Prologue: You Make It Feel Like Christmas

Disclaimer: er...I don't own Hey Arnold! Okay?

****Please read this****

Yes, I'm well aware Christmas is over, I know this is a little late, but what do ya know? Inspiration hit me Christmas day...anyway if you'd rather not read it cause it's out of place that's up to you...just tell me in your reviews and I won't bother posting any chapters after the first one until the next Yuletide season comes around.

I've been having problems accessing geocities lately, which is why this isn't on my site...I have no idea when I'll be able to post it there.

Setting: The future...Helga's daughter is narrating.

You've probably heard over and over again there are some things money can't buy. Well you definitely can't put a price tag on that feeling you get at Christmas, oh that joyous feeling, so heavenly, so wonderful, yet so hard to find. It comes so easily to some people, I've noticed. For those young children, filled with happy dreams and delight of what Santa might bring....

But I had reached a healthy age of 11, much too old to believe in such childhood nonsense. But it still depressed me to watch my younger siblings and cousins open their presents with haste, eyes sparkling in anticipation of what might lay beneath the colorful wrapping paper and bright ribbons. I would watch with a fake smile plastered on my lips and think to myself: oh to be young again! For I have come to the conclusion after much careful analyzing that Christmas is a magical time for only two types of people.

Most obviously are little children who believe in talking snowmen, flying reindeer, and a saint with many incredible abilities including going down chimneys. Those little children get up Christmas morning and race downstairs to find that the milk and cookies had vanished with a small note left by Saint Nick himself. Then they turn to the tree and their eyes would see it before them...picture perfect...all lit up with mountains of presents filling up half the living room. They would squeal with delight and open all their presents under the watchful eyes of their parents. Of course they would get everything their hearts desired and more.

I watched the youngsters sadly. Yes, they truly enjoyed Christmas. But with years come wisdom and you age only to discover there is no such thing as Santa Claus and that reindeer really can not fly, then Christmas looses that certain magical touch and you can never hold that same wonderful feeling again. (I know what must be going through your mind right now...what about giving??? Isn't that what Christmas is supposed to be all about?? Yeah, I'm well aware of that, but for me it seems like giving is not enough. It seems like Christmas is still missing something, but I'll explain later.)

I turned to face my parents. My mother was resting her head on my father's shoulder when suddenly my younger brother screamed with delight at the new toy he had just unwrapped. My parents smiled at their child's glee and then turn to gaze into each other's eyes before they kissed.

Of course my brother immediately ruined this tender moment by jumping up and down, begging our Dad to help him try out his new genuine leather baseball mitt and imitation major league ball.

I sighed. Well there was one exemption to that statement I previously made. That magic of Christmas can only truly return to you again when you fall in love. My brother dragged my Dad outside where the snow had just stopped falling and a winter wonderland lay. My mother stood at the front door in her robe and slippers sipping coffee as my father and brother played in the street. I slumped down on the couch.

Love, I thought, loved changes everything. I so much wanted to be in love (even though I am still just 11) gaze into that certain special someone's eyes and immediately realize that he was the one I would love get those butterflies in your stomach...that's what I wanted for be in love. Of course that is a gift you can never buy no matter how many banks you are willing to rob. My thoughts were abruptly disturbed by the voices from outside and I turned towards the window.

"Hey! What was that for?!" cried my father, desperately trying to get the cold snow off his neck before it melted. My little brother stood farther down the street with a hand over his mouth trying to stifle his giggles. My mother stood on the doorstep with a sly grin. She tossed another snowball up in the air and casually caught it.

"That's for not inviting me to come out," she laughed. My father threw his hands in the air showing how helpless he was in the situation.

"You can't blame me! It was him!" He pointed to where my brother stood with his new mitt and ball still giggling away.

"Well, I do have the better arm," my mother exclaimed proudly while my father just rolled his eyes.

"Come on dear, all the kid wanted was to have some quality time with his dad playing ball, right son?" I think my father realized that was the wrong thing to say immediately after the words had slipped from his mouth. My parents both turned to my brother, but even at his youthful age he knew better than to respond. He just stood silent. My mother turned back to my father.

"Quality time with dad, huh? Whatever happened to quality time with Mom?"

My father opened his mouth to answer but he was unable to utter a single syllable because a snowball hit him in the mouth. Bullseye.

"Quality time that!" exclaimed my mother triumphantly as my father spat out the snow. She rubbed her hands together. It had been a perfect shoot. She turned to face my brother who was now in a fit of hysterics. "Now that's how you throw a snowball-"

She was interrupted when she felt a sharp coldness hit her back and she could not help but shriek at the iciness it brought. She turned to glare at my father who stood with his hands in his pockets innocently whistling.

Before you could say Merry Christmas a snowball fight had erupted between my parents with my brother constantly switching sides never able to pledge his full alliance to one of them.

Now where was I? Aaaah, yes love...of course no one knew it better than my parents. I have never meant another couple more in love than they were. They had often told me that for them love had not been an easy road paved in shimmering gold, but instead one with bumps, confusing signs, not to mention surprising twists and turns. But nevertheless they had made it. In spite of it all that had happened between them they were still deeply even madly in love. They had told me their story before and I could hear their voices speaking to me while I watched the snowball fight between them despite the fact that under their winter coats they were still donned in pjs.

That's the funny thing about love, it comes when you least expect it, leaving you unprepared for the consequences it brings, but what really mattered was that it came and in the end that's all that matters...

If you're a little lost read chapter one it'll make things more clear.