In the beginning of November, we asked principals and teachers from local schools to encourage students to contribute their stories and artwork for our annual Children's Issue. The response as always, was enormous. While we were unable to publish every piece we received, we did our best to put together a paper of a balanced sampling of submitted stories, poems, drawings, paintings and photographs. Our annual Children's Issue at the Connection is one of my favorites. I look forward to it each year. On those cold, dreary days of December, students' artwork brings life and color to our office. My day is brightened by the artistic scenes of sunrises, sunsets and winter wonderlands. My heart is filled with warmth while reading about one student's best gift ever being her little sister or reading about how excited one student was to finally see her father after a year abroad.
This issue wouldn't be possible without the help of teachers and administrators enthusiastically sending in their students' artwork. Thank you for all of your help. We really appreciate it. And to all the students who submitted artwork, all I can say is: wow! It amazes me each year how talented each and every one of you are.
You can view this year's Children's Connection at http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/PDFs/
We'd also like to encourage both schools and parents to mark their 2014 calendars for early December, the deadline for next year's Children Connection. Please keep us in mind as your children create spectacular works of art in the coming year.
I have put together some submissions below for our viewers to see the talent of our students in the community.
— Amna Rehmatulla, Editorial Assistant
The True Christmas Present
By Zack H., Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic School
On a cold wintry late-December’s eve a man saw a sight so poignant it made him cry.
It all began when he was taking a constitutional through the town square,
He rounded a corner and saw the ordeal that would make his heartstrings tear.
This event was monumental; leviathan even,
Brought on by his long and rigorous past,
So rough and precarious that if it were an ocean it would bring down a ship at full mast.
Before I tell you of the sight that provoked tears,
Let’s backtrack into the past by twenty years.
This man had to pay the bills and their unrelenting steady stream,
Then he was offered a job overseas, a true godsend.
So precisely twenty years ago he left for a foreign country between and betwixt,
But this was a predicament that he could not fix.
All the while, he spent his time there,
Counting the days, but all the while losing track of the date;
Hoping against hope that he would soon see his lovely children and true soul mate.
A score of years in a state of ennui and longing passed,
The man sensing that his bad luck would not abate,
When a sudden stroke of good fortune crossed his path, thereby entirely changing his fate.
At this point it was the beginning of Advent, and the man saw his holy grail:
A poster advertising room in the steerage of a vessel headed to his homeland.
This made him ecstatic, but he still felt a faint hint of dread;
Though, at the time he couldn’t cipher why that seemingly erroneous emotion filled his head.
The whole journey overseas took about a week,
Every second of it the man in anxious anticipation waiting to arrive.
Upon his first sighting of the skyline, he started to dance on his feet as if he were standing on a beehive.
Now the plot returns to the present, the beginning of the story,
The tear-jerking sentiment is going to be in full glory.
The man first returned home, but no one was there;
So he went for a walk into the town square to come to know his surroundings afresh,
For it had been a while, and common sense and ignorance surely do not mesh.
Snow flurries were falling all around him, the day being the Eve of Christmas.
He rounded a corner and to what did his eyes appear?
His wife and kids, Christmas shopping and drinking root beer.
The man bolted towards them, the family’s eyes a twinkling when their eyes rose to meet the sight of the man;
They all ran towards each other and embraced a zealous, affectionate embrace.
A family unified and united is better than any gift bought at the store,
Love and [warm] fellowship is the true Christmas present; it is more, so much more.