Kerry’s column: A gift to remember


As I watched the artificial snow spiral around creating a blizzard inside the globe, I fell into a trance. What seemed to be only a few seconds turned to minutes of hypnotic captivation.

A gentle smile formed across my face, as I continued to observe the snow globe in fascination. Yes, a snow globe. There was something different about this trinket; it wasn’t like the rest I had seen and it held a special meaning to me.

When I was in the third grade, everyone in my homeroom exchanged letters with a pen pal. After a couple of months of trading letters, my pen pal and I became closer, and every time the teacher announced that the letters had arrived, I would immediately bounce  in my seat.  Then, it was finally December and my pen pal asked what I wanted for Christmas.

I wasn’t like the other kids who anticipated the holiday. I never decorated a Christmas tree, baked cookies for Santa or awakened early to open gifts. It wasn’t in my culture and my parents didn’t have any clue about the different traditions that appeared around this time of year. I was at a loss whenever someone asked what I wanted for Christmas, so I replied to my pen pal that I didn’t celebrate Christmas. I didn’t want to burden her if she was going to give a gift, as it wasn’t necessary. 

Needless to say, I was surprised when I walked into homeroom and saw a bright red box with a bow on top of my desk with a letter attached to it. I was expecting only a letter to come back. I ripped opened the letter enthusiastically and quickly read its contents:

“Merry Christmas, Kerry! I hope you like your gift. I know you don’t celebrate the holidays, but you still deserve a little something.”

Putting the letter down, I slowly opened the box and found a medium-sized snow globe surrounded by confetti and styrofoam. I was so touched that I was afraid that if I held it I would clumsily  drop it. Carefully holding the snow globe, I lightly shook it and saw how delicately the snow fell inside.  My heart filled with joy, and it became my most treasured possession.

I knew this feeling wouldn’t last forever, but I couldn’t help feeling attached to the snow globe. A few months later, my treasured possession turned into shattered glass: a loud crash came from my room and I quickly ran to the scene. I immediately saw the base of the snow globe on the floor with its broken remains.

Time stopped. I couldn’t hear anything my parents were saying. When I looked up from the mess, I saw my sister with teary eyes and heard her mumble what had happened. I couldn’t accept her apology. All I felt was anger and sadness.

I admit it was a bit childish for me to be angry at my own sister, but it was my first snow globe and my first present from a pen pal.

I spent hours not talking to my sister and stayed locked in my room. My mom tried bribing me out of it by convincing me that she would buy me a new one, but it wouldn’t be the same.

The longer I stayed quiet, the more I thought about how childish I was; my sister was just as fascinated at the snow globe as I was, and it wasn’t her fault that she just wanted to see it again.  Realizing how immature I was being, I stepped out of my room and went to accept her apology.

A smile still forms across my face when I think about the gift. My love for snow globes resurfaced when a close friend gave me one as a Secret Santa present last year, I noticed how small it was compared to the last one I had. Memories rushed through my thoughts, and I felt a warm sense of nostalgia.

I may not celebrate the holidays, but it does not mean I am unable to form memories and appreciate beauty in a snow globe given as a gift.

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