Northfield Mount Hermon School
December 31, 2019
Frosty the Snow Globe
“Get out! I hate you both!” I screamed on Christmas night. My sisters ran out of my room.
But hey, let’s start from the beginning.
The fairy lights glisten from the ceiling of the small living room, as the scent of pine cones and gingerbread cookies welcomes the holiday spirits into the house. Sheltered from the snowstorm outside, my mum passes me different sized Christmas tree statues that were once hidden behind the brown cupboard doors, whilst I tiptoe over the dusty fireplace to find them each a snug home for the holidays. My favorite one’s the one made out of glass. It reminds me of the snow globe I got as a present one year — it even has Frosty the Snowman inside. Along the staircase handrail are four red stockings, each with our names engraved on as well as small ‘Christmas-y’ details like snowflakes, gifts, and even Santa. My sisters carefully rearrange the gifts under the tree, admiring the different colors.
This was never my Christmas story.
We never made gingerbread cookies, I’ve never smelled a pine cone, there was no cupboard for decorations, and I’ve never seen snow. The only part that was true was Frosty in a snow globe.
See, instead of getting mountains of presents, wrapped in bright colorful paper, I only remembered getting one thing. My mum never really believed in Christmas, and the moment I found out Santa wasn’t real, she stopped giving me presents — her reasoning was that if I truly believed that Santa wasn’t real, there would be no Santa to give me presents at all. Funny, I know. So the one thing I remembered getting when I was 7 was Frosty the snow globe.
I loved it. So did my little sisters.
Each time I touched the cold glass, I told myself it was as cold as a snowball to make up for our tropical weather back home. Every time I shook it, I imagined that I was right there, next to Frosty, as the white snowflakes covered the ground. Every time I looked at it, I thought about picking out the perfect sticks and carrots to make Frosty a new friend. Since it was one of the only Christmas presents I ever got, and the only one I truly remembered, I stood on a chair and placed Frosty the Snow Globe on top of my piano — out of everyone’s reach. Especially my little sisters’. They only got to watch.
I came back from dinner that Christmas night to shattered glass. Frosty was, gone.
Thinking back to that Christmas, I don’t remember screaming, crying, nor the broken glass. Instead, I remember my sisters’ eyes lighting up every time I shook the snow globe. I remember telling them what a snowball feels like — even though I’ve never seen snow. I remember the laughs and giggles shared when we drew out the friend we would make for Frosty out of broken crayons on the hardwood floor, before pinkie-promising we would build the biggest snowmen ever once we got the chance.
So when I think of being home for the holidays, no matter where I am in the world — in a winter wonderland, or back home in Vietnam (where it never gets below 27 Celsius), I don’t think of the gifts. I don’t think of fairy lights, gingerbread men, nor Christmas decorations. I think of my little sisters. Their giggles, amazement for the little things, and how they broke Frosty.
But hey, snowflakes melt and disappear, snowmen collapse in the winter wind, and winter always turns into Spring. The only thing you can hold onto are the memories.