teh 1337est n00zpaper Circulation: 196,538,512 Issue: 923 | 18th day of Celebrating, Y22
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The Holiday Letters


by parody_ham

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The 1st Day of Celebrating, Year 21

     Dear Kate,

     I hope this letter finds you well. I’ve been okay, I guess. Helping the family to set up the holiday decorations this year has kept me plenty busy. My mom and dad really enjoy putting up lights in the barn and stringing them up through the rafters. It looks nice when it’s done, but boy does it take a lot of work. I’ve spent hours up in the dusty lofts stringing greens and reds up everywhere. Those light-up snowflakes mom loves so much were my next project. I attached them to the barn door where they’ve been blinking merrily.

      It’s funny, really. I’ve never seen a flake of snow on the Island, yet we put up handmade snowflakes every year. I guess it’s from all of those popularized Times stories with frosty windowpanes and gently falling flurries. Neither of my parents have even seen snow, if you can believe it. I’m the only one in the family who has, and that was during college.

     Crystal has been helping out as well. She put up tinsel and lights around her dollhouse to make it look festive and placed a few candles in the front window. She’s been talking more lately, to the family’s delight, about how the guests are coming to a “hall-day ball,” and has even asked if I can be the guest of honour. I said yes, of course. Nobody turns down Princess Crystal. When I told her I would be coming, she gave me the biggest hug. Seeing her this happy makes me feel happy, too. It’s been a few years since I was home for the holidays; I think she really missed me.

     Once I finish putting up the lights, it’ll be time to put up the giant wooden gingerbread Meepits on the front lawn. I think they’re tacky as anything (but don’t tell my dad, he repaints them every year and insists that they’re the crown jewel of the collection). And eventually we’ll set up the tree as well, but that’ll come later in the month. What sorts of holiday decorations have you guys been setting up? It’s weird not spending this month with our Brightvale University friends. I miss you all so much!

     Sending warm wishes from the farm,

     Melody Harvester

     ~X~

     The 6th Day of Celebrating, Year 21

     Hi Melody!

      So great to hear from you! When that messenger Weewoo flew tapped on the door, I practically squealed. The poor thing looked really cold, even with that heavy red coat and matching felt cap. We let it stay by the fireplace and warm up for a bit before it went on its way. Given your research and stuff, I thought of you right away.

     Great to hear about your decorating plans! I bet that barn will look really beautiful. One day I’ll have to visit and see. Our family isn’t much into the decorating scene, but my dads sure love their candles. They’ve been putting them into every window. There’s also a nice wreath on the door from a local craftsman named Donny. He put some refurbished toys around the center, including a really old miniature rocking horse and toy soldier. One of the neighbourhood kids keeps walking by the door and staring at it. It looks like those toys already found a good home once the month has ended.

     Things are busy in Terror Mountain, as they often are during the month of Celebrating. Neopians are lining up to get their daily surprise at the Advent Calendar booth. An even longer line of weirdos is running into the Snowager’s lair to pilfer a trinket or two. (As someone who has lived in relative awe and fear of the Snowager her whole life, I’ve never understood why Neopians choose to head into that cave).

     I miss you all, too. I wish it wasn’t such a far journey to Mystery Island… or to Terror Mountain. I guess that’s what we get for living somewhere remote. At least some of our Brightvale and Meridell friends live near each other still.

     Speaking of, I just got a letter from Holly. She’s been keeping in contact with the Corvus lab. Apparently, this goof from the History department barged into their lab section the other day asking if they knew where his class was. In November, no less. Apparently, that very same guy face-planted on the BVU dining hall table after eating a Mystery Meat Sandwich… which is fair. Nobody knows what’s in those things.

     I’m sending you a snowflake from the mountain—this one won’t melt!

     Warm wishes,

     Kate

     ~X~

     The 12th Day of Celebrating, Year 21

     Hi Kate,

     Thank you so, so much for the snowflake. We taped it up in the window behind our colour-changing lights and it looks beautiful. Every time I see it, I’m reminded of our little dorm room in college. We really did deck that place out, didn’t we? With garlands galore (remember those popcorn garlands? The petpepets sure loved those, oops), a little tree covered in science-y ornaments, and those paper snowflakes that we’d spend hours creating together plastered on the windows. I’m pretty sure the entire campus knew us as the snowflake gals by the end of our undergrad.

     The decorating continues. Dad’s beloved, hand-painted Meepits (still tacky) are covering the front lawn now. We added an old top hat and a stick-on monocle to one of them—Crystal insists that his name is “Sir Pentington.” No idea why.

     The tree has been the last to go and I have to admit, it’s looking nice. My mom likes to add dried fruit ornaments to the branches. You know, the kind that’s covered in cinnamon and cloves? It makes the whole house smell lovely. When we were in Brightvale, there were all kinds of fruits, but nothing that smelled or tasted quite like the fruits we have on Mystery Island.

     It turns out my grandmother’s visiting from the other side of the Island next week. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen her, so that’ll be nice. Was anyone from outside your family coming over for the Day of Giving?

     Sending a little something to warm up your days. I wish I could give it to you in person, but I’m sure that well-dressed Weewoo will do a good job.

     GOOD NIGHT mr coconut,

     Melody

     ~X~

     The 18th Day of Celebrating, Year 21

     GOOD DAY ms. coconut!

     And hello to the coconut necklace that you sent. It’s wonderful, thank you so much! I don’t think I’ll ever take it off.

      It’s hard to imagine the warmth of Mystery Island when it’s down below zero here, but when I see Neopians carolling together in the lantern-lit streets, holding hands with their neighbours with bright, beaming smiles, I can see a different kind of warmth. This togetherness we share with our community is a big part of the Mountain’s culture. Yesterday, during the evening sing-a-long in the town square, an aurora borealis shot through the starry skies. I wish you could have seen it! Vivid greens wisped around the mountains like fae spirits, conjoined by a flash of crimson and purple. We stopped what we were doing. Minutes turned to hours as we stared in amazement at the natural splendour. Even the village children ceased their snowball fights and Snow War games to stand in a chorus of “oohs” and “ahhs.”

     The Day of Giving will be upon us shortly. At least for this year it’ll just be the three of us.

      It’s weird, really. This is the first time in four years that I haven’t spent it with you and the crew. But I’m finding joy through the familiarity of the town’s winter festival. It’s not the same as our fond memories spent in the dorm with our friends singing, dancing, eating hand-made candies that they sold in the market square, and enjoying endless mugs of spiced apple cider, but I’m finding that it’s good in its own way. One day, I want to show this to you, too. I think you’d love the Mountain… but dress warmly.

     Miss you, my friend.

     With the light of an aurora borealis,

     Kate

     ~X~

     The 24th Day of Celebrating, Year 21

     Hi Kate,

     Happy (almost) Day of Giving! By the time this reaches you it’ll probably be almost New Year’s, but that’s okay. I’m just glad we can send each other letters.

     Grandma has been spending the last few days over at the farm, which is really nice. She’s been showing my sister and I how to make little ornaments out of coconut leaves—I’ll send one of them for you and your family to enjoy. The five of us walked to the beach and collected some shells together in the warm, holiday sun. There’s a whole bunch of festively decorated palm trees in town and a winter craft market in the plaza. Vendors and artists galore are selling their wares, painting family portraits, and a local dancer is giving us an incredible show of strength and beauty. We may not have snowball fights, but the local kids sure do love making sandmen.

     Tonight, we’ll be sharing a big roast ham as we sit around the table sharing jokes and stories. I can’t help but think of that time when Frankie came in wearing a homemade snowbeast suit (made of toilet paper and rolls) in an attempt to surprise us. But I guess he didn’t plan for that sudden snow squall to hit while he was crossing campus. I still remember seeing those big wads of toilet paper flopping on the dorm room floor as he held out his roll-covered fingers and let out a mewing “roar.”

     I hope your winter is filled with great memories. If you hear from the rest of the BVU crew, let me know! Maybe in a year or two we’ll be able to afford a trip together. That would be nice.

     Feel free to write to me whenever. I love your cards!

     Joyfully yours,

     Melody

      The End.

 
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