Mini Beats: December

Welcome to our second Mini Beats collection of the year! 

For the Mini Beats December prompt we asked our readers: 

Prompt One: In 100 words or less, tell us about your favorite holiday tradition.


Prompt Two:  In 100 words or less, create a holiday you wish we could celebrate.

We received lovely submissions that were thoughtful and generous in their responses, crafting wonderful stories in such a tiny word limit. 

So, here are the responses we, the editors of The Beacon Beat, chose that we felt best exemplified in December’s prompt. 

Hot Cocoa Soliloquy 

Sometimes I forget how much I want a porch.

It’s like three pm and three degrees below freezing. I’m digging around in the back of the pantry for that distinctive, faded blue box of Swiss Miss. 

I grab it and smile.

The old stained kettle whistles, sings, and then screams. 

I pour myself a cup.

I clutch the scalding ceramic close to my chest and gaze out the window, imagining myself swaddled by a blanket, in a rocking chair, on a long and empty porch.

I take a sip and shock out of my reverie, because it tastes like shit.  — Evan Thurman, 12th grade

Tea and Sugarplums

The Nutcracker ballet is a sparkling depiction of Christmas wonder. In itself it reminds me of the holiday spirit I look for every year. Despite going annually for as long as I can remember, the show has yet to lose its magical touch in my eyes. My friend and I are still just as giddy when the lights dim. We go to tea to catch up on a year’s worth of changes after, which is just as anticipated as the ballet. It’s a day of vivid joy and every year I count the days until the next one. — Cali Carss, 12th grade

A Day of Cooking

Just before Thanksgiving break this year, I asked friends and classmates if they were looking forward to the holiday. Many didn’t really care about it or like it at all, but Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I think that’s because it’s so centered around food and cooking, and in my family, we all do bits of cooking for the meal. I assume those who aren’t Thanksgiving’s biggest fans just don’t treat the whole day with such excitement as my family does. Thanksgiving is a whole-day affair rather than just dinner full of family time, cooking, and joy.  — Sasha Chajet Wides, 10th grade 

I See Light

Mom pulls out the thermos, and as our car takes off, I can’t wait to finally see the lights. Twinkling houses are covered in millions of LED stars so bright they outshine the dusky city sky. We sip our cocoa, and Dad drives slowly so we can peer out the window and memorize the artwork before us. It must take hours to hang those snowflakes from tree branches, artificial icicles from rooftops, and rainbow flashers around fences. Later, I’ll go home and light my menorah, but that doesn’t mean I can’t drive through Dyker Heights in awe. — Ariel Konieczko, 10th grade

Thank you for these submissions!

Now for January’s Mini Beats prompt the question is:

What is you favorite word and why?

You can submit your story through this Google Form and include a picture that matches your experience. Submissions close on January 30th.