By Niki, an English teacher from Baku, Azerbaijan.

When I opened my eyes this morning, I saw a very beautiful view from behind the window of my room. It had heavily snowed all night, and the apple tree in the front yard was covered in snow. There was still a week left until the Christmas holidays. I was thinking about playing in the snow when my mother raised her voice and said that schools are closed today. Honestly, the news of the school closure was the best news for me, a day full of fun with my friends in the snow and cold.

I immediately put on warm clothes, pulled my hat over my ears, and eagerly put on the gloves that my mother had recently woven for me, and left. All my friends were waiting for me outside. Our shout of joy added even the elders to us. With our help, we made the biggest snowman we could make, and then we circled around it and sang and danced. I felt life in all its beauty that day. I stayed out for long hours in that cold snowy weather. Until hunger forced me to return home.

After eating some food, the excitement and tiredness of playing in the snow took me to deep sleep. The next morning, I woke up with a high fever and a long cough and saw my grandmother by my bed. She had started living with us after my grandfather died, and I spent most of my childhood with her. She was a lovely angel who always wore her big glasses to embroider or knit.

I had a bad cold and had to stay home and rest until the Christmas holidays. In those days, my grandmother told me that I had asked Santa Claus to bring me a gift so that I would never get sick again. He promised to bring that magical gift just for me. Finally, after a long wait, it was Christmas, and I opened the special gift that Santa had brought me. Oh my God, how beautiful they were. Yellow and white with patterns in yellow, the symbol of warmth and peace of life. They were nothing more than woollen socks that my grandmother had knitted for long days to keep my feet warm, on those cold winter days, so that I would not get sick again.

Many years have passed since those days, but every year with the coming of Christmas, these sweet memories come to life in my mind again. You know, life gives us many gifts that we can have with us to spend the cold winter days with more love and affection.

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