Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Snowflake Blizzard: The Story of a Flurry Christmas Visitor

“Cracker jacks and crimson! Why do you have to be so mean?” Scarlett Lee said in her 10-year-old tough-girl voice. “It’s Christmas! Why can’t everyone just love each other?”

At Christmastime, Scarlett liked to wear every shade of red—crimson, carmine, ruby, rusty red, fire engine red, cardinal, maroon, dark red, redwood, fire brick, and barn red—to name a few, but primarily the color of her name.

She dressed like an elf in a wool winter dress, hat, and pointy shoes with jingling bells. Her parents, brothers, and sisters made fun of her elf outfit and poked her in the side and pinched her ears and cheeks.

“Why do you have to dress like that?” her father said on Christmas Day, burping. “Can’t you just take your gifts, eat some turkey, and knock it off?”

Scarlett’s three brothers and two sisters crammed their faces with turkey, stuffing, and cranberries at dinner. The Lee family was not exactly a storybook lesson in Christmas love.

Scarlett’s parents hadn’t held hands in years, and her siblings were rowdy and wild. Everyone in Boston knew that Scarlett was filled with joy, but the Lee family was less than gracious. This Christmas was no different. 

When Scarlett turned around, her oldest brother Nathan ran his remote-control car all through the kitchen, smashing it into the wall. Then he backed it up and ran it over Scarlett’s pointy shoes while throwing food at the wall.

“Ouch! Watch where you’re going with that car!” Scarlett yelled as Nathan dove in her direction, wrestling her to the ground.

In the background, the kitchen television was blaring with the news of a car hijacking, and rap music sounded at maximum level from the living room speakers.

After Nathan punched Scarlett in the arm, bruising her, she nearly escaped. When the phone rang over into the answering machine, she stuck her fingers in her ears, crying.

“My arm is going to be purple and green where he hit me!” she said, looking at her mother cry while doing the dirty dishes alone. 

“This is not Christmas! It’s chaos. Even I can figure that out!” Scarlett yelled. Next to the lopsided Christmas tree sat reams of crumpled wrapping paper and empty toy boxes.

“Why don’t we play board games together? Or maybe we can sing some Christmas carols by the fireplace?” Scarlett said. “Why can’t we be a family?”

“What do we want to do that for?” Nathan said. “I have to get the rest of my gifts from Gramps. He still owes me at least $100 for Christmas. He should have been here hours ago.”

“He’s probably afraid to come over and decided to stay home,” Scarlett said, grabbing her winter jacket, scarf, hat, and gloves.

“There’s a blizzard outside,” Scarlett’s father said, burping again. “Don’t go out there. You might freeze to death!”

“Maybe I’ll build an igloo and sit in it,” Scarlett said. “It would be better than listening to everyone argue and fight on Christmas Day!”

Despite her father’s protest, Scarlett headed into the snowy outdoors, slamming the front door shut, and the whole house shook. One snowflake fell after the other, creating a windy winter blizzard.

“Why can’t Christmas just be fun?” she said, plopping herself on the cold winter ground.

Up to her ears in snow, Nathan and her mother peered at her from the window inside the warm house. Nathan stuck out his tongue at Scarlett and made an ugly face that no one would want to see.

“A real friend for Christmas would be a good gift!” Scarlett said to the heavens.

Then Scarlett looked up in the sky, noticing a large snowflake growing larger and larger. It transformed into a snowman descending with a parachute.

She watched him closely as he landed right next to her in the front yard. He wore a red scarf with a black top hat and had a carroty nose; his eyes and his mouth were made from coal. His brown arms were made from tree branches, and he had three buttons on his chest.

 “You said you needed a Christmas friend, Scarlett,” the Snowman said. “Well, my name is Snowflake Blizzard. We’ll be the best of friends that there could be!”

“What if you melt?” Scarlett said, touching Snowflake to make sure that he was real.

“I don’t melt until midnight, Scarlett,” Snowflake said. “I’m your Christmas wish come true! A billion snowflakes came together to make one big snowman!”

“It’s been a really hard day,” Scarlett said. “Everybody makes fun of me! I tried dressing like an elf, but no one in my family is ever nice.”

“Well, we’ll just see about that, won’t we, my friend?” Snowflake said, waddling toward the Lees’ front door.  

“I don’t know if you want to go inside there,” Scarlett said. “It might be dangerous!”

As soon as Snowflake opened the door, the entire Lee family stopped, stared, and became silent. Scarlett tiptoed beside him.

“I am Snowflake Blizzard, and I have come for some Christmas fun!” the Snowman said, blowing his cool breath across the family. “As long as I’m here, we’re going to be kind to one another.”

The entire family was mesmerized by the Snowman’s presence, not able to fight or argue anymore. Scarlett’s mother collapsed in the living room rocking chair with exhaustion at the thought of her family behaving.

“I’m going to teach you ‘The Snowflake Blizzard Song,’ so that you can sing it long after I’ve gone!” the Snowman said, smiling at Scarlett.

Then Snowflake said, “Now, the song goes like this: ‘Christmas is for families. Christmas is for friends. Love and joy; overflowing. Snow and sunshine; warm and glowing. Make sure to spread some cheer before the season ends.’”

All at once, Mr. Lee and his children sang Snowflake’s song and transformed into new people. The children cleaned up the dirty dishes and the crumpled wrapping paper for their mom, and their dad even helped them. Mr. Lee turned off the television news and the blaring rap music. Instead, he lit a fire in the fireplace. Each of the children gathered ‘round him to play jacks, cards, and board games.

“Oh, my, it’s getting warm in here!” Snowflake said to Scarlett, taking off his scarf.

He dripped across the kitchen floor, creating a puddle as large as the kitchen sink.

“Don’t worry! I have a few more hours until I melt completely,” Snowflake said, shuffling through the kitchen to stand by the freezer.

“I’m so glad that you were our Christmas visitor,” Scarlett said, handing him a tray of ice cubes. “It’s been sort of a flurry of excitement!”

“Well, it’s not over yet,” Snowflake said, grabbing Scarlett and dancing across the kitchen to the sounds of the crackling fireplace.

Not too long after that, the entire Lee family bustled to sleep, safe and sound.

“It turned out to be a wonderful Christmas,” Scarlett said to Snowflake. “Thank you for visiting us! Come again anytime.”

Two minutes before the strike of midnight, Snowflake hugged Scarlett and waddled to the front door.

“I’m so glad that I could spread some snowy love at Christmas!” Snowflake said, wobbling outside the front door, only to be blown away by the wind into the night sky.

Scarlett stepped on the front porch in her stocking feet, shivering away, realizing her friend had multiplied into a billion snowflakes.

“If I ever see you again, it won’t be too soon,” Scarlett said, holding back a tear.

As long as the Lee family celebrated Christmas, they did so, remembering Snowflake, who loved Scarlett as much as any family member could.


Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters

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