Creative writing gives us the opportunity to turn our innermost thoughts and emotions into a timeless art piece worth sharing. Read below for a heartwarming story to put you in the spirit of the season.


“If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” ~ Beverly Cleary


flowers-red-roses-vintage

My Favourite Love Story

By: Samantha Riga

Some time ago, there was a beautiful young girl. She was intelligent, funny, and as an only child, she was loved unconditionally by her parents, who wanted only the best for their daughter. Her life was full of luxuries, and she was given the greatest of everything. It was no surprise when she found herself a suiter who wanted the best for her just as much as her parents. He could afford anything the girl desired, which intrigued not only her, but her parents as well. If it weren’t for one thing, the pair could have been a perfect match.

Then there was the carpenter, who had known the girl for some time. He was not rich; he had been homeschooled all his life, couldn’t afford a quarter of what the suiter could, but he knew they belonged together. He wanted the best for her as well; he wanted to begin a life with her, start a family, not worry about money and luxuries, but just be in love. The fact was that the girl was more interested in the carpenter as well, but she knew the right choice was to be with someone of her class who would make her parents proud; she knew her happiness and love came in second. This, however, didn’t cancel out any love the two had for each other, but the distance between the two began to grow.

As time went on, the carpenter knew that he needed to act fast. The young girl had gotten engaged to her suiter. He knew time was running out; if he didn’t do anything, he would lose the girl. He may not have had money, or be able to compete with a high-class suiter, but he had a way with words. He was able to speak his heart, writing poems and songs that sang with pure emotion. So, to make sure he could do everything he could before it was too late, he poured his heart out into a song, even having his friends help him to serenade the girl.

This is just the beginning of their chapter-filled story. It wasn’t always easy; they faced many ups and downs throughout. Together, they raised four children, spent seven years apart during the war, faced the struggle of moving to Canada separately as they couldn’t get their visas at the same time, but survived it all.

Eighty years later, my family still remembers their love story. It may sound like a fairy tale, but it too holds a very important message: it’s not always about the chocolates, flowers, and money. It’s about unconditional love, and facing the good times -and the bad times- together. Valentine’s Day is the celebration of love. So maybe instead of chocolates and flowers, do something you know your loved one will appreciate in the years to come. You never know, your great grandchildren might learn something from it decades later.


Read Below for Content from Previous Issues

 

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Photo By: Jackson Corzato

 

The Way Things Used to Be

By: Samantha Riga

My family has been led to believe I’m nothing but a Christmas Grinch; a mere character who cannot stand the thought of Christmas cheer for all his life. As if I am conspiring to completely dismiss Christmas in its entirety, which I feel is the exact opposite of what I try to do.

Just yesterday, my wife sat me down and told me to brace myself for the upcoming celebrations. I admit I allowed my inner child out as I crossed my arms and grunted when she mentioned our son offered to host Christmas this year. She added that it would be nice considering her and I are not as young as we used to be some odd years ago. Now, this may be true. But my opposition of my son hosting this year is because things are a little different there.

I remember when I was a young boy, the day before Christmas Eve, Mother would make me go out to my friends and neighbours and personally hand them their Christmas presents. These usually consisted of her freshly baked gingerbread cookies and a hand-written letter, expressing love to every one of them. My older sister would wrap them in the same red and green checkered wrapping paper and a bow. Mother and my sister had a gift for gift-giving, and I took pride in hearing the children in my class thank my family for the gracious gifts. Mother had a special place in her heart for Christmas. It was also that one time of the year where Father would stop working out on the fields and come in to help decorate. He’d chase my brothers and I around with a mask, pretending to be the evil spirit of Christmas that chases after naughty children. My sister would practise singing Christmas carols while playing piano as she was in the school choir. I still remember her voice clearly as if she had just sung to me.

On December 24th, my mother would put us all in perfectly tailored suits and dresses she made herself for Midnight Mass. We’d thank God for everything we had, and everything we loved. Even during years when money may have been a problem, we were always admired for our beautiful outfits that complimented one another. Our Christmas dinners were just as loved. Everyone in the house were responsible for decorating as mother went out and invited family, friends, and those she knew might not have a meal, into our home. Everyone was engaged in the festivities somehow, my mother made sure of it.

As I recalled my memories to my wife, she stood there smiling. Her understanding helped me to me ease up about the new hosting arrangements. “But dear,” she pressed, “what makes you so hesitant to wanting to go to Matthew’s? They just renovated the house, and I hear they’re hiring a caterer!” “That’s exactly why!” I exclaimed. “Since when was Christmas about showing off or advertising who has what? Why did we have to watch the kids while they were out shopping on Black Friday? It’s completely against my morals.”

I admit, I was acting a bit childish again. This time of year was just too precious to turn into a commercialized event. Then it hit me; I knew exactly what I’d do to hopefully turn things around. I told my wife not to bother with the presents we’d gotten our grandkids. I dug around in a little cookie box with Mother’s recipes and flipped to her famous Gingerbread. I tried replicating the old cookie boxes as best as I could and spent all of December 21st writing out personal letters to my grandchildren. The bows weren’t perfect like my sister’s, but that wasn’t what mattered.

On Christmas day, I called over all my grandchildren. I plucked their little gadgets out of their hands one by one, setting them down on a white and gold covered table. In turn, I placed their now empty hands with a red and green checkered box, the bow holding a personalized letter in place. Them reading their letters and subtly smiling gave me the same sense of pride, and I knew this was what I was meant to do.

 


 

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Photo by: Jackson Corzato

 

The Halloween Warning

 By: Samantha Riga

October 31st, a time for tricking or treating

Extravagant costumes and excessive candy-eating

But while you search for the next decorated door,

Know that for some, it’s not candy they look for.

 

This is the day where the spirits come out

The day they aren’t just lurking or wandering about

Yes today, keep your head up and try to tread lightly

Looking in dark corners causes risk for what you might see

 

It’s an eerie themed night, the tricksters come out to play

Tonight, watch for more than just balloon-marked sewage drains

Take this poem as a warning, when you say your next “trick or treat!”

The possibilities are endless as to who you might meet.




thunder spirit

By: Natasha D’Alessandro

proud smiles radiate

depicting content and awe

whilst pride arises

 

seasonal transmogrification

By: Natasha D’Alessandro

proud smiles radiate

depicting content and awe

whilst pride arises

 

 

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