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In the Stillness of Christmas Eve December 25, 2007

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Christmas, Family, life, Love, Parenting/Children, Seasons.
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It’s after Midnight, and I’ve finished my wrapping and tucked my handiwork under the tree. Likewise, I’ve stuffed the boys’ stockings, and made sure everything was ready for Christmas morning. Now I sit in the dark, gazing at the lights of the tree.

Christmas Tree

This is something of a personal tradition for me, dating back to my pre-teen days. Back then I would grab a blanket, settle down over one of the floor-mounted heating vents, and let my mind wander.

Stillness is Still Good
There’s something to be said about finding those moments in life when things just… stop. For me, sitting in the dark and staring at the tree was one of those times. Other times, the world around me might not be still, but something will capture my attention, taking me into a sort of hyper-focus, and the rest of the world will seem to slow down to a crawl.

In such times, I notice the texture of the couch cushions, and the sounds… yes, the sounds.

I hear the sounds of the heater going on and off and the dog wandering through the house (possibly wondering why one of the humans is sitting in the dark, staring at an artificial tree adorned with lights and surrounded with wrapped gifts). I notice my breathing and heartbeat.

Once the heater shuts off I notice the sound of the ducts and the walls popping as they cool and contract. A distant car door slams shut, causing me to wonder where my neighbors have been, but also finding myself thankful that they’ve made it home safe.

The clicking now of the keys on the keyboard is such an intrusion on the silence, that it seems almost wrong to cause such a racket for such a trivial reason. But type I do, and I continue on, listening to see if the clicking of the keys echoes in the house.

I note with a bit of sadness that the lights of the tree don’t twinkle. We used to have the flasher bulbs, and for years went through the wearisome chore of figuring out which bulbs were flashers, and which were burned out. I miss the flashing lights though… especially the white ones, that cast strong shadows of the tinsel and branches against the walls. I would watch the patterns of different strands going on and off, wondering sometimes if I had already seen the resulting combination of shadows that at any given moment was projected on the wall.

I look at the ornaments on the tree. Some of them were handmade by the boys when they were in kindergarten or early elementary school. Others were gifts, given to one of us in hopes we might find them un-tacky enough to put on display.

So here I sit, quietly in the dark, staring at a tree, and the lifetime of memories that it represents.

Yes… it’s good to be still.

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Comments»

1. Christmas Ornaments - December 25, 2007

[…] In the Stillness of Christmas Eve […]

2. SilverTiger - December 26, 2007

Tigger and I love lights. Last year Tigger bought coloured rope lights and draped them around our bed. When we went to Margate for Christmas, she took them along and decorated the hotel room with them!

This year, the lights were still in store because of the refurbishment of our flat so Tigger bought a new set of blue ones – blue seems the trendy colour for lights this Christmas.

I like all the sounds of the quiet house too. I like to wake up in the night and hear the clock in the front room chiming the hour. From early morning we hear the tube trains running deep below the house. Do the people hurrying to work think of me lying in bed above them, I wonder? 🙂

3. Bookmarks Tagged Wearisome - December 31, 2007

[…] bookmarks tagged wearisome In the Stillness of Christmas Eve saved by 9 others     puppydolove bookmarked on 12/31/07 | […]


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