Creative Writing, Reflections

A Silent Night

It doesn’t feel much like Christmas. At least, that’s how I’ve been feeling.

December seems to have rushed by in a flash. I’ve only managed to put up the Christmas tree last week, and now here we are. People just seem constantly tired and irritable. I can’t say I’m any better. Maybe it’s still COVID, or something else. I don’t know. The weather is miserable. The store shelves are bare. There’s no joy, no singing, and no parties. Just the usual hustle and bustle; people going on about their business as if they’re the only ones that matter.

Baby, it’s cold outside, and I don’t just mean the air.

And try as I might, I can’t seem to shake this feeling.

I miss the days where there was a buildup to the big day – to Christmas day. The singing, the gatherings, the friendship, the games. The atmosphere that would constantly buzz with magic. Whatever happened to sitting by a fire, roasting chestnuts and drinking eggnog? Where are the sleigh rides?

Maybe we’re all just too busy. Or maybe we’ve simply outgrown it.

This Christmas eve, I got out of bed, even though I didn’t want to. I went to work and had a fairly productive day, despite this feeling in my gut – this lack of Christmas magic. And when the day was done, I drove home on the nearly empty icy roads by myself with the radio playing softly in the background. I wasn’t really sure what I was listening to. It didn’t really matter. I pulled my car into the driveway, and when I got out, something hit me.

Silence.

There was no background hum, no sirens blaring, no horns honking, and no engines revving. No noise of any kind, really. I stood there for a time trying to understand what it was that I was experiencing, and when I looked up at the otherwise clear dark sky, small flakes of pure white floated delicately from above, making their way slowly to the ground below with a soft flicking sound. Was it even supposed to snow today? It doesn’t matter. For the first time in a while, everything slows, and I find myself wrapped up in this moment. I take a deep breath of the cold, clean air before turning to go inside, and there in front of me are three smiling faces. The two dogs greet me without a single care, simply happy to see me home, while my wife wraps her arms around me, giving me a big hug.

Then suddenly, I feel it. That magic! In that moment, right there in the driveway, surrounded by my family. I can’t help but smile as I begin to hear the sound of Silent Night playing faintly off in the distance, and everything seems at peace.

But maybe it’s up to each one of us to find our own peace. It can’t be found for us. Then, and only then, will we be able to find that magic that has a habit of eluding us.

Merry Christmas!

Image Credit: t1na

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