Jared was sitting with his classmates in his classroom in a circle around Mr Hoispert, their teacher. He was telling them all a story about how Christmas used to be in times gone by.
Although Jared was captivated by the story he couldn’t help but look out the window at the part where Mr Hoispert talked about a thing called snow that used to fall and turn everything into a white Christmas. after a quick glance he looked straight back at his teacher. Outside the window there was still nothing but black, just like always. ‘How much fun Christmas must have been all those years ago,’ Jared thought to himself. ‘So many traditions now gone and so much colour.’
Jared had heard some of the stories before but when it came to the part about a strange man dressed in red delivering present for all the good boys and girls across the world he always felt a shiver of a thrill of excitement. It seemed to Jared that this wonderful man must have died so long ago as at this time of year now no-one delivered presents from a magical sleigh, and no one wore red anymore, not after the great red war of the previous century.
The one tradition that had lived on was the bringing in of the Green. Today was the seventh of the month and the day set aside for this tradition which is why Mr Hoispert was telling them these tales. When he started to tell them about the tradition of the Green Jared sat up and pulled his small bag towards him. All the children had brought something from home with which to decorate the Green. The youngest children had no idea why their parents had given them their small bags to take to school. Jared knew all about it and couldn’t wait for the tradition to begin.
Mr Hoispert explained that long ago back on Earth, the colony’s original home planet, there had been a wonderful tradition of bringing something in from a place called the forest. What the people from long ago brought in was called a tree, and more specifically a Christmas tree. At this point Mr Hoispert became serious and explained about the mass deforestation of the earth which gradually led to the Earth becoming sicker and sicker until it could no longer support human life anymore, which is why their colony had been founded on the earth’s first moon.
Sunnil asked if the forests had all died because of the tradition of bringing in the Green. Mr Hoispert told him ‘No’ with a slight chuckle, and explained further about pollution and man’s greed and need to take over every last piece of wild land. This saddened Jared and Sunnil too for he cried a little as Mr Hoispert told them how Man killed his own planet.
Then Mr Hoispert got back to the tradition of the Green. This was the part Jared really liked. all of a sudden there was a loud sound which seemed to fill the classroom. Jared remembered that the things making this noise were called trumpets. These trumpets announced the arrival of the Green. Silently the classroom doors opened and in came two of the Elders with the Green between them. Jared knew that the Green was an artificial representation of the old Christmas Tree. At this point all the children stood up and crowded round with their bags of decorations in their eager hands.
“Green,” some of them said with wonder as the Green was wheeled into the middle of the room. Colour was such a surprise whenever it was seen and the children were captivated by the brightness of the special thing that was before them.
Once the Green was in the middle of the room the Elders started to hum a strange tune. As they hummed louder and louder one of the sylphs entered and began to sing. she had a beautiful voice as she sang a song of dedication to the Green. The children didn’t understand the words as they were in a long forgotten language. Nonetheless it held them all spellbound.
When the elders and Sylph had finished their dedication they invited the children to come closer and hang their adornments on the Green. One by one the children approached and opening their bags put the small decorations onto the Green. All of them were enchanted by the tradition and their smiles crossed their faces from ear to ear.
When they ha all finished adding the contents of their bags to the Green Mr Hoispert told them that it looked splendid and that they had all done very well. The Elders then invited the children to follow them in a parade with the Green all round the Life-station so that everyone could see their handiwork and join in the tradition. The sylph started to sing again and they slowly left the classroom so that the whole of their colony could see the Green.
Although Christmas had changed since leaving Earth there were still some traditions that lived on. Jared was so happy to be part of this one and felt proud and happy as he followed the Green around the colony. Watching people’s faces light up as the Green passed made him feel good, and restored the hope in his heart that perhaps one day all the traditions of Christmas would be re-lived.