From outside the frosted windows, it’s such a heartwarming scene. The natural tree with its modest lights and handmade ornaments. Two young boys at a simple table, eating or playing cards with their parents. Some toys are scattered around the floor. An elaborate game involving plastic figures has been abandoned — but not forever, the boys would say.
What once was an Advent Chain hangs from a twine string on the wall, only one paper chain-link still intact. Not long ago, it was several feet in length, but now that last paper ring is just out of the first-grader’s reach. He glances at it, smiling. “One more day, Daddy.”
Why is it that, within the four walls of that room, no one seems to burst with joy? How do I survive the onslaught of this picturesque scene? Do I take it for granted? Do I forget how fleeting that joy is? Or is it rather that I remember how transient every moment is, and find it hard to put all of myself into something so ephemeral?
Well, what am I waiting for? What about you? Are you peering inside my window and forgetting the undeserved, passing joy that’s your own life? I trust you aren’t. You aren’t as foolish as I am.
But now I’m drawing the curtain. I won’t be peering through any laptop windows until the magical time has passed and my boys, bouncing through the holidays, have collapsed exhausted on the far shore of December 25th.
Meanwhile, if you celebrate, Merry Christmas to you. And if you don’t, enjoy the time off, the quiet and wonder that is a sunrise without having any particular place to be.