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Wish upon the Christmas star

Hope and a dream

By JBazPublished 6 months ago Updated 6 months ago 6 min read
Top Story - December 2023
35
 Wish upon the Christmas star
Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

Frozen crystals magically grow upon the windowpane, spreading against a blanket of darkness. Outside fluffy white flakes swirl aimlessly about, riding on the night wind like abandoned wishes and forgotten childhood dreams.

This year his dream would find its way; his wish would come true.

The young boy lay curled like a lazy cat, wrapped in a blanket upon the couch. Tightly hugging his knees, he cast glances between the window and the fireplace. Even though the flames radiated warmth throughout the home he still shivers. Not from the cold but from anticipation. For twelve long months he waited for this night, to redeem himself. After last years failed attempt, he felt this was his last chance to make it right. On this night dreams and wishes came true, or so he was told.

Glancing at the clock, it reads 12:15 am. This will be a long night, it always is. Last year he fell asleep and as far as he was concerned, he missed seeing him because of that. Not this year, this year he would stay awake, he would see him, he had to. This dream, like many things, was starting to fade, his belief was slowly vanishing like the innocence of his youth.

The only sound is the slow crackling of the fire as the flames lazily caress the logs, he loves that sound and smell. The smoky scent reminds him of family camping trips, smores, stories and laughter. While flickering flames cast shadows upon the walls, he watches tiny sparks pop and rain down like the winter snows outside. A warming glow reflects off the ornaments and tinsel which hang perfectly on the Christmas tree.

He thinks hard, did he do all he could? He wrote his letter to Santa early this year and then sent a follow up one as well. All he wants this year is to see ‘Him.’

His tiny hands grasp the picture frame. He loves this photo, it’s his favorite. The image makes him smile and cry at the same time.. His mom said he was six years old when it was taken, that was half his lifetime ago.

Even though it was so long ago he feels he still remembers being there.

He smiles once more as he gazes upon the image of him sitting on his lap, laughing, looking up at the big man. He can remember feeling safe, that was the only way he could describe it, happy and safe. His mother finally packed it away, but he found it and set it on the mantle with the other pictures.

1:47 a.m.

He wants to watch television or play on the iPad to help him stay awake but worries about the noise.

He remembered his mothers look when he told her he was going to stay up again.

After all, this was the season of making wishes come true. Thinking back to last year when he fell asleep, he cried upon waking, knowing he missed his chance to see him. His mom held him as she told him ‘Not to worry, he was there, and he saw you.’

3:54a.m.

Did he nod off? No, he is sure he didn’t. He looks at all the gifts under the tree, so many yet there is only one gift he craves.

Soon he will tell his friends that he really did see him. They listened with interest the first year he told them he was going to stay awake and see his wish come true, but when it didn’t happen that year, nor last year, they told him it will never happen. His best friend even told him that his parents said it is not possible, no matter how hard he wished.

He refused to believe them.

4:43 a.m.

The little boy’s eyes felt they had little grains of sand in them, and the muscles of his eye lids were giving in. He started closing one eye at a time, rotating them back and forth. resting one then the other. Unfortunately, when one eye closed the other wanted to close as well. He shook his head, which only made him dizzy.

Clutching the picture closer to his chest, staring at the tree, he makes a wish upon the Christmas star.

By Addy Mae on Unsplash

He thought of adding a couple of logs on the fire, it was starting to get low, he should also replace Santa’s milk and cookies that he finished off a while ago. As far as he was concerned the carrots for the reindeer were safe. The short bread cookies were good though; his mom made the best. Seriously, he did Santa a favor. Warm milk could play havoc with your stomach. The last place you would want to be is in a sleigh, high in the air with sour milk churning in your belly. Still, to be safe he would refill the glass and place two cookies back on the plate, soon.

5:01 a.m.

His mind wandered back to the Christmas pageant, or rather the ‘Under the sea-sonal celebration’ as the school no longer says Christmas. He was the lead lobster and sang a solo. He knew his dad was proud of him, they say he is just like his father.

5:34 a.m.

He wanted to move, but was too afraid, he didn’t want to risk it. Why was this so important to him, he could no longer remember. Just as his eyes closed and his head nodded forward, he remembered ‘why.’ He was forgetting, it is hard to keep believing. The picture was his only memory now, and he didn’t want to forget, he didn’t ever want to forget. It had to happen. He sent the letter, he said his prayers, he was good all year.

5:55 a.m.

When the time comes, what would he say, what would he do? He never thought that far, he may only have minutes or seconds, it didn’t matter what he did or didn’t do. He knew in his heart that when it happened, he would know, seeing was enough. A hug would be great too, a hug would be enough.

6:10 a.m.

Outside light was creeping in, dawns early glow began to brighten the morning sky. He felt his heart ache; his body drain of all energy. There would be no miracle, there would be no visit. He would not see him ever again; he knew this now. The presents lay under the tree waiting to be opened, he could care less. The present he wanted didn’t come. He felt his eyes starting to sting, his throat tightens as he looks at the picture one last time. It was time to let go, he would let his mother put the picture away forever. Pushing the blankets off he stretched his tired legs. He would go to bed, pretend to sleep, and wait to be woken.

He won’t say anything to anybody about tonight.

6:12 a.m.

It was then he heard it, as silent as a whisper in the dark, as quiet as a thought. The room began to glow. Slowly he turns around and watches a silhouette of a million tiny stars form by the fire. Never fully solid but as real as the tree he stood by. Soon the shape shimmers to life. The smile, he knew that smile. The giant of a man knelt on one knee, opening his arms wide. Like a shot he flew into those arms and felt the loving embrace he prayed for. He was enveloped in a warmth that he knew would stay with him forever, and then, just like that, he felt him fade away. When his eyes open once more, he is alone.

His wish came true. It was time to celebrate Christmas.

Bouncing towards the fireplace, he looks once more at the picture of him sitting on his father’s lap, before placing it back on the mantle. With a smile he whispers, “See you next year dad.”

Thank you and merry Christmas.

Jason

LoveHoliday
35

About the Creator

JBaz

I have enjoyed writing for most of my life, never professionally.

I wish to now share my stories with others, lets see where it goes.

Born and raised on the Canadian Prairies, I currently reside on the West Coast. I call both places home.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

Add your insights

Comments (21)

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  • Test4 months ago

    Amazing. I loved it.Fabulous work! Keep it up—congratulations!

  • L.C. Schäfer4 months ago

    Hot damn, right in the feels!

  • ROCK 5 months ago

    What a sweet, tender tale; I loved the special way you allowed this piece to unravel. Merry Christmas!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)5 months ago

    Jason... got chills at that ending line "see you next year dad." That was such a beautifully written story and that ending took my breath away! Way to show off your incredible talent for writing!! Congrats on Top Story!! 💚

  • Babs Iverson6 months ago

    Brilliantly written!!! Love it!!!❤️❤️💕 Congratulations on Top Story!!!

  • Kageno Hoshino6 months ago

    This is a beautiful story.

  • Gerald Holmes6 months ago

    This is so beautifully done, Jason. I love a story that brings emotion to my eyes and you did that so well. Congrats on a great Top Story.

  • Johan. facts6 months ago

    Great Article!!! Regards from https://erpsoftwareuae.com/

  • k eleanor6 months ago

    It was a heartwarming story. I don't know who is cutting onions. I'm going to sob for a while, so please excuse me. 😭😭😭 beautifully written.

  • Tiffany Gordon 6 months ago

    gorgeous writing Jason! What a Beautiful story!!

  • Cathy holmes6 months ago

    This is such a heartwarming tale. Congrats on the TS.

  • Oneg In The Arctic6 months ago

    This was such a wonderful story, great job :) I really enjoyed it

  • Dana Crandell6 months ago

    A wonderful Christmas story, Jason! So glad to see it made Top Story!

  • Kristen Balyeat6 months ago

    Your writing gets me every time. I can’t stop the tears with this one! What a beautiful story- heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time. Fantastic work, Jason! 💫💞

  • Judey Kalchik 6 months ago

    Ah! There it is.

  • Test6 months ago

    So glad to see this here! Brilliant -Congratulations!

  • Why would you do this to me? 😭😭😭😭😭 "He felt his eyes starting to sting, his throat tightens". This was how I felt when I read the ending. I even had goosebumps and had to take slow deep breaths to calm myself down. Gosh. That just made me so emotional. I was caught off guard. I was so convinced it was santa yet I kept thinking why was that photo so important to him. You wrote this so well. I loved your story so much. Now if you don't mind, please excuse me while I go sit in a corner and cry my eyes out 😭😭😭😭😭

  • Test6 months ago

    JBaz This is just stunning. So much beautiful imagery. I have tears. 🤍

  • Hannah Moore6 months ago

    Oh dear. I just wrote my hallmark prompt story, and I've got to tell you, at Christmas I throw cynicism aside along with good taste, and I felt dirty writing it. This made me feel clean again and I don't mind telling you I'm all teared up.

  • Shirley Belk6 months ago

    "riding on the night wind like abandoned wishes and forgotten childhood dreams" loved it.....grabbed me and then.....the end....beautiful job!

  • Judey Kalchik 6 months ago

    I’m glad I heart your stories when I start them. I had to get the tears out of my eyes to leave a comment.

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