Christmas is such a unique holiday. It comes three days after the shortest, coldest day of the year but for many it is the warmest day any of us have experienced. Christmas is the quintessential representation of family, friends, bonding, and giving. There is a saying: "It is in giving that we receive" and there is no truer statement than that. Truly, where does the joy of Christmas come from? Is it the presents in their shiny wrappings under the trees with the cascading light from the tree above? Is it the house full of people, sharing stories of the past year and the year to come?
Christmas comes from the love of those around you.
Presents and traditions are aspects of Christmas, but it is the love of someone else, the sweet embrace of your lover, the firm hug from your father, the soft peck on your face from your mother and the support of your friends that make Christmas the best holiday in many of our hearts. Christmas is a time to be with someone, even just one person, and sharing something more than either of you have to make it such a memorable, incredible day.
But what does someone do when they have no one?
A solitary life is a lonely one. While a bear has a wonderful bit of land, woods and trees to scratch upon, but no one else to share it with. His friends had moved on since he was a cub and he'd never heard from them since. The holidays were always a terribly lonely time for the bear. How could Christmas be more than just a day when you have nothing but the rocks and trees to spend it with? He hated Christmas for years.
That was until he met his pup.
When he saw the pup, limping into the woods one snowy day, his heart opened up for the first time. The pup's human owners, having got a new pup for Christmas, thought the poor beast could survive in the wild woods all alone. When the pup had crossed the rocky path from the roads to the woods he'd slipped and broke his fore-paw. Sheer will moved him along to get to the trees where the snow wasn't falling. He was abandoned. Some Christmas this would be.
It was hard at first. When the bear approached the pup, the pup was naturally scared. Injured and hurt the pup tried to hobble away fruitlessly as the bear stopped him with a gentle paw. He explained there was nothing to fear, he was not on the menu, and asked what happened. When the bear heard the pup's story, he just frowned and got up from the cold ground to get the items needed to set that paw. It took some work, bear paws being entirely clumsy instruments, but with some help from the brave pup, the determined bear had set the paw. From that moment on they were inseparable as friends.
When Christmas came around, the bear had searched high and low through the woods for a gift. What could he give the pup who had entered not only his life, but his heart? Finally, when the sun was setting the bear saw it. A stick with a bit of mistletoe clinging to it like a beautiful decoration. Carrying back to the healing pup. When he put it down in front of his friend the bear looked hopeful. The pup returned the hopeful smile with a grateful one and licked the bears nose. The gift was great. The bear, happy and content he had someone to love and spend Christmas with, laid with his injured puppy to keep him warm and safe during the coldest, and warmest, day of the year.
It may not look like much... But this is the happiest of Christmases we've ever had.
<3 Thanks a ton for the short-notice help on this belated Christmas picture.
It was a little idea I had a couple months back, but only now had the time to do it, during my vacation, right before FC.... Not the most detailed piece, but it was meant to be a quick little thing to begin with.
Hope you all had a good new years and a good holiday. :) You're all wonderful.
This picture went through VARIOUS stages in my head. I wanted to dedicate it to Belic Bear, KgraLeopard, and their wonderful Rama.