Dear all! We are happy to introduce the winners of our Christmas contest for writers. They were asked to write about their best Christmas celebration with friends or in a family circle. We’ve enjoyed reading your stories so much – there was so many warmth, joy, happiness and coziness in them.
We present 5 most beautiful stories we’ve chosen. Read them when your finals are finished – you won’t regret for sure.
My Magical Christmas Story from the writer Dr-Ares
I am the first child. And I was the only child in our family until I completed my sixth turn around the sun. Not too many people have memories from such an early age, but I do, and particularly from every year’s Christmas. That’s right, I claim that I remember all Christmases since I set foot on this planet! That’s why I’m going to tell you a real, but magical Christmas story. As always, it all begins with a special person. For me, this person was my beloved grandpa who would make sure that Christmas would have all the grace that such a holiday should have.
As our family tradition indicates, early in the morning, one day before Christmas, my parents, grandparents, as well as my uncle and aunt and their two children, all gather in our grandpa’s house, ready to pass the Christmas together from the very first minute. Everyone would make preparations in order to have a big, full table ready by the time when the clock would show midnight. My grandma would be the chief in the kitchen and her two daughters, my mother and aunt, would be helping her. My father and uncle would be mostly going shopping for the food that we were going to eat, juices, wine, and anything else necessary for this special occasion. My older cousins and I would be around to help if needed, otherwise, we would talk or play. Once the cold, snowy night of the winter would cover our little town like a thick, white blanket, my grandpa would call me with his deep, warm voice next to the big fireplace in the living room. He would put the woods in a shape resembling a pyramid, ready to light a fire. Then, he would put me on his lap, and he would charm me with the most beautiful stories about magical creatures like elves, Christmas goblins, talking reindeers, and my favorite figure of all, that often reminded me my grandfather, Santa Clause. However, in contradiction with most grandparents, he was emphasizing that all these tales, even Santa himself, were just stories. Now, some of you may be thinking bad of him while imagining me being stunned and shocked in the sound of such a revelation. Hurry not to jump to any conclusions, I suggest.
“What do you mean? Santa doesn’t really exist?” I asked him the first time all surprised.
“My dear grandchild, as you’re growing up, you will find out that most of the other kids around your age who were once told that all these tales were true, will hear from the very same people that it’s not like that after all. And this, my dear grandchild, is, perhaps, the most terrible thing a little human can experience! Because it is after such a frustrating revelation that they close their once wide-open minds and hearts to protect themselves from a similar disappointment in the future. Yet, without realizing it, their world will start becoming a much more limited, boring and, in some cases, unbearable place, and this is such a pity! All I want is your world to always remain magical and exciting instead.”
“But, even though I won’t be as disappointed, I too will know that all these stories are not real after all.”
“Unless you want them to be!” he then responded with a wide smile on his face.
“What do you mean grandpa?”
“Everything can be real, as long as you believe in it! Santa Clause does not exist when they stop believing in him. It is important to realize that Santa would not be meaningful as a single individual who exists for himself, but as an idea which exists for everyone, and ideas do not die as long as they have a timeless meaning. So, what I suggest is you to decide whether you’d like Santa to be real, and so it will be. And if you decide in his favor, consider what would be a meaningful wish to make, because you don’t want to waste your wishes, my sweet grandchild!”
I kept these words of my grandfather in my memory like a treasure ever since, and every Christmas I was trying to think of a better wish to write in my later to Santa Clause – until I finally came up with something that excited me like nothing before. At my fifth Christmas, instead of a toy, a table game or a book, I asked for a little brother! In the early morning of the next day I ran first in our living room to check, but I found no little brother expecting me under our Christmas tree. Disappointment quickly found home on my devastated face, but in the next moment, my grandpa’s words sounded again in my ears and I smiled, finding my faith still strong. It was then when I noticed a little letter under our big tree, which wasn’t the one I left the previous night for Santa. Crazily curious, I opened it immediately and read: “This year your wish was a very special and complex one, which certainly needs a long time to prepare before it could possibly happen. It was, though, the most beautiful and meaningful you’ve ever asked, so I promise you that I will do my best to fulfil it. Just wait till next Christmas. Until then, be good and get ready, because a little brother needs all the love and caring! – Santa”.
As you can imagine, my mother started gaining a lot of weight that next year because she liked food more than usually. As December approached again, her belly had become so big that I got concerned and I was trying to keep her away from my grandma’s sweets. I was even more worried when she and my father left a few days before Christmas to the hospital because of some stomach problems of hers. The day came again and this time I just asked from Santa that if he couldn’t bring me a little brother, at least to bring my mother back home healthy and happy. Guess what! The next morning, under our tree, my mother was sitting with a flat belly, holding a little baby in her arms. A newborn baby! My eyes became teary. A few seconds later I was smiling and crying. I was crying from happiness. I knew very well what I was seeing.
Many years after, here we are now. It is December again, and my favorite time of the year approaches. I’m writing this story while my nose is being teased by the wonderful and overtaking smell of our traditional Christmas sweets – melomakarono and kourabies, made by my favorite cook in the world, my grandmother. Our clothes, even the walls of the entire house smell like cognac and honey, cinnamon and syrup, mastika and vanilla. Everyone is talking about how you can feel her sweet, generous personality through the kitchen as she is preparing all kinds of delicacies for everyone who might join our Christmas table. As always, you can see my uncle, aunt and two cousins running up and down, helping anywhere they are needed, making sure that everything will be set and ready before the clock ticks midnight. My grandfather is putting the woods in our big fireplace again and calls my little brother. He is the fourth in line, and he was the fifth wish of the third one, who was the fourth wish of the second one. I can tell you one thing: we all believe in Christmas, in Santa Clause, in fairies and elves. This way, the world is more beautiful. The table is ready, they’re calling us. I have to put a dot in this story. As for you, my fellow readers, physically or mentally, feel free to join us, you are more than welcome. Merry Christmas!
Christmas, It Really Is the Most Special Time of the Year from WriterStevenT
Christmas has always been a special time of the year for me, largely because I grew up in a family that grew every year. Thus, each Christmas I celebrated having more brothers and sisters. Now to clear this up, I grew up with twenty-one brothers and twenty-four sisters, I know, it is sounds more confusing, but this is a special kind of family. You see, I grew up in a children’s home. Now a brief background, in 1990 my parents decided to make their lifelong desire of opening a children’s home into a reality, this despite their meager earnings as both worked as primary school teachers. I was five years old then and an only child to my parents that incessantly begged for a sibling. While my pleas were not the deciding factor, I was over joyed when my parents introduced me to my two brother and sisters, all of us separated by months in age difference. That year marked the first of many special Christmas days in my life in which we continue to emphasize the values of family, togetherness, love and thanksgiving.
One of the earliest Christmas traditions that my family has retained throughout the years has been our unique ritual of “gifting” that we refer to as the “rite of love”. We believe that every child has the right to experience a childhood that is full of love and care as an integral foundation for a better life to always strive to be our best selves. The tradition emerged as a matter of coincidence and started during my first Christmas with my siblings. From my yearlong savings, I bought a present for each of my siblings without my parents’ knowledge and it worked as a wonderful surprise. However, after the gifts had been handed out, it become evidently clear that I was the only one with lesser gifts compared to my siblings. A wave of remorse ensued as they all promised to buy me gifts within the course of the week. However, I suggested that rather than buy the gifts, we should make what I did a yearly ritual. Therefore, for every new brother or sister that would join the family during the course of the year, those of us that had already spent a Christmas would surprise our new sibling(s) with additional presents to the ones that my parents would buy us. Thus, the ritual was born.
As we grew older, we would continually modify the “rite of love” and we would require the new initiates to sing a Christmas carol. We would also modify the carols into funny jingles and everyone including the initiates would burst out laughing when they attempted the modified carols. The presentation of gifts would always be kept as a secret from the family’s newest members. Their participation during wrapping of gifts was limited as they were always assigned hall decoration duties. During the unwrapping of gifts we would specifically record and take pictures of the newest members’ reactions. Everybody celebrated their priceless expression of surprise that was often followed by tears of joy. Last year, all forty-six of us showed up to the Christmas party, eight of us already parents, eighteen of us as graduates, and the rest in college and primary school. It is always nostalgic and fulfilling to see a new family member go through the “rite of love” that leaves them breathless and often in utter disbelief. Last year, we only had one brother that had joined the family during the course of the year, his name is Adam and he is autistic. He was in utter disbelief when he was told that all the presents under the biggest Christmas tree in the hall belonged to him. He stopped and stared at the presents for a good fifteen minutes, then came a shriek of happiness followed by tears of joy. This is the Stevens family, and this is how we celebrate our Christmas!
My Christmas Story from the writer divineviva
The place where the longest Christmas celebration takes place would have to be my country, Philippines. You see, Christmas in the Philippines starts when the “ber” months hit the calendar and ends on the Feast of the Three Kings. As early as September 1st, you would hear Christmas carols being played in the malls, in the jeepneys, on the radio stations, even in the offices and homes. There is this instant shift of mood, from the normal to the festive, come September 1. It’s like magic! This is because Christmas is such a big deal to every Filipino. If you are a visitor, there is no doubt that you would feel that Christmas vibe and spirit everywhere.
Come September, companies are starting to prepare for their Christmas parties and employees are looking forward to their bonuses. People are just so busy buying gifts for everyone. There are “midnight sales” in every mall in the city. Yes, Philippines may be a small country but we sure have the biggest malls in the world. In fact, Philippines can be considered as a land of shopping centers. So, you can just imagine the festive mood all over.
Just like majority of the Filipino families, my family looks forward to the traditional Noche Buena. Noche Buena is a grand feast held after the traditional “Simbang Gabi” during Christmas eve where the family partakes of Filipino specialty dishes such as lechon (roasted suckling pig) and pancit (noodles). Not to be missed on the dining table are the hamon (ham) and queso de bola (a ball of cheese). Exchanging and opening of gifts are done after the Noche Buena. Simbang Gabi is “dawn mass” in literal English translation. It is a nine-day series of masses which begins on December 16 and ends on Christmas eve. The dawn mass starts at the crack of dawn and many Catholic Filipinos would rise up very early and try to complete the nine days in hopes of having a wish granted. During Christmas, my family would make it a point to pick a specific color theme for Christmas and that would be the color of our Christmas attire.
Filipinos who are working overseas try their very best to come home to the Philippines to celebrate Christmas with their own families. This is because the whole theme of Filipino Christmas is family. I remember the time when my husband was working in another Asian country, he was fortunate to come home on the afternoon of Christmas eve to spend it with us. Our daughters were so happy seeing their papa after more than three months of being away from us.
Spending this very important occasion with the family is what makes Christmas so special and the most treasured and looked-forward-to event in the Philippines. Sharing whatever is on the table and sharing moments of togetherness with loved ones are just some of the glimpses of what Christmas is all about in the Philippines. But to my family, Christmas is more than just being together, it is reflecting on and going back to what it really means – and that is God reaching out and reconnecting Himself to us through the birth of Jesus. That is why there is to other way to celebrate Christmas than to first spend it with Jesus by inviting Him into our homes and into hearts and into our lives. After all, He is the celebrant of this occasion. When we talk about Christmas, it MUST be about CHRIST. For without the celebrant, there is no party or celebration. MUST CHRIST has been the theme of our Christmasses for the past years. Its meaning is becoming more and more meaningful as years pass by because as we can see all around the world, Christmas is becoming more and more commercialized. MUST CHRIST is a great reminder for me and family to go back to the basics of Christmas. And I know that I would not trade the theme of our CHRISTmas and the joyful memories tied to it for anything else.
Have a blessed Christmas, Essayshark! I am grateful to be part of this family.
My Jolly Christmas Childhood from the writer CoralineSn
Being a child! What an incredible experience that is. When I think of my childhood, I feel that the most beautiful memories that awake are somehow always related with celebrating Christmas and the joy everyone seems to be feeling then. I remember loving Christmas time mostly because there was always a ceremonial atmosphere in the house, and at the same time a relaxed and casual one, without haste or negative energy. I was cheered by family and friends, the smell of cookies and cinnamon, decorating the house and hearing the fire crackling in the fireplace.
From the beginning of December, I used to feel joy and eagerness only mounting as the days were passing. Where I come from, a couple of weeks before Christmas, we, the children, would start counting the days. I remember thinking: “I have to wake up only so-and-so days more and – it’s Christmas time!” Later, when the church bells would ring on Christmas Eve, I would look at the dark, still night, and I would feel as if angels themselves were singing – and me, just a child, got to be a part of it! The wind that blew was like a magical, Christmas breath coming to greet us all, and all the sounds were transformed into Christmas music.
We used to spend the holidays traditionally, gathering all the family together at the big house in the little village we lived in. For me, this also meant that my grandparents, who lived in a city far away, would come home and spend the holidays with us. Of course, their arrival was always followed by a big number of gifts for me, so the excitement was endless… We would put Christmas songs on the radio and decorate the Christmas tree, placing underneath moss with jasmine, apples, grapes, corn, wheat, bread and salt, and coins. We were fasting the day before, but we sure took care for the whole house to smell like walnuts, vanilla and rum for the Eve. While working or playing around the house, all of us children would sing the well-known Christmas carol:
The month of December
Is very dear to me,
Is coming to thee.
Each of us at home
Makes some plan of their own,
Each of us gets carried
By the magic known.
Jingle, oh bells, jingle
Little stars, silver glitter sprinkle
This night is special for each
Everyone says it’s made of magic.
This December hour is the last
The Christmas tree is sparkling with shine,
Stand next to it and make a wish
On this night divine.
After midnight, we would enjoy homemade sausages cooked in black wine, homemade smoked cheese, and, as we are a meat-loving country, a lot of pork, chicken, steaks and fish – accompanied by tons of salads, naturally. As a desert, my grandma would make traditional Christmas sweet bread and would hide a hazelnut inside it, so whoever found it got a special hippo-shaped homemade cookie.
The next morning, we, the children, would wake up and run to the Christmas tree to see all the gifts we got. I was always wishing to receive snow globes (that I am still collecting!), or an interesting book which I would often read by the time the holidays had ended. Then, as Christmas was reserved for both family and friends, after gathering for a family lunch with turkey and thin dried flatbread we call “mlinci”, we would go to say Merry Christmas to our neighbors, bringing little symbolical gifts to each of them.
With time, my perspective has changed a little, and Christmas became what it really is – a precious time in which the importance of expensive gifts and abundance of food got replaced with the love of my close ones. Even now, although some may look forward to planning Christmas trips, I enjoy spending Christmas in the warmth of my home. Gathering dear people and hanging out with those that I haven’t managed to see during the year as much as I wished is the most beautiful gift I receive for Christmas each year. This year will be the same – I’ll help my mother in preparing traditional meals, and I’ll be especially in charge of their consummation. I’ll enjoy decorating the Christmas tree with my little nephews, and I’m especially happy that I’ll be able to rest, sleep well, enjoy various treats and hang out with my dearest ones, for what we normally have too little time. But for Christmas to be ideal, it has to be white, and that is what I am hoping for this year. If there is snow, I will use the most joyous winter days with my nephews – sliding, sledding, and snowball fighting.
Each Christmas, everything that is temporary and trivial should be left aside and we should dedicate ourselves to family and friends, who are of true value in our lives. Because of all this, I can say with certainty that for me, Christmas is a time of warmth, friendship, and celebration. Gathering and spending time together is the true core and magic of Christmas.
BEST XMASS from the writer Carlgit
Certainly, Christmas is the most celebrated holiday across the world. It marks a time for people to meet their family and friends and have a good time together, and for a moment forget the worries of life. In this way, it is always the dream of every person to try every means possible to make these moments memorable. Things had not been different for me. I had always spent my Christmas holidays amidst my family and friends, sometimes at home and other times at a holiday destination somewhere. However, when I went to college away from home, things turned out differently and I had to spend my Christmas holidays alone, which was very difficult for me. For the four years, I had nothing to look forward to after school closure since my Christmas holidays had become normal days. I would just sit in the house and grab a movie or two and then later join a friend for dinner, or better still spend the better part of the day in church. After completing my education, I decided to have my graduation ceremony at home during the Christmas holiday and this became the most memorable Christmas holiday I have ever had.
I, my three friends and two siblings decided to make Mombasa, Kenya our destination. Since we wanted to have as much fun as possible we decided that we were going to make it a camp where we would do everything by ourselves. After gathering all we needed for the trip, my father drove us to the airport and we took a flight to Mombasa from Nairobi, two days before Christmas. The flight took approximately 45 minutes and within no time we were in a taxicab headed to Nyali beach in Mombasa. With all the excitement, it was easy for us to figure things out and settle down fast. We identified the best place at the beach, paid the required fees and pitched our tents amidst many others. We made the beds and the cooking area and put everything in place to make the place habitable. By the end of all this, we were very tired and decided to spend the rest of the day swimming. Floating on the Indian Ocean, playing in the sand and watching the waves just made everything so epic.
24th December, time to get everything ready for the Christmas Day. We went out shopping for all the things we needed for the day, including foodstuff, candles, and utensils. Later in the day, we went to the Mamba village in Nyali, the biggest crocodile farm in East Africa. Being an animal lover, this was another big moment for me. The friendly tour guides took us through the behavior and life cycle of these fascinating carnivores and also gave us a chance to interact with them. We concluded the day with horseback riding and finally went back to our home at the beach. Evening came and it was time to go to church and witness the birth of Jesus come midnight. The excitement in the atmosphere made everything beautiful as people walked and talked leisurely. In the church, we sang the Carlos, presented gifts and finally went back to our tents after midnight, everybody now more excited that it was already Christmas day. When we got back to the beach, it was already dawn and we were welcomed by music from people who had already woken up and were preparing for the day. Cooking, swimming, dancing and just playing around made our day.
Leaving the beach on the 26th of December was a happy sad moment for me. I had had so much fun that I wished I could just stay one more day but it was impossible. To date, this was my best Christmas holiday, and I would love it repeated every year. Mombasa is a wonderful place to be. You should give it a try too.