As I was relaxing in our living room on a Sunday night, gazing at our Christmas tree, only three days old in its most recent incarnation as a wondrous spectacle of colourful lights and shimmering garland and shiny glass balls, patiently suffering the incessant boot-stomping and bass-drum beat of dance music from the thing that lives above us, I began to think that one particular Christmas carol typifies the epitome of a truly pleasant holiday season.
Deciding to escape the noise Ė the irritation Ė for a few minutes, we took a walk through the nearby residential streets, happily enjoying the snow, the cold air and the twinkling lights shining from houses and spruce boughs and even a tiny herd of pretend reindeer seemingly grazing on lichens growing from rocky earth.
And the silence! It was just so quiet!
I firmly believe that such a level of peace is the only way to sincerely enjoy Christmas. It is actually the natural state of the season in my mind. Snowy fields. Cold nights. The dead of winter. The longest night of the year. The fairy tale mystery of immaculate conceptions and elves who build toys at the North Pole mixing with the frigid infinity of starry nights and dark woods full of animal tracks in the snow, strangely blue in the moon glow. All of it demands silence with a haunting whisper, an almost inaudible symphony of chirping songbirds and Arctic wind barely disguising the hunting paws of the cruel and vengeful monster who lurks in the shadows.
Silence! Or I might just drag you into the terrifying abyss of perpetual winter, bury you in an icy tomb, a planet of no sound at all.
But we donít listen to those orders. We donít listen to those threats.
Instead, we tend to go a few steps too far with the merry part of Merry Christmas and so transform the occasion into a boozy bacchanalia worthy of the very Romans who crucified the poor soul whose birth we pretend to be celebrating.
We eat. We drink. We sing and dance. All fine pursuits and apt activities for any party. But I just donít see Christmas as that sort of event. And it isnít a religious issue with me. I am not a religious person of any shape or form. I donít trust the story of Jesus Christ.
But it isnít just about him anyway.
Inherently, the season possesses an air of spirituality that deserves respect. A sacred aspect that deserves silence. Reverence. Awe. You can author your own definition according to your own personal connection. Christmas. Holiday Season. Winter Solstice. The name is not important. All that matters is that you obey the orders of that whispering voice and just stay quiet.
For Christís sake.