Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Christmastime Is Here

July 21st, 2009
2:30 a.m.

It is seldom a nice occurrence when you wake up during a nights sleep; this is perhaps even more so the case when its only been two and a half hours after you first laid your head down on your pillow to drift off into dreamland. But this has just happened, and here I am with a pen in my hand. Of course the first thing that I did, as I suspect most people do when their sleep has been interrupted so rudely, is to use the facilities (by this I refer to the washroom, not a gymnasium or racquet-ball court that I have in my Kitchener apartment. ‘Using the facilities’ sounds so much better than ‘I’m going to pee.’ Anyways, I digress.) After I use the facilities, just as I’m about to make my way back into my pitch black bedroom, I smell something – okay, that sounds kind of strange since I just came from the washroom. But this was coming from the nearby bookcase in my living room, and I took the step or two to catch more of the scent. It was the hot chocolate candle that I received as a birthday gift earlier this month. I bent over and took a deep breath in.

And it was Christmastime.

I haven’t lit the candle much at all yet, as it seems to be more suited for the winter, but the scent is so strong that you smell it almost every time you leave the living room heading into another part of the apartment. But your senses can often be dulled or asleep, or you just get so accustomed to smells and sounds that you get to where you don’t even notice them anymore. However, this night at two thirty in the morning, I took in the scent of the candle and it is Christmas. You see, it’s a deep, rich hot chocolate, one that you’d sip as you cozied up under a blanket on the couch, just under the window. On the other side of the window the snow is falling heavy and hard, and you know that in the morning there will be a tonne of the white stuff that you’ll have to trudge your way through if the sidewalks haven’t yet been cleared.

But that’s tomorrow.

Tonight you’re inside, with Christmas lights as the main source of illumination in the room, along with the small candles on the bookshelves, on the coffeetable, and in the windowsills, and the bright black and white images of Alastair Sim or Jimmy Stewart coming as alive as they do each and every year. This day has been filled with running around doing some last minute gift shopping while listening to Bing Crosby sing “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” on your iPod, or perhaps Enya, which brings an entirely different feeling, one that is heart-breakingly beautiful, sort of like what you experienced earlier on in the night when all the candles were lit in the old church and the choir was making its way down the center aisle singing “Silent Night” with no other instrumentation.

It’s magic.

But now you’re inside, sipping hot chocolate in your pajamas on a cold winters night, and somewhere just beneath your skin you feel the anticipation and you have no doubt that tomorrow really is the most wonderful day of the year. Tomorrow there may be the joy of watching children with their pure innocence and awe-struck eyes as they gather with uncombed hair under a tree, ready to shred shiny paper off of their presents. But tonight you’re here with your mug of rich hot chocolate, and you could live in this moment for a very very long time.

Christmastime was here, on this summers night, if but for a moment.

Time to go back to sleep.