The Christmas spirit

Roncalli Central High
Port Saunders, Newfoundland

By Natasha H. (Grade 12)

It was Christmas Eve and colder than usual to little Sonya Daize, or Sonny, as they called her. Maybe it was the weather or maybe it was because the heat had been cut off because of unpaid bills. The only heat the Daize family had was from a couple of fireplaces in the house.

You see, Sonny's parents both worked at the paper mill in town but they were laid off six months ago because the mill was closing down. The Daize family had only made money since then by doing odd jobs to keep a little food on the table and other supplies such as soap, shampoo and detergent. It had been hard but, at this time of the year they found it that much harder, knowing that they couldn't buy their little girl even one gift.

In thinking back to last year this time, Sonny could remember the smell of Christmas cookies baking, combined with the smell of the Christmas tree. It was her favourite scent of all. She didn't know why, it just was. She also remembered such an unbelievable warmth throughout the house, warmth from the heaters and a warm feeling she felt every year during the Christmas holidays. I guess you could call it the Christmas spirit.

There was also a tradition the family had enjoyed every year since Sonny was old enough to speak and that was singing Christmas carols for her parents as they listened with such pride and joy - even when she sang totally off-key. The Daize family never went overboard at Christmas but they gave their only daughter everything she wanted and needed and that was all the love, care, attention and support she deserved and, believe me that was a lot. She also got several gifts, not everything she asked for material-wise, but most everything. Sometimes more than her parents could afford.

This year would be different for the Daize family. There wouldn't be any smell of cookies baking or a Christmas tree. Not a wave of heat coming from the heaters, and there wouldn't be any gifts for anyone, but some things would remain the same. That wonderful Christmas spirit they felt every other year would stii be there. Sonny would still sing carols, sometimes off-key and her parents would still appreciate it as they always did. There would still be the same amount of love, care and support which would be especially appreciated this Christmas because it was all they would have, and it was more important than any material gift .

The gift of family and love within the family are what is important, not only on Christmas but everyday, and that is what the Daize family had and that's why their Christmas would still be one full of gifts-the gifts of Christmas spirit, love and family.

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