Chapter 1: Tilly is Born
Tilly’s first memory began on a cold night in early December. December fourth to be exact.
At first, everything was dark. She wouldn’t even have realized she existed if it weren’t for the very faint sound that emanated through the darkness and reverberated within her ceramic head. As the sound grew louder, something inside her knew that this was the beginning of her life. Her very purpose had everything to do with this sound—or at least what it represented.
Music... Christmas music! She wondered how she knew.
Next, came smell. Pine, wood burning—but not obnoxious. Spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, were there, too. Beyond that, and barely discernible, she could pick up the light scent of snow, fresh and crisp.
These… these fragrances make me feel good inside!
Soon, her attention was whisked away by the sensation of a gentle prickle of something bushy, yet soft pressing against her backside. What was this new sense? Ah, touch!
Yet, try as she might, she couldn’t move to reach around and touch the oddity at her back. I’m floating, she finally determined, not feeling anything beneath her and knowing she wasn’t lying down either. But she didn’t panic, for she simply knew this was where she was meant to be.
Finally, she opened the eyes she just realized she had, and a blurry mix of bright colors and darkness struck her all at once. As she took a moment to focus hard, the lights slowly cleared. Multicolored in nature, there were bursts of them all around her.
“Christmas!” she uttered aloud in almost a whisper. It was the first time she’d made a sound, and she was in awe of what happened when her mouth and tongue moved in conjunction with air passing over her vocal chords. “I can talk!” she exclaimed a little louder now.
Tilly blinked several times, trying to take in everything around her, while also allowing her new senses to adjust. As they did, a newfound sense of motion lit up within her body, making her limbs and face feel warm and alive.
She had no memories of anything before now, yet she knew things. She knew her name was Tilly Tippy Toes, and she knew that this tree was to be her home. She knew of Christmas, but was a bit fuzzy on the details.
Looking down at her tiny, ceramic hands, Tilly smoothed her delicate, light pink dress and the wispy, pink feathers of the tutu, admiring its soft color. Smiling inside, she wrapped herself in a hug, feeling the sensation of her fingers along her arms and her grin grew. “This is amazing! I’m alive!”
Stretching out her legs which had been naturally curled under her, Tilly tried to look up, but soon realized her hat was stuck.
“Oh, dear.” She frowned. “How do I get down?”
Then, from somewhere below, she heard a voice—different from the ones who’d been singing the recorded Christmas carols until a few moments ago.
There it was again! It was strong, yet gentle and kind. “I found her! This year’s addition to the tree!”