Last week, on the last Friday before Thanksgiving, a fake two-feet Christmas tree that I had bought from Target was built and decorated in the Windmill office. The tree was on sale and marked down from $20 to $16, and with the $5 gift card I had from buying a S’well water bottle weeks ago, the price went down to only $11. Of course, I didn’t stop at just the Christmas tree. This Target had a huge section dedicated to all sorts of decorations, all on sale through the Target app, of course.
I was with my friend, Jillian, and, originally, we were only stopping through the store to get essentials like shampoo and paper towels, but how could we help ourselves when the glimmering lights of the holiday season were calling us. So bright they shined, that they became entrancing and, almost, mind-controlling.
One of Target’s many ornament collections included various stuffed toys on strings. I bought a cute bunny and a mouse, and named them Amelia and Liz, respectively. Both were wearing long pea coats, plush scarfs, brightly colored pants, and grey boots. In my head, Amelia and Liz were best friends and, with the help of the other ornaments in the display, they were planning the holiday pageant when, suddenly, mean ol’ Forest the Owl shut down the pageant because he, himself, was having a terrible holiday season. His wife had left him and taken the kids, so, all alone he sat in his house, festering in his own misery.
It was on that note that I decided to take Amelia and Liz, leaving Forest behind. Someone was bound to help him find love in his heart again, but that someone was not me. Enough of my own holiday anecdote, let’s talk about this year’s Holiday Issue, shall we?
For fiction, we have “Buddy” by Mike Wilson, a coming-of-age Christmas story of a young girl understanding the complexity of her parents’ divorce. Annie Dawid, who has been published by Windmill before, once again creates a thoughtful narrative about the complexities of familial relations in “June in December,” which depicts a young woman, 20-year-old June, struggling to navigate adult life and dreading visiting her family for Christmas. For our last fiction piece, written by Michael Chin, “Christmas Eve” details both a cousin and her girlfriend’s struggle to fit in with a family once considered perfect and picturesque.
For nonfiction, the short memoir, we offer “Ornaments” by Amanda Noble. The author reflects on the stories behind cherished family keepsakes and holiday traditions. This piece makes us question: How do we deal with these traditions in the face of loss and hardship? In her creative nonfiction piece “Sibling Revelry,” Eileen Cunniffe shows us that not all happy families are alike at Christmastime, thus proving Leo Tolstoy wrong. To wrap this issue, we suggest “Holiday Rodent Wars” by Bill Diamond, a light-hearted and funny anecdote about finding those picking pests during the holiday season.
From all of us at Windmill, we wish you all happy holidays, and a wonderful New Year!