HEARTHSIDE STORIES: Take My Arms That I Might Reach You, by Wren Handman

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.


The house has been transformed into a winter wonderland. There’s frost sprayed on the window panes, stars and snowflakes glittering on strings from curtain to curtain. Lights

twinkle in every room, in every color of the rainbow. Tinsel and holly hang from corners or chandeliers, and snowflakes have been pressed onto door frames and lintels. It smells like

fresh cinnamon, like apples, like a Lifetime movie come to life. We came home last week to shortbread cookies in the shape of bells, a gingerbread house already decorated. There was

even fruitcake soaked in rum that Dad offered us and quickly took back after I choked on my first bite.

Christmas movies run like silent memories in the living room, an empty theatre playing for no one. Dad wants it to be perfect, to make this holiday something joyful and bright.