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Beneath the frost and snow As I delve into the storm of whirling thoughts and spiralling memories, one, in particular, impresses itself deeply in my mind. A memory that creates a lifelong imprint that could survive any storm of the imagination. My memory is comforting and heart warming, each image, smell and sound comes alive as I trace it delicately in my head and as I depict those colourful events each segment of my life unravels. It was Christmas Eve and through the eyes of a six-year-old child, Christmas was a time for enchanted fairy tales to finally come true! My vivid memory of Christmas Eve is so poignant to me because although the spiky icicles draped from the glazed trees my heart blazed with a smouldering fire that could never be extinguished. Let me paint the rosy tinted and icy shaded memory, that bursted at the seams with love. The gentle flakes of snow began to float elegantly on my nose, sending chilling sensations down my entire body. The glittery surroundings of the snow-white hill looked like a magical fairy had sprinkled shimmering fairy dust all over the area casting a glowing and crystallised spell, enchanting not only the place but are joyous hearts. I gazed at this sight in wonder and awe until gradually Jack Frost’s icy fingers slipped up my chilly throat and gripped around my frozen face. I had finally succumbed to his frosted glare. Cheery giggling and cackles rang aloud in the snug and cosy room as the roaring fire echoed the fiery love in our hearts. Perfumes of syrupy sweets and scented candles diffused among the room. Family, relatives and friends lay scattered about the snug scene each waiting and anticipating an imaginative arrival of something pristine or even just the sheer delight on our sweet and adorable faces. ‘As the stockings were placed by the chimney with care’, a loud burst of song performed by a gathering of Christmas carollers filled the cinnamon scented air with a melodious haze. Loud bursts of appreciation erupted almost immediately from my grandmother Maria, as their operatic voices filtered through the warm air. Choruses of harmonious Yuletide tunes added to the captivated atmosphere. Their faces reflecting in the beaming coloured lights on the tree. Deep and vibrant tints of scarlet and crimson, gold and emerald radiated from the small lights and an array of colour glowed through the entire house. I thought such a setting could only have been visible by a fantasy princess in a dream. I recall visualizing the sacred angel that stood proudly on top of the tree soaring through the air, with its miraculous halo glowing, touching each one of us and providing such a jubilant night. Pockets of chatter began to circle around the sparkling Christmas tree. The twinkling tinsel and dazzling lights were like the candles that were so easily seen burning in the sky on a frosty night like this. The stars, shimmering and glinting in the velvety blue ocean of sky, brightened up the entire sky as the sun slept,

resting for the thrilling events of the following day. Each gift that lay wrapped ceremoniously in rich gold paper was emblazoned with a delicate, red ribbon and a unique handwritten gift tag- this was tradition in our family. Surrounding the mountain of gifts were eager faces that examined in depth detail of what they believed the contents of the boxes held, I myself included! My name was written gracefully on five of the superb boxes and as I gaped intently at each magnificent letter of my name, my heart began to pound rapidly, the excitement riveting through my body. What in fact lay waiting beneath the perfect paper? What did I hold in my hands at that very moment? All these questions whipped around my head like a gush of wind, as the gentle breeze outside began to hasten as the darkness overpowered all light, giving the task of lighting the sky to the blinking stars. As silvery and gold fragments of paper poured from the booming crackers, miniature treats bounced out. I call to mind tugging at one of those amusing crackers with my aunt Mina. Mina was a woman of forty, but her character acted beyond her years. Mina was very lenient at times but often on the contrary, she could also be the strictest woman that ever lived. Dressed in a flower print outfit that was so robust I could have actually have bent down and touched those gruesome flowers! To this very day I can remember the exact details of how her face looked- acid pink lipstick that oozed from her plump lips and those dark bearing eyes that dug deep into your soul. I began to heave forcefully at the cracker, determined, to win the contents that it contained. Previously, in the years before, I had never won any item and as it was Christmas, I believed, many of my hopes and aspirations would come true! After several seconds of willpower and strength I blasted the cracker from beneath her wrinkly fingers. Her facial expression showed her utmost frustration however nothing was going to spoil my day. I had won! The magic continued long into the night and in the relaxed and unwound mood, laughing continuously flowed from a smiling waterfall. As the clock struck nine o’ clock our spirited toes tapped on the stairs as we rushed up to bed to await the arrival of the plump man in the scarlet ensemble-Santa Claus. The sentiment of thrill and exhilaration never failed to leave my heart. The affection that I received that Christmas will always be present in my life as I am fully aware of the value I am worth in the lives of all my family. The adoration I felt for others will never depart from my mind as during that Christmas I became completely aware of the sincerity to love. As I ponder the events, each smell, sound, action and thought come alive in my being that demonstrate that it was no ordinary Christmas. The memory that is both unforgettable and that will always be etched on my mind, illustrates the value of love and the capacity to love. As years pass by, as tinted leaves fall to the ground, my memory will never fail to see those few significant moments in time that will accompany

me through life’s journey, during the countless trials and each time I stumble on a stone. During that Christmas that offered so many precious memories, to my own knowledge I experienced not only the essence of love in my heart, but to perform the role of loving. The memory I prize is not just a typical Christmas with presents, my recollection is mystical with hidden meanings that will always be apart of who I am forever. Amid the snow, beneath the frost, lies a heart that will remember forever!


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