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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 121 > Short Stories > The Christmas Spirit

The Christmas Spirit

by drhull

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la. 'Tis the season to be jolly, FA la la la la, la la la la."

     The songs of my family rung threw the halls as we decorated our Christmas tree together. There were five of us: AlannaDarknight, my Split Uni; Flawkers, my Rainbow Gelert; Ariaadnee, my Darigan Grarrl; Terkiri my Skunk Scorchio; and, of course, myself, Lyss, or drhull.

     "Troll the ancient Yuletide carol, FA la la la la, la la la la. See the blazing Yule before us, FA la la la la, la la la. Strike the harp and join the chorus, FA la la la la, la la la la."

     We were truly the picture of family at Christmas time. Alanna warmly embraced her cousin, Terkiri, and Ariaa and Flawkers sat together, staring up at the Christmas tree with awe as the sung.

     "Follow me in merry measure, FA la la la la, la la la la," I sung in a high, off key pitch. Yet our voices blending, creating the perfect sound: the sound of family, a family that was together.

     "While I tell of Yuletide treasure, FA la la la la, la la la la. Fast away the old passes, FA la la la la, la la la la. Hail the new, ye lads and lasses, FA la la la la, la la la la. Sing we joyous all together, FA la la la la, la la la la. Heedless of wind and weather, FA la la la la, la la la la."

     "Huzzah!" Alanna said. "Shall we sing another?"

     Flawkers shook his head, and Terkiri nodded in agreement with him. "How about a story then?" I asked them all.

     There was a mad stampede for the rug near fireplace, and as I sat down my pets surrounded me in all their warmth and fuzziness. Alanna rested her head on my shoulder, Flawkers stretched himself across my lap, and Ariaadnee and Terkiri cuddled up on either side.

     "Once there was an Aisha. A pretty one painted Maraquan, with a very rich owner, as you'd expect. They lived in a mammoth Neohome in Faerieland. Rera the Aisha, even had a huge lake to swim in.

     She never really knew what Christmas was, though. Rera saw the all the other pets singing carols with their families, and decorating trees, and exchanging gifts.

     So, the Maraquan Aisha decided to ask her owner. He said it was a waste of time and Neopoints. It wasn't that he celebrated some other holiday; it was just because he didn't care.

     Rera ran away. She wanted answers to what all the fuss was about…"

***

"Help! Someone, please help me!" A Maraquan Aisha dragged herself through the dirty streets, pulling her tail behind her. Passerby would have seen that even this was taking a lot of effort, but nobody was around.

     It was a dark, snowy Christmas Eve. The whole city was blanketed in white powder. Not to mention most of it was asleep, awaiting great joy to find many presents piled under the trees. Rera didn't know that of course; all she really wanted now was a warm bed and something to eat.

     Three hours. Three long, gruesome hours of slithering sluggishly through alleyways and roads, since she had ran from her owner's house with just a loaf of bread and a bottle of Neocola. It had then since been devoured.

     She had knocked on every door she could find, but no one answered. It was late in the night, and the few that were out regarded her weird shape in the distance as one of a monster; no one approached her for fear she might not be very friendly.

     Finally, Rera could go no further, yet she knew she needed shelter. Noticing what looked like a young Neopet's igloo, she threw herself inside, and collapsed, exhausted. Curling up in the corner, she slept.

     Rera was awoken by the joyous shrieks of children. Young Neopets frolicked in the snow, building forts of the powder and having snowball fights. Rubbing sleep out of her thick eyelids (designed for an ocean creature), she emerged from her igloo.

     It was most definitely a shock to the little Neopets. Seeing the form of a Maraquan Aisha (they didn't know what it was, of course) just materialize in front of them sent them all screaming up a racket.

     Shutters flew open, and those who had slept later then others yelled at the noise. Owners peered out from doorways, and seeing the chaos most of them ran out to see what it was all about.

     Rera had taken this time to slink away from the scene. Looking back at the commotion as she walked (well, sort of dragging herself too), she bumped into a lean, wiry form.

     "Ahh!" Rera, startled, shrieked. "W-who are you?"

     The girl whom she had stumbled into smiled. "I'm Opaline. And what would a pretty thing like you be doing out in the snow on Christmas?"

     Rera looked down, playing with the snow with her fin. "I-I ran away, b-because my owner w-wouldn't let me have Christmas." With that, she burst into tears. "I don't even know what it is!"

     Opaline knelt next to the sobbing pet, trying to comfort her. "How about you come with me and I show you what Christmas is really about?"

     That instantly perked the pet up. "Yes, of course!"

     The Aisha followed Opaline to a Neohome in Neopia Central, where she was provided with a steaming mug of hot coco and the songs of her new siblings.

     One of the pets, Lappa, the quiet one, who was a Faerie Ixi, sat down by her as the rest of her brother and sister sang carols with their owner.

     "You know, Opal's really poor, but we manage to have a good Christmas every year anyway," Lappa told her quietly, as always.

     "How'd she afford to paint you, then?" was the equally quiet reply.

     "She got me from the Pound. And she didn't get me for my color, but for my heart. Opal loved the Neopet I was, even without being painted some silly color. And when she first adopted me, I didn't know what Christmas was, either.

     I thought it was all about getting presents and playing with new toys. But it's not. Christmas is more then that, and the word I think describes it the most is this." She nodded towards her brother and sister and owner. "Family."

     "Whatever you do at Christmas, it should be done with family. It needs to be done with family. Life is all about family, those you care about, who you love with all your heart. It's not about gift giving and caroling or drinking hot chocolate or eating a big dinner, it's about doing it all together. With the people you love by your side, nothing can go wrong."

     For a moment there was silence. Rera stared at her mug of dark, rich chocolate, thinking. "No wonder I've never had Christmas before," the Aisha said after a long while. "It wouldn't have been possible. I had an owner, someone who took care of me, and that was all."

     Lappa hugged her new sister. Grinning, she said, "Now you have, and that's something that'll last forever."

     Opal, her pets Thantos and Terkia (twin Cybunnies), walked over.

     "Want us to tell you want Christmas means to us?" Thantos asked.

     Rera smiled, took a sip of her drink, and replied simply, "I already know."

***

"Okay, so they live happily ever after, and it's a corny ending but…" I trailed off, looking at my pets, every one sleeping.

     "So much for goodnights," I mumble.

     And I couldn't help but falling asleep myself.

The End

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