49 comments

Dec 22, 2020

Christmas Kids Holiday

Dear Kate,

I am your aunt, you might not be aware of me but I am family. I have seen you as a child, cradled you in my bare hands as you cooed, your mother was a delightful sister to meโ€ฆ Iโ€™m sorry for your loss.ย 

We might not be familiar with each other but I want you to do a favor for me.

You must have noticed a purple box. Please open it as soon as possible and take care of it for me.ย 

Iโ€™m sure you will appreciate it more than meโ€ฆ

With love,

Your aunt

I kept rereading the letter, looking for identifications of its sender. Who could this mysterious aunt of mine be? How did she know my address?ย 

Curious, I grabbed the box as mentioned in the letter. Shaking it slightly, depicting what it could possibly be. There seemed to be air holes located all over the cardboard box that I delicately placed on the dining room table.ย 

The letter mentioned that the content is something I need to care for.

A plant possibly? Seems easy enough.ย 

I winced hearing scratching noises from inside. Something screeching for freedom.

โ€œHello?โ€ I whispered, opening the flaps gradually. Keeping my distance.

I fell backwards as the thing flew out of its inclosed cage.

โ€œHey, watch it,โ€ I turned around, trying to depict the voice.ย 

โ€œWhoโ€ฆ said that?โ€ I shivered, goosebumps appearing on my skin. I wasnโ€™t much of a ghost believer but is it possible thatโ€ฆ?ย 

โ€œ...finally some fresh airโ€ฆโ€ I heard murmurs coming from under the table. I peeked, wondering who was talking.

โ€œAhh,โ€ I screamed, running at the opposite direction. The bird flew over to perch on top of the coat rack.

โ€œWhat are you?โ€

โ€œAre you blind? Iโ€™m a myna,โ€ It spokeโ€ฆ it spoke???

โ€œMyna? How are you speaking?โ€

โ€œWhat? Birds arenโ€™t allowed to chat?โ€ It narrowed its bulging eyes at me.

โ€œNo, noโ€ฆ I meanโ€ฆโ€ I shook my head. โ€œIโ€™m Kate, whatโ€™s your name?โ€

โ€œMazie,โ€ It flew over to my shoulder, resting its body on me. I winced, but didnโ€™t stop it.

โ€œHow are you speakingโ€ฆ Mazie?โ€

โ€œIโ€™m not.โ€

โ€œIโ€™m afraid I donโ€™t understand.โ€

โ€œYou can understand me,โ€ It rolled its eyes.

โ€œThatโ€ฆ thats impossible,โ€ I chipped in.

โ€œWellโ€ฆ how do you explain this?โ€ It demanded, ruffling its black feathers.

โ€œIโ€™m not sure, maybe Iโ€™m dreaming?โ€

It pecked my hand carelessly.ย 

โ€œOw, whats that for?โ€

โ€œYou asked for it.โ€

โ€œNo, Iโ€ฆโ€ Was I arguing with a bird?

โ€œSoโ€ฆ umโ€ฆ Mazie, mind if I ask who sent you here?โ€

It shrugged.ย 

โ€œOk,โ€ I awkwardly answered.

โ€œYou got food?โ€

โ€œUmโ€ฆ bird food?โ€ I inquired.

โ€œYes of course,โ€ It sarcastically answered, โ€œNoโ€ฆ I prefer fresh fruits.โ€

โ€œIโ€™ve got an apple.โ€

โ€œWorks for me,โ€ I walked towards the fruit basket, almost empty. Dad forgot to buy groceriesโ€ฆ again.

I took our last apple, hopefully dad doesnโ€™t mind. Cut it into bite sized pieces, throwing them in Nemo; my cats bowl.

โ€œHere.โ€

It chirped, pecking on the bits.

I sat down on the sofa next to the bird, watching it with enthusiasm. Never did I think birds were so fascinatingโ€ฆ and could talkโ€ฆ or I could comprehend them.

โ€œSoโ€ฆ what are we doing?โ€ It asked, following my eyes with a curious glance.

โ€œWe are not doing anythingโ€ฆ Iโ€™m going to read a book,โ€ I left the annoying chatterbox, walking up the stairs, dragging my hand across the ivory railings. Sneaking looks back, seeing what the bird was up to in my absense.ย 

โ€œWait up,โ€ It hollered, darting up to perch on my shoulder again. I shook it off. But the bird didnโ€™t leave my side, following me to my room.

โ€œCanโ€™t you leave me alone?โ€

It remained silent, in awe with my room. Cranking its small head in every direction.

โ€œWhatโ€™s this?โ€ The bird pointed a wing towards a picture tucked inside my closet, a picture I didnโ€™t want to look at.

โ€œNothing,โ€ I kept my voice low, it brokeโ€ฆ I bit on my lower lip in frustration.

โ€œDoesnโ€™t seem like nothingโ€ฆ. hey, this looks like you,โ€ It added, staring into the women in the picture.

Such a stubborn bird, I sat on my bed, holding the pillow close to my chest.

โ€œThats my mom,โ€ I finally spoke.

โ€œOhhh, can I meet her?โ€

I looked away, flushing.

The bird perched on my shoulder, rubbing its warm body against my face.

I smiled, wrapping my arms around my legs, rocking back and forth. Hot tears spilled from my eyes, I briefly looked back at the photo, it was taken the year momโ€ฆ died.

Her brown eyes were stunning, I had the same replica of them. People would think we were twins instead of mother and daughter. Momโ€™s hazel hair covered parts of her face, her twinkling smile would melt anyones heart. She held my hand that day, the very last day we had together.ย 

Keeping me close, I could smell her laundry detergent; Hawaiian breeze.ย 

Sheโ€™d kiss my cheeks, leaving marks of lipstick smudges on my face but Iโ€™d smile back anyway.

โ€œSheโ€ฆ sheโ€™s not with me,โ€ I murmured, trying to keep my cool.

โ€œOhโ€ฆ Iโ€™m so sorry,โ€ She spoke silently, chirping next to the picture. A lullaby, I wiped my tears with the back of my hand, the stains remained intact on my heart no matter how hard I tried to forget.ย 

โ€œKate?โ€

โ€œYes Mazie?โ€

โ€œWhat are all these Christmas decorations tucked into the closet, shouldnโ€™t you have decorated?, itโ€™s almost Christmas,โ€ Mazie reminded.

โ€œIโ€ฆ we donโ€™t celebrateโ€ฆ anymore.โ€

โ€œWhy not?โ€

โ€œMy mom, she loved the holidaysโ€ฆ I did too, but after she diedโ€ฆ well I didnโ€™t want to celebrate for a God that wasnโ€™t trueโ€ฆ or else he wouldnโ€™t have separated my mom from me.โ€

โ€œItโ€™s no oneโ€™s fault Kate, itโ€™s life.โ€

โ€œNO,โ€ Mazie flew over to the table in fear, keeping her head tucked in.

โ€œIโ€™m sorry, donโ€™t know what came over me,โ€ I rubbed my head, headache again.

She chirped, singing her lullaby again. Calming me.

โ€œThank you.โ€

โ€œMy pleasure.โ€

โ€œStillโ€ฆ donโ€™t show your anger at the holidays, itโ€™s meant for joy.โ€

โ€œI know, butโ€ฆ celebrating it reminds me of mom, dadโ€™s never big on celebrating, heโ€™s always about money and work, those two wordsโ€ฆ never cared for either of us,โ€ I explained, trying not to break down again, in front of a bird.

โ€œHmm, youโ€™ll understand soon enough.โ€

I lowered my head to meet the brown eyes of the bird, my eyebrows crooked in confusion.ย 

I heard shuffle downstairs, dad must be home. I didnโ€™t realize time passed so quickly. Setting up my bed again; dad likes โ€˜discipline,โ€™ and walking quietly to the door, indicating Mazie to close her beak shut for awhile as I closed the bedroom door, it slammed shut with a thump.ย 

โ€œKate, is that you?โ€ย 

โ€œYes father.โ€

โ€œHmm, did you make supper?โ€ I rolled my eyes, dad was so old-century. He preferred the word โ€˜supperโ€™ instead of dinner.ย 

โ€œOh shoot, Iโ€™ll boil some potatoes right away,โ€ Of course dad didnโ€™t bother to help me, instead he went straight to his room. I heard the TV go on, soccer match cheers spilled the silent house.

โ€œWhatcha doing?โ€

โ€œMazie! donโ€™t let my dad see you.โ€

โ€œHow come?โ€

โ€œLetโ€™s sayโ€ฆ heโ€™s not a bird person.โ€

Mazieโ€™s eyes went wide.

โ€œDonโ€™t fret, I wonโ€™t let him see you,โ€ I assured.

โ€œIโ€™ll be in your roomโ€ฆ come ASAP,โ€ She said, dodging my dad on the way. I shook my head; sneaky little bird.

I quickly wrapped up dinner, dad didnโ€™t seem to have a clue about our new guest so I didnโ€™t show any excitement.

He washed his plates, silently walked away to catch up on more soccer plays.

I sighed. I was used to eating alone.

I loaded the dishwasher, wiping the counters spotlessly and tiredly dragged my feet to my room.

โ€œNight,โ€ I called out on my way.

โ€œOhโ€ฆ good night Kate.โ€

I saw dad was engrossed with the TV again. Typical.

โ€œKateโ€ฆ finally you showed up.โ€

โ€œWhatโ€™s up?โ€

โ€œSleep,โ€ She ordered.

โ€œNoโ€ฆ Iโ€™m not tiredโ€ฆ yet,โ€ Which was a lie, my eyelids felt heavy and droopy as I sat on the bed.

โ€œPlease,โ€ She batted her eyelids at me.

โ€œOh fine, but tell me why?โ€

โ€œYouโ€™ll see.โ€

I pulled my weary body, tucking under the sheets and turning off the lights. Darkness surrounded me.

I opened my eyes again. The scenery was beautiful. Piles of snow fell from the sky, I opened my tongue, letting the small snowflakes melt in the warmth of my tongue.ย 

The sky was cloudy, I smelled the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg waver in the breeze. Sucking me in deeper into this unknown world.

โ€œHi!โ€

โ€œAhh,โ€ I jumped back. My reflexes kicked up a notch.

โ€œCalm down Kate, itโ€™s me,โ€ I started at the nearest branch, Mazie grinned, fluttering her wings to keep warm.

โ€œWhatโ€ฆ howโ€ฆ where am I?โ€

โ€œFuture.โ€

โ€œWhat?โ€

โ€œYour future specifically.โ€

โ€œButโ€ฆโ€

โ€œKateโ€ฆ trust meโ€ฆ follow my lead,โ€ She flew off, I struggled to follow with the ground covering my legs with snow. It slowed me down.

โ€œLook.โ€

I glanced at where the bird pointed. A window. Mazie gestured for me to move forward, hesitant I did. The window was covered in thin ice. I wiped a circle with my shirt, wish Iโ€™d thought of wearing a jacket. My lips were blue from the cold.

I breathed warm air, the thin ice melted leaving the inside exposed.

I gasped.

A mid-aged women sat near the fireplace. She huddled closer as the cold picked up. Her face was gulm, she held a cup that seemed to comfort her. I looked deeper into the home, noticing that there seemed to be no Christmas decorations or anything related to the holidays.ย 

The women turned, facing me. I quickly ducked down.

โ€œShe canโ€™t see us,โ€ Mazie whispered as I looked back up. Her faceโ€ฆ it seemed soโ€ฆ familiar. Her eyesโ€ฆ the same chocolate brown eyes Iโ€™d grown accustomed toโ€ฆ her face resembled someone I knew. Was I in the past?ย 

โ€œWhoโ€ฆ is she?โ€ I weakly murmured. My hands were frozen in the cold.

โ€œYouโ€ฆ well older you.โ€

โ€œWโ€ฆ what?โ€ My teeth chattered with unison of the wind blowing against my face.

โ€œYesโ€ฆ this is what will happen if you stay isolated, never to be invited to special occasions, leaving your family because of your inner pain.โ€

โ€œIโ€ฆ what have I done?โ€ I wined.ย 

โ€œTake my wing.โ€

I nodded, gripping her feathers. It warmed me up instantly. I closed my eyes again.

โ€œKateโ€ฆ sweetie,โ€ I opened my eyes to see mom. Her eyes shore no more than affection for everyone.ย 

โ€œMom,โ€ I whispered, trying to reach out for her figure only to see that my hands came empty, mom was translucent.ย 

โ€œHow?โ€

โ€œLike I mentionedโ€ฆ they canโ€™t see or hear us.โ€

โ€œOh,โ€ I focused on mom again. My memories triggered my heart to beat faster.ย 

โ€œKate, come and hang the Angel.โ€

I saw a younger me run to mom. They touched noses, something we did when I was little. Dad wasnโ€™t in view, working perhaps.

Mom picked me; little me up and helping me place the Angel on top.ย 

Little me laughed. I couldnโ€™t help but smile at how happy Iโ€™d been years ago.

โ€œThat was fun mommy.โ€

โ€œOf course, the holidays are meant to come together and celebrate, no matter what.โ€

โ€œYup, Iโ€™ll never miss a holiday.โ€

Mom laughed, kissing my forehead. โ€œThatโ€™s a good girl.โ€

The image began to fade. I held my hand out again, โ€œMomโ€ฆ donโ€™t leave me,โ€ But she were goneโ€ฆ forever.

I jerked up awakeโ€ฆ Mazie stood where we had first met.

โ€œMazieโ€ฆ Iโ€™llโ€ฆ Iโ€™ll do it.โ€

โ€œReally?โ€

โ€œYes, canโ€™t let these things get in the way.โ€

Mazieโ€™s face was overjoyed as we went back to my room.

โ€œSleep tight.โ€

โ€œButโ€ฆ tomorrowโ€™s Christmas, I havenโ€™t even done anything,โ€ I complained, wishing Iโ€™d realized earlier.

โ€œOhโ€ฆ weโ€™ll see.โ€

โ€œMazie.โ€

โ€œYa Kate?โ€

โ€œThanks.โ€

โ€œMy pleasure,โ€ I didnโ€™t know if I imagined but I almost saw a tear drop from Mazie.

I shut my eyes, this time I fell asleep. I saw mom smiling face, her warm hugs. How happy weโ€™d been.

โ€œBye Kateโ€ฆ I love you,โ€ I heard the feeble voice from the background but I didnโ€™t stir up.

The sun reflected off the windows towards my face. I yawned, rubbing my eyes. My room seemed normalโ€ฆ I was back at the present.

โ€œMazie?โ€ I was worried, why didnโ€™t I hear her chatter, driving me crazy already.

โ€œKate, come here for a sec.โ€

I got off the bed, slipping into my shoes.

โ€œYa dadโ€ฆ?โ€ My eyes were in for a treat, my mouth wide open. Our houseโ€ฆ it wasโ€ฆ indescribable.ย 

Bows and ribbons all over the place, reefs decorated the front door. Our very own Christmas tree! My Angel on top! The same one that Iโ€™d placed every year.

โ€œHow did youโ€ฆ?โ€ My dad started, his expressions bewildered.

โ€œIt wasnโ€™t me.โ€

โ€œThen?โ€

โ€œMazie!โ€

โ€œWho?โ€

โ€œUmโ€ฆ no one.โ€

โ€œKate.โ€

โ€œOh fine,โ€ I recalled everything, the letter, my expression towards a speaking bird, our adventures.

โ€œMazie... huh,โ€ Dad seemed thoughtful, โ€œThatโ€™s your momโ€™s nickname.โ€

My eyes went wide, my heart seemed to have stopped.ย 

โ€œMackenzieโ€ฆ Mazieโ€ฆ mom?โ€

Dad left to explore our home while I remained baffled.

โ€œOh momโ€ฆ it was you, wasnโ€™t it.โ€ Tears of joy spilled from my eyes.

โ€œHey Kate, take a look at this.โ€

I ran over to dad, he held out another letter.

Dear Chris and my Kate

You will probably figure out my identity soon enough

Chris remember that I love you always, please take care of our daughter, Iโ€™ve left her in your custody

As for my pumpkin,

Please donโ€™t feel upset anymore, cheer upโ€ฆ I want you to know that Iโ€™ll always be in your heart

Your truly,

Mackenzie

AKA

Mazie

โ€œKate?โ€

I looked up to see dad tear up, I was shocked; dad wasnโ€™t much of a emotional person.

โ€œKateโ€ฆ Iโ€™ve been a terrible dadโ€ฆ will you forgive me?โ€

โ€œAww dad, of course,โ€ We hugged, tears rolling down my cheeks.

โ€œCome on kiddoโ€ฆ letโ€™s celebrate.โ€

I smiled.

Hours later,

I placed the letter with the photo of mom and me, now the center piece of my room.

โ€œI love you mom,โ€ I could almost hear her voice in my head.

โ€œI love you with all my heart Kateโ€ฆโ€ Momโ€™ll always be hereโ€ฆ in my heart.

Thanks for reading everyone! This story is dedicated to Kate Reynolds for being such an amazing friend! Do check her out:)

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49 comments

Varsha, I'm being completly honest, I can see your story being published into a real book. I can imagine, flipping the pages of the book "True meaning of Christmas" by Varsha Vimal. That's how awesome this story is! I mean, your title is really true! The way you portrayed Christmas in your story is really surprising and just...amazing! Please do keep continuing to write more awe-striking stories! :)

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Aww thank you sooo much Haripriya! Gives me so much joy that you think that way! Your stories are amazing as well:)

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13:27 Apr 26, 2021

wow! i love this story! your a very talentied author! also part 3 to my story is up!

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Jane Andrews
07:31 Dec 31, 2020

Hi Varsha. I was asked to read and comment on your story as part of the weekly Critique Circle and it was a pleasure to encounter your writing for the first time. This was a sweet story, responding to the prompt to 'Write about someone who is given a bird for the holidays but doesn't know how to take care of it' in an interesting and unusual way. you took the idea of the unexpected gift of a bird but then used the bird to show us some of your protagonist's backstory, weaving in the theme of 'The true meaning of Christmas' which was your ...

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Thank you so much Jane! Wow, can't believe I never noticed those things. I love to get constructive criticism so thank you for pointing those out! I can't edit anymore though because it was already accepted. But thanks for correcting. Would you mind checking out my other stories? Have a wonderful day:)

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Jane Andrews
16:54 Dec 31, 2020

Hi Varsha. I'll have a look at some of your others - do you want to check out some of mine too? I haven't been on Reedsy for months until about a week ago, but I think you'd like an earlier one I wrote called 'Grandma's Secret'. Always happy to proofread for spelling and grammar as well as offering constructive feedback on the story as a whole. Jane PS I think you are supposed to read my story 'An Eventful Evening' as part of the 'Critique Circle' and leave feedback on it as I was given your name and one other person's. I really enjoy doin...

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Maya Emerson
21:39 Dec 29, 2020

Amazing story, Varsha! I loved the dialogue and portrayal of thoughts. Kate relationship with her dad was showed well. Nice job!

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17:42 Dec 25, 2020

Wow!! I loved this story!! The idea, the plot and the creativity were simply amazing! Waiting to read more of your works, Varsha! :) I just noticed a few spelling errors, though..."Thatโ€ฆ thats impossible"; here Thats" should be replaced with "That's". Similarly, for what's and cat's.

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Maya W.
19:15 Dec 23, 2020

Hello again Varsha! I actually read this one, forgot to comment, and then liked, so sorry if your notifs say I didn't like, I actually did a couple days ago! As for this story, it has a nice emotional ending which tied it all together quite well, but I do think that it has some issues. I'm just nitpicking, of course - please don't take this a criticism, just constructive criticism. I think the descriptions could be amped up a bit, and the main character could be a little more developed, but my main problem with this story is that the bird ta...

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Thank you Maya for your advice. I didn't think of that... I totally agree about the bird not speaking. And thats fine if you don't celebrate Christmas, I don't either but I think its a wonderful way for people to come together:) Thx for reading!

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Maya W.
22:54 Dec 23, 2020

Of course! I hope I wasn't too rude, haha.

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No no, I love to hear everyones thoughts... good or bad. We all have flaws, we just need to embrace it:) Thx once again!

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13:21 Dec 23, 2020

Wow Varsha! It was such a touching story, and I loved the uniqueness of your storyline! :) It was very creative and sweet that you dedicated it to a friend! You conveyed the holiday spirit and the true meaning of holidays (Christmas, in this case) so nicely! Great job! Keep writing!

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Radhika Diksha
07:04 Dec 28, 2020

Nice story and the meaning was so good. The message was well written in the story. Your story line was on point. Keep writing. I would love your feedbacks on my story too.

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Omg! This was such a beautiful story Varsha!! I just started reading it and couldn't stop till I got to the end! It was really heartwarming and beautiful! Everything fell into place! I don't really have much to say about it cause the story speaks for itself. But this was truly amazing!! ~Lots of Snow, Ugochi!

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You. Are. AMAZING! This perfectly captures all the emotions of love and looks and Christmastime. I need a purple box to be sent to me.

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Kate Reynolds
03:18 Dec 23, 2020

TYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTYTY FOR DEDICATING IT TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHH THIS WAS SOOOO GOODDD!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS SO EMOTIONAL!!!!!!!!! I loved the holiday sprit!!!!!!!!!!!

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Aww, of course Kate! Your so sweet that I had to include you! And same:)

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Kate Reynolds
14:55 Dec 23, 2020

:D I would totally dedicate my next story to you but the main character is a little... well you'll see lol But I def will dedicate something to you!!!!!!!

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