmas, I no longer believe in Santa's ability to race around the world in a night. Instead, the magic is contained within the euphoria that warns of beautiful days ahead, filled with music and laughter and food comas. I love the sunny expression permeating my seven-year-old brother's dimpled features as he tears open the bright wrappings and unravels the silky ribbons to reveal what will soon be his favourite toy. Even more than getting presents, I am enraptured by the reactions that other people have to their Christmas gifts, particularly when I am their giver.
    It is such a gorgeous day, when we sit around eating sweets and not making the slightest of efforts to burn them off. My family celebrates a Norwegian Christmas, which we call Jul, and, according to our traditions, the presents are opened on Christmas Eve after both dinner and dessert. So the next day, when we dress up and go out to meet our closest family friends for a Christmas Day brunch, my brother and I regale our companions with tales of our thoroughly fulfilled wishes for the year, and the two of them, aged six and eight, tell us all about what they are hoping for when they open their own presents later that day.
    
    But to me, December is not simply about Christmas. Delicious though it may be, Christmas is simply a series of days, followed close after by New Year's.
    Decembers are endings. They mean looking back, on the past year and all years before. We savour Decembers; they're the experience of re-reading your favourite book, crying and laughing and scowling all over again.
    This year, there will be confessions of love. There will be tears and hugs. Because Decembers are beginnings, too, and it's good to let it all out before January comes in and sweeps all of those emotions away.
    But most of all, a December is an armistice; we all want to go home and enjoy a fortnight of gooey sentimentality before shifting back into our stoic roles as scholars, bankers, and waiters. Maybe this year you lost someone. Maybe it's your first time away from home. To me, December is the universal agreement that we can all slow down and look back without fear of tripping over each other's feet, and if we do, then December is an agreement to say we're sorry and mean it.

    The prompt for this competition is called, 'My December,' but, if I'm honest, I don't think I have one. Of course, December means a lot to me. But I don't own a December. There is only our December, because we're all living here on this Earth together, one big family of rapidly swinging emotions and the confused, swirling smog of reality punctuated by singular, radiant moments of clarity. December is a beautifully precious time.

    So I invite December in, now as it comes knocking once more. "Come in," I breathe, with the thrill fresh on my breath. Because December is a special month of the year.
Thank you to Shanti for the awesome review, and for reminding me about the word count limit!

Version II

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1 Comment
  • Shanti

    This looks really good! I'm glad you revised it; this piece shines even more now


    5 days ago