Even though it never snows in Port Promise, on Winterfest, it snows. By now, Kiki has had time to process what it means that the adoption is official, so when she looks out on Winterfest morning to see Ira making snow angels, she smiles to herself. Now, she doesn’t only have her mom-and-dad-angels looking out for her from heaven, she’s got a real live angel or two looking out for her here.
They say heaven is a great place to be, but this morning, Kiki can’t imagine anyplace more beautiful, more exciting, or more fun than home.
Especially when that home is too small to have a Winterfest tree inside, because that means they can have it outdoors!
Tinker Tailor stops by to help them decorate, which is supposedly fine, because “the more the merrier,” but secretly, Kiki thinks no one can decorate better than Ira.
She tosses the ornament with a swing and a prayer, and it lands in just the right spot!
Kiki tries it, too. The ornament goes flying, but no one seems to care. It’s the style that matters.
When it’s done, it’s so perfect. It must be the best tree ever, with the biggest pile of presents, and the best smell of rosin, and the prettiest green. Kiki can’t help but whisper to her mom-and-dad-angels, “Look! This is for you, too! It’s our Winterfest tree!”
Kiki tries not to notice when she spots Ira over at the tree later, doing something with the presents. Kids aren’t supposed to know about sneaky present things, Kiki has gathered, so she plays along, pretending to ignore the growing pile of fancily wrapped gifts.
It seems to get dark before the day has even properly gotten started.
“That’s what winter’s all about,” Case explains, “darkness and cold. That’s why we have Winterfest on the darkest of days, and why we have lights everywhere and things that warm us from the inside.”
“Like presents,” Kiki adds.
“How come there are so many elves walking around?” Kiki asks.
“Must be some sort of party,” replies Case, “or community event.”
All evening, they see them walking on the road past their house, checking their phones.
“It’s a charity challenge!” Ira explains. “They dress up, post to their social media, and then there’s some sort of fund-raising thing-or-other where they get matching funds.”
It makes it harder for Kiki to spot the actual Father Winter, with so many dressed up in elf costumes.
But at last, he comes, walking right down their street towards their very own house!
There’s no mistaking that long blue snowflake robe, even with a yellow-and-green-striped t-shirt underneath, and that jolly belly and big beard, even if the guy is skinny everywhere else and the beard is black. It’s Father Winter. It has to be!
He even stops at the Winterfest tree, when he thinks no one is watching, and adds to the present pile!
“Kiki Donovan Mahajan Flores!” he calls. “Is there a Kiki Donovan Mahajan Flores here?”
“Here I am!” Kiki answers, and she comes out of her hiding place behind the dew collector.
“Well, I am very pleased to meet you,” says Father Winter. “Have a seat. Let’s chat.”
“I’m very pleased to meet you, too,” Kiki says, remembering politeness, even though she is very excited and feeling more than a little bit shy.
“Now, what Winterfest wishes can I make come true for you?”
“Oh!” She is stumped for a moment. “You see, my most wished-for wish already came true. And so, I forgot to even think about another wish.”
She explains, in just above a whisper, how she was a foster kid for more years than she can remember, and how she always wanted to be adopted, not just for her, but also for Ira and Case, so they wouldn’t ever be sad without her, and how now that wish, which was so much a part of her forever, has come true, and so she’s happy, and Ira is happy, and Case is happy, and everyone is happy, but she’s just not sure that she will ever wish for anything again, because why? She has what she’s always wanted. It would be selfish to want more.
By now, Ira and Case have wandered out to join them.
“It’s not selfish to want things,” says Ira, “even when you’re happy and you’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted. In fact, it’s kind of a secret of happiness, not just to be happy with what you’ve got, especially when your biggest dreams come true, but then to think, what next?”
“Oh!” says Kiki. “In that case! I saw this light thing once in a video and it makes these little dancing colors and shapes on the walls, and I thought that would be so cool to look at when I fall asleep sometimes. It would be fun to have one of those lights.”
“I had a feeling you might say that,” says Father Winter.
He hands her a package in blue-and-white wrapping paper, just like his robe, with a big white bow on top, and when she opens it, she finds that light-show lamp inside!
“You really ARE Father Winter!” she exclaims.
“I think Father Winter deserves a present, too,” says Ira. She hands him a smaller package. It’s a digital camera.
“This is too thoughtful,” he says.
“Well, you do all the work, on a holiday, nonetheless,” says Ira. “You deserve a treat.”
“Now for the adults in the household,” he says, handing a gift to Case.
It’s a giftcard to a seed company. “Rare heirloom herbs and veggies,” he says.
“Very thoughtful. We’ll make good use.”
“I know you will.”
“Where’s Clement Frost, by the way?” Case asks. “We were expecting him.”
“Oh,” replies Father Winter, “blame management. Something about mixing up routes to increase blah, blah, something, something, whatever. Anyway, he’s got San Myshuno this year, my regular route, and I’ve got his route here in Port Promise. Nice change, actually. I got to meet you and your family!”
I have to say, I was incredibly relieved to hear this Father Winter’s explanation. With the impact of Moira’s passing still felt in the household, I wasn’t sure we could handle losing our original Father Winter just yet. In fact, before I closed out the game that night, Clement Frost called, just to wish Case and his family a very merry Winterfest. Like my Sims, I get attached to the original Townies and NPCs, too.
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