Frozen Memories

“They better have gold tinsel here,” mom growled as she turned the car into the parking lot. I said nothing. This morning she had declared that was must have gold tinsel for tonight’s party. This was our third stop.

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“Wait here,” she ordered and jumped out of the car. I was already so crowded with groceries, I couldn’t have followed if I’d wanted to. The previous store had tinsel of every color, except gold.

“We’re terribly sorry, Ma’am. But I’m afraid that is a popular color. We do have antique bronze.” But mom was stuck on gold. She did this every year. Fixating on one that that we must have or else Snowflake day would be ruined. Last year, she’d decided just before the party that she needed whole nutmeg to finish off the pecan pie.

Dad and I had to travel across town to find the one grocery store that was still open. They only had ground nutmeg. When we’d returned empty handed it was only the guests’ arrival that stopped her tirade.

The car door slammed as mom returned. Empty-handed. I watched the falling snow turned the streets to ice. We passed houses and business awash in smears of red and swollen inflatable animals. I wished the day was over. We carried the groceries in and found Aunt Emma had arrived to help prepare.

“Violet, go help your father with the decorations,” Mom ordered glaring at my aunt. I was all to grateful. Mom hated dad’s sister. Soon they would be shouting at each other.

Dad was hiding in the den downstairs. He looked up guiltily as I came in. “I didn’t hear you return.” Then he looked at me, eyes flicking upstairs.

“No tinsel,” I answered. “Mom wants us to decorate.” He finished his drink in one swallow and stood up with a heavy sigh.

“Don’t know why, she’ll just say it’s all wrong and make us redo it,” he muttered.

Dad’s prediction was true. We spent the afternoon moving the buffet table from one side of the room to the other, hanging and rehanging garlands, stringing lights, and moving chairs. Every time we thought we had finished, mom would emerge from the kitchen with new orders.

“Why aren’t you dressed yet?!” She cried in a panic after having us exchange the tablecloth for the third time. She grabbed the tablecloth from me and shooed me to my room. I fled.

“Violet!?” I heard mom’s call down the hall. “Come and say hello to Grandma Anne.”

I closed my book and left my room, with a sigh. I’d hoped I would escape notice all night. It had been only a half hour. Downstairs, I saw chaos was in full swing. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and strangers all crowded in the living room. Plates of half-eaten food and empty drinks littered any surfaces not filled currently in use. The Snowflake Music playing didn’t manage to drown out the room’s forced joviality.

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After we ate, it was time to open presents. Tradition was, every child under 18 would get one present from a random relative. Which adult had which child was secret, but I was certain I knew what I was getting. I’d gotten socks for the past three years straight.

“Can’t I just request money? Then I could buy something I wanted.”
“Where’s the snowflake spirit in that?” Mom chided, “Plus socks are useful.” I resigned myself to 6 more years of socks before I was 18 and wouldn’t be subject to the gift receiving anymore.

I spent the second half the party picking up plates and cups. Dad had disappeared with the guys, although I could hear drunken laughter coming from the den. Mom was holding court in the living room, complaining about the lack of gold tinsel. She was fishing for compliments. The ladies were happy to oblige telling her our house was “just lovely” and “perfect for the season.”

I love staying up late. On Snowflake day, I wished I didn’t have to wait until the last guests staggered out the door before I could go to my room.


“And that make it the best Snowflake Day ever,” Dad concluded and closed the book with an audible snap. I lay in front of the fire with my eyes closed. It was my favorite story about misfit children finding the wonderment of the season.

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“Oh – the turkey!” Mom said. I heard her jump up and run off.

Dad ambled into the kitchen after her. “Is it done?”

“I think so.” They conversed for several moments before I heard them confirm that yes, it was ready.

I jumped up and ran to set the table with our snowflake dishes as they brought out the meal. The house smelled like cinnamon and roasting turkey. We were famished.

Dad cooked all our favorite dishes to go with mom’s family turkey recipe. Green beans with pine nuts for me, rosemary mashed potatoes for mom, and Yorkshire pudding for himself. I’d always thought Yorkshire pudding was…well pudding. But it’snot. It’s bread and delicious.

After dinner we refilled our mugs of cocoa an headed back to the tree. I pulled out the stack of gifts and piled them in front of each of us. We took turns opening our gifts. I got dad a new kitchen apron and just for fun a funny chef’s hat. This past year dad had started cooking more and more since mom worked late now.

He tried the hat on immediately after opening it. It looked so ridiculous it was several moments before we could stop laughing. I got mom some lavender bubble bath and a microwavable heading pad.

“Oh honey,” mom said with a big smile as she opened my gift.

“The guy at the store said you can buy some essential oils for aroma therapy.”

“Your turn, Laurie.” Dad grinned as he handed me my last gift from them.

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I tore open the wrapping paper wondering what it would be, it was hard like a book but too wide.

“Oh!” I gasped. It was a hard cover notebook and a packet of pens.

“For your stories,” Dad explained as I opened the notebook. Each page was like an empty promise. A story to be told.

“And this is for inspiration,” Mom said handing over her gift. My own copy of a The Best Snowflake Day. Hardcover and beautifully illustrated.

“Oh, thank you both!” I threw my arms around them both. “It’s perfect.”

Later that night, we drove around town looking at the lights and decorations of all the neighbors. I stared at the window, nose pressed to the glass as the glittering lights and festive lawns passed by. This was my favorite time of year.


Laurie gave Violet a big hug, holding her close. Her suitcase lay on the sidewalk next to the car, bulging with gifts.

“I’m gonna miss you,” Laurie said. “I wish you were coming too.”

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“You know how I feel about Snowflake day,” Violet shrugged. “Don’t worry, when you get back from your parents we’ll have a big celebration for New Years. I’m happy to let this holiday slide into oblivion. It’s been nothing but bad memories.”

Laurie thought about the small gift wrapped in her suitcase, she should give it to Violet now. No need to drag it all the way home and back, but… She gave her girlfriend a kiss and then picked up the suitcase.

“I’ll be back in five day,”

“Text me when you get there.”

“I will.”

Violet got back in the car and Laurie watched her disappear. Violet had explained how her mom went crazy every year for Snowflake day, but to not celebrate it at all. That seemed tragic somehow. If only she would come. Laurie wanted to share her family’s Snowflake Day with Violet.  If she’d just give it chance, perhaps she’d learn to love the holiday too.


Violet watched Laurie disappeared into the distance and breathed a sigh of relief. She was certain Laurie was going to give her a present or wish her a seasons greetings or something. As much as she loved Laurie, she had an allergic reaction to Snowflake day. Just the thought of it made Violet want to scream. Too many traumatic memories. As good as Laurie’s intentions were, she just wanted to barf when she saw a wrapped gift.

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Rather than suffer through a Snowflake Day she didn’t have to, Violet was going to go home, curl up in front of the fire and read a book. It started to snow. Violet swore, giant picturesque flakes obscured the road in front of her. Turning it to ice. She could hardly see. People always went on about how perfect snow was on Snowflake day. Violet failed to see how dangerous road contentions were a good thing.


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It isn’t about holding onto the past. It’s about make new memories.

 

 

 


Credits & Special thanks to: SimCookies Snow Mod

13 comments

  1. Oh, I loved how this all tied together! Especially using the two different Sims games to do the past and the present in the pictures — that was such a nice touch. When we got to them as adults, I was really excited to see them together. The thought of letting go of the past to make your own new traditions with the one you love (though hopefully keeping the hospital out of it in the future!), is such a wonderful message!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks – I didn’t realize my message until I was almost done. I knew Violet needed to let go of her past, but since Laurie had such happy memories, I didn’t realize till the end that she was just as locked on the past and it wasn’t healthy.

      They will be making new memories each year. (And next year will be twice as good if it’s not in the hospital – that’s a tradition you don’t want to keep). 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve seen this with my sister and her husband — we had great holidays growing up, and she had trouble letting him in, to make new traditions of their own. The first few years she wanted carbon copies of ours! Now they have a blending, and it’s so much better!

        I love how you handled it!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m still Christmasing with my folks, but I could so see myself falling into this trap. I was saddened this year when I first learned we weren’t going to midnight mass like we always do.

          I’m going to have to be careful in the future. Each holiday can be it’s own thing.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this! It was so creative to use the two different sims games to show past and present, and I loved the stark contrast between the families’ Christmases! And the end tied it all together wonderfully. Awesome job, as always! (Also, loved the text messages! Okay I’m done saying things I loved 😛 I loved it all, really XD)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aww, I loved it! I could actually really related to both characters — as a child, my Christmas experience was very much like Laurie’s, but as I got older, more “bad memories” became associated with it and now I’m very much like Violet (and don’t even observe… I loved that line “allergic reaction to Snowflake Day”… hahaha, next time someone calls me a “Scrooge” or a “Grinch” maybe I’ll just tell them I have an allergy. ^_~ And hey, I spent my holiday reading too! We think too much alike, me and that Violet…) But the ending was so sweet! Good health is the greatest gift of all, so glad Violet is okay and just gets to spend the day with Laurie, something both of them can enjoy equally. ❤

    And only because this is Raerei's blog and I know she won't stone me for it, I'm actually slightly reminded of the holiday episode from the season of MLP that just finished airing, where AJ and Pinkie Pie's family's had to learn to blend their holiday traditions and create new traditions together. That was a fun one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m solidly a Laurie, and Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, but it’s just so sad to see people stressing out. And so many people do that and I wanted to address that as well. And yes, good health is the best thing to celebrate.

      Ahahaha. Yes, blending to make new traditions is definitely a must. I’ll have to check out the episode! In this case, Laurie had to change her holiday expectations and Violet decided to celebrate. And neither one minded since they were both so grateful.

      Like

  4. This was such a great story set up. Of having two different sims with there own stories and then them together. I may have to take this layout from you 😉 but wonderful story. I loved the message. I especially loved this line, “Each page was like an empty promise. A story to be told.” I love that. Good Job!

    Like

    • Ah! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun and inspiration both personal and from others for this story. I wanted to make sure to cover all the different feeling this holiday brings.

      Liked by 1 person

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