© 2005 Angela Flemming
Holly was always a happy girl, but she was happiest at Christmas. She loved the Christmas tree and the lights and the presents. She loved the snow if there was any snow. She thought snowflakes were as beautiful as stars. She always looked forward to Christmas. She also believed in Santa Claus, but she thought he lived in Heaven instead of in Antarctica or wherever people say he lives. She thought his elves were angels. I think so too.
At school the teachers got mad at her and the kids made fun of her because she drew candy canes and presents and holly and loads of snowflakes in her study books and in her notebooks. But she was good because she still learnt all her lessons. In fact she was the smartest girl in her class.
Her best friend didn't make fun of her, of course. But her best friend was a year older and so she was in a different grade. But Holly and her best friend Rosie played when it was time to play, and they always walked home together.
One Spring day they were walking home, and Holly looked kind of sad. She wasn't usually sad. "Why are you sad?" her best friend asked.
Holly pointed to the trees. They looked very cloudy and beautiful with pale pink blossoms. "I wish snowflakes grew on those trees", she sighed.
"Don't be silly! Snowflakes don't grow on trees."
"I know! They grow on clouds, and in Winter the clouds scatter them on Earth," said Holly. Then she added: "I wish it were Christmas."
Rosie giggled. "Christmas would be very boring if it were Christmas all the time," she said.
"No, it wouldn't", Holly replied sadly.
Rosie was a bit worried. Why couldn't Holly be HAPPY on a beautiful Spring day, with birdies singing and fluffy white clouds floating in the sky and beautiful flowers blanketing the trees? But she said nothing else about it. Instead she asked: "Wanna come to my house for dinner?"
"Yes!" Holly cried excitedly, "if Mummy lets me." Rosie's house was a very fun place because Rosie's parents were rich; so they had a staircase, and antique furniture, and lots of nice books, and pretty things, and lovely Christmas decorations stored in the closet. She ran towards her house to ask Mummy. Rosie waited outside, and she felt happy because Holly had smiled.
Mummy said Holly could go. So Holly had a yummy dinner with her friend Rosie and then they played. When they were tired of playing, they went inside to read books and draw pictures.
Rosie drew a Faerie with beautiful butterfly wings. Holly drew a Snowflake. But it looked like just a PIECE of a snowflake and in fact Rosie didn't even know it WAS a snowflake. "What's that?" she asked.
"Wait. I'm going to cut it out."
By and by she did cut it out, and on the table lay a beautiful, lacy snowflake. Rosie picked it up. "That's beautiful, Holly," she said. "How did you make it?"
But Holly only remarked dreamily, "I wonder if you can wish upon a snowflake..."
"You can't even wish upon a STAR."
"Not if you think like that! You have to love the stars, and know that inside every one there is a beautiful angel."
And suddenly she wished upon her snowflake. It began to sparkle and glow and it was really made of snow. Holly whispered,
"Snowflake, Snowflake, wherever I go,
Please make it Christmas, with lots of snow!"
The snowflake grew bigger and Bigger and BIGGER. Soon it was as big as a rug and Holly jumped on top of it. Rosie didn't even notice because the room got so cold suddenly that she went to fetch her sweater.
The Snowflake began to rise. It flew out of a window, even though the window was closed. And then it flew up into the sky and it flew and flew until it was Night and then it stopped and descended to...some kind of planet, Holly knew.
But what a lovely planet!!! The whole ground as far as she could see was thickly coated with fluffy sparkly snow. All the houses were made of gingerbread. Reindeer grazed in the snow. Pretty old-fashioned street lamps lit the way, and in their golden light danced hundreds of beautiful snowflakes. In every front yard there was a smiling snowman, and bluish green pine trees strung with coloured lights twinkled and flashed. And all the paths leading to all the gingerbread houses were decorated with real poinsettias.
Holly got off the snowflake and began to dance and jump in the snow, kicking it up so that more sparkly snowflakes flew up into the air and danced with her. She was having so much fun. Then she walked up to one of the houses and began to nibble on it. It tasted really yummy and as soon as she had taken a bite out, the hole filled up all by itself. So she didn't ruin anyone's house.
Everybody on the whole planet must have been at home because she didn't see anyone. She was too shy to knock at anyone's door, so she began to walk, to explore. She found a forest and she wandered into it. All the trees were hung with icicles, snowflakes and coloured lights. Maybe Faeries put them there. Holly was so enchanted that she thought she was in Heaven.
Suddenly she saw a blue light, and she ran towards it, because it was very beautiful. When she got closer she saw that the light came from a beautiful Winter Faerie with snowflake covered wings, who was sitting on a rock and wrapping some Christmas presents. "For you," whispered the Faerie sweetly, as soon as she saw Holly.
"For me? But you don't know me," Holly said shyly.
"I do," replied the Faerie, without explaining, and Holly was too shy to ask.
"What is your biggest wish?" asked the Faerie. And without thinking carefully, Holly replied: "I want to be a Christmas Girl."
The Faerie was silent then. When she had finished wrapping all the presents, she told Holly to open them. There was really a heap of them, all for Holly. Holly thought that there were too many presents just for her.
"I wish my best friend were here," she said sadly. "I wish my family were here."
"Just open the presents," commanded the beautiful Faerie.
So Holly did. There were beautiful clothes, and pretty bows and clips for her hair..., and dolls, and plush animals, and picture books, and cookies, and candies, and a beautiful trunk to store all those things in. Holly felt rich and delighted and somehow sad all at once. She wanted to look at her beautiful books, but she wanted to do that at home. "How shall I get home?" she asked the Faerie.
"You can't go home," replied the Faerie. "That’s because you're on the Planet of Christmas, and here it's Christmas all year, and you can play or read all the day, and never go to school, and eat nothing but treats, and have presents every day. But you can go to your home here. There's a beautiful Gingerbread House that was built just for you, and it's fit for a Princess inside. Follow me."
"I don't wanna! I wanna go home! What about my snowflake? Can't I wish upon my snowflake to go home?" Holly cried, feeling so panicky that she forgot her shyness.
"There's only one way you can do that," the Faerie answered. "You must tell me what your favourite gift is. Think before you answer me. Think hard."
The girl looked at each of her beautiful dolls and each of her pretty plushies. She admired her beautiful clothes and books. She thought and thought because she couldn't decide. Then she looked up at the stars in the sky.
"My parents and my friends are my favourite gifts," she said at last.
"If you want to go home, you must forfeit your dolls and books and all the other nice things."
"I don't care. It's just stuff!" cried Holly passionately.
The Faerie smiled. In her hands appeared a wreath of holly with pretty red berries on it. She placed it on Holly's head, saying, "Your wish is granted. You understood what your true gifts are. You are a Christmas Girl."
And Holly suddenly found herself in her own bed, with her paper snowflake in her hand, and Mummy was kissing her forehead.
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