The snow falls as it always does this time of year. The snow is pure: there is not a single imprint. The snow blankets everything. It is all, so serene.
I like to look out at the window and see the beauty of the untouched snow. It brings me back to simpler times – carefree days of when I was young. Oh, how I wished to be the first one to go out, the first to crumble the fresh new snow, and the first draw snow angels on its surface. How I loved to stick out my tongue and catch snowflakes as they fell. I loved those winter days and I long for them again.
Now, I am older. I still like to look out the window and watch the snowfall. I stand in the dark overlooking the city Streets, I watch the snowfall through the light of the streetlamps. It makes me feel young again.
“I could sit for hours and watch the sights on a night such as this,” I think, but catch something stirring in the corner of my eye.
I turn to see my partner sleeping on the sofa. I walk over and gently tap my love’s shoulder. “Time to get up dear and go to bed,” I said.
You grumble something inaudible. “Bed now,” I repeat, “A couch is no place to sleep when a comfy bed awaits.”
I feel like a parent. You get up and head to bed like an obedient child. I smile as you tromp on by.
I stay awake a little longer. I stare out the window again.
The chill fills the air and I wrap my robe a little tighter, but still I stay.
“Another Christmas Eve and another year gone by. Where has all the time gone? Why is it that as a kid time seems to traverse so slowly, but as an adult it speeds so quickly?” I shake my head and I chuckle to myself, “Life is strange and yet it is so wonderful, and now that I am older, I realize that life is full of so much potential.”
The snowfall is slowing before I turn away from the window. The Christmas tree lights are all that illuminate the living room. I go to the lazy chair and sit. I am not tired – not yet anyway. I want to stay up a while longer and look at the tree, so beautifully decorated. The layout of the decorations shows the loving care and thoughtfulness of its decorator. You took much effort in decorating it this year. “I must be sure to express my thanks at having such a lovely display,” I sigh.
We have no children. It is something that I sometimes regret. Christmas is for children after all, or at least it is more enjoyable with their presence. No, it is just the two of us and it is because of this fact that I view the meaning of Christmas differently from others.
I do not buy into the commercialism of Christmas that marketers push on us. Christmas is more than just a collection of things.
Christmas is about family and friends, and in that regard, I find myself truly blessed.
I may not see my family often and we may not be as close as we once were, but I know that they will always be there should I need them and that is all that matters.
My friends are my extended family. They are all dear to my heart. They have my back and tell me what I need to hear, when I need to hear it. They care for me and I care for them. You will have to forgive me; I get melancholy this time of year.
For Christmas, I like to keep things simple. I invite a few friends over, share conversation and laughs, and a meal. To me, having friends over is worth more than any gift could be. My friends are my treasure.
When I was young it was different, I looked forward to the presents under the tree. On Christmas day, we would run down the stairs in our pajamas, wait for the others to join around the tree and I anxiously waited to open my gifts with the rest of my family. We would jestingly poke and prod each other while we wait for the adults to join us. Later we would all go to church and remember whose birth we celebrated this day. Then finally, we would sit at the table for a feast, those were joyous days and wonderful times.
Tomorrow it will be just the two of us. The family is too far away and some of our friends have moved away, some have died, and the others have different plans.
Although I personally love to have company, I am not upset.
Dinner will be smaller, but not less meaningful. I will have my love with me and that is all I need or require. I have prepped the stuffing, made cranberries sauce and baked some biscuits. Come tomorrow, all I have to do is the turkey, some vegetables, and make the gravy. Later we will sit around and listen to carols or watch a few Christmas specials. We will repeat the first Christmas spent alone together. Tomorrow, like then, a day to remember.
The clock strikes twelve. It is Christmas Day. It does not feel any more special than any other day. I cannot phantom why there is so much commotion about it. I guess people get themselves hyped because society makes it so. As I said before, I do not go for that part of the holidays; thus, for me it is just a day like any other.
I go into the kitchen and I pour myself the last cup of decafe, go back into the living room and I sit in my chair. I take a sip of the coffee and place it down on the side table. I gaze out toward the window one more time, “It is Christmas time, in the City, and it looks so pretty.”
I, suddenly, grow very tired and my body is somewhat achy. I lean my head against the chair and let out a gentle breathe. “I will just rest here a bit;” I mumble, “then I will get up and go to bed.”
I awake to find myself playing outside. I am seven. It is Christmas day and I am playing fetch with the dog. She is running to-and-fro. All the while, she pushes her muzzle through the snow. She could care less for the ball, and at this point, neither could I. It is the snow. It entertains her so. I laugh at her silliness. She barks in delight. In her delight, I take glee. “These are great times,” I think, “I wish I could live like this forever.”
I am happy.
Robert Confiant 27 December 2014 (Mod 24 March 2018)