Do the holidays ever feel like hole-idays to you? The other night, we all met up to find a fir tree—all of us except Roman. He's still gone and we haven't heard from him. As the temperature dropped, so did my hope of seeing him any time soon. I found myself wishing—wishing the Troop was whole... together... accounted for. Sensing my sadness, Sophia tip-toed to the top of the lights and filled the air with a tales of our favorite winter folklore character: Fred Frost.
As we flew to the make-shift, fir tree forrest to pick out a pine, Sophia reminded us of Fred Frost folklore: "Do you know what makes his black boots special?" she asked, "They are made out of shadows so he can slip in and out of space without being seen or heard!"
"It's easy to know if he's been around because his ice-blue feathers next to his white-cloud beard turn the air around him into frost!"
"Fred Frost always carries his Three Frosty Flakes. If you can find them, he'll grant you a Winter Wish under a red hat!"
"You can't talk about Fred Frost without talking about his wind-fast pal, Zephyr. Did you know Zephyr has the same name as the Greek god of the west wind? You'll know Zephyr is close if you feel a frosty wind blowing."
"Did you know that Zephyr was an apprentice to Rudolph? He was so good Rudolph gave him something incredibly special: a Very Shiny Nose."
"Fred Frost sits between Zephyr's antlers and flies around the world granting Winter Wishes. And who knows—maybe he'll be in Brooklyn tonight!" As Sophia said this, I saw her eyes sparkle. I knew she believed in Fred Frost even though she had never seen him.
As we landed in the boughs of a Frazier fir, I pulled Magnus and Stilts aside: "Do you really think Fred Frost is real? Do you really think he grants a Winter Wish to somebody that finds the Three Frosty Flakes?" Magnus raised his eyebrows, looking doubtful while Stilts just hummed and nodded.
Immediately, the rest of the Troop flocked and began debating whether Fred Frost was real or if he was just a great idea. Amid all the arguing, Sophia was the only one that heard something unusual just over the tip of the tree. When she got to the top to see what was there, she didn't see anything.
We finally stopped arguing when we realized we couldn't come to a conclusion. Everybody took their opinion, tucked it away and started inspecting potential trees to take home. We couldn't decided between the citrus-scent of the Frazier or the "does-not-shed-as-much" factor of the Douglas.
When she had a moment to herself, Sophia decided to inspect a beautiful glass ornament. Suddenly, in place of her reflection, she saw Fred Frost and Zephyr looking back at her! In a flash they were gone so she screamed for everybody to "come quick!"
"Huddle close. Now close your eyes and whisper a Winter Wish." Sophia sounded excited and frantic. We had never seen her like this, so we thought we should pay attention and do as she asked. It grew quiet for a few minutes and suddenly a calm floated around us. Softly, we could hear Sophia's golden voice singing:
Shadow-black boots, silent and soft, walk around your heart's winter loft
Shadow-black boots, lucky and fast, can you make my heart-wishes last?
Fred Frost is coming, Fred Frost is near
Whisper your wishes, Fred Frost will hear...
When Sophia finished the entire song, we opened our eyes and looked at one another. All was calm. All was bright.
We all stayed quiet and began to search the entire make-shift forrest for Frosty Flakes because... well,... because it was the right thing to do. Silas and Yvette were the first to find one.
Algernon, Penny and Edward found the second.
The Twins, Pascal and Black Jack said the third drifted towards Sophia's song and that something magical happened. And that's all they can say about it.
After searching all the trees and gathering the Three Frosty Flakes, we still couldn't find the Winter Wish. So we asked the urban lumberjack if there were any trees, boughs, or garland pieces we hadn't seen. "Did you see that little guy?" he asked, pointing upwards. There, high above all the other trees, was a little tree tied to a little pole with a little string.
And in it, our Winter Wish under a red hat.
Thanks to our friends, Xmas Tree Brooklyn, for allowing us to visit and perch! You can see them at facebook.com/xmastreebrooklyn or call 917-378-9212. Or if you haven't found your fir yet, visit them at 150 Court Street between Pacific and Dean.