The first signs of Christmas come when you’re not expecting them. You step into your local craft store and instead of the usual scents of pencils and wood and dust, the smells of cinnamon and cloves wrap around you like a blanket. The gentle melodies of Christmas music tinkle in your ear as you stand, quietly dumbfounded at the sight of the twinkling lights and red and white decorations, where only days before soft colours of fall had resided. You take a deep breath of that spice smell into your lungs as you resign yourself to the fact that Christmas is here, and Thanksgiving is next week.
The next day, you seem to see it everywhere. Every establishment is advertising baked goods, ready to warm your body with hopes and wishes of Christmas. How peppermint flavoured mochas are supposed to do that, you are not quite sure. You tug on the sleeves of your hoodie. It’s still not warm enough for a sweater. Christmas carols haunt you in your sleep.
The smile of the young woman from the bookstore cafe as she offers you a sample of their latest Christmas flavored thing startles you from book-browsing. A smile back and a soft flutter in your chest remind you that maybe there are still good things in the world. You take the drink and go back to the shelf, but now the loneliness that had occupied a deep space somewhere in your soul is happy again; and for a reason you don’t quite understand, you are content.
Faint “Merry Christmas!”s are heard as you walk around your favourite shops with people you love. You find yourself saying it back as you exit a historical tour site. You smile to yourself. Merry Christmas. What lovely words they are.
All of the lights are out in the apartment you are staying in with your family. Alone in the loft, you stare up and up into the deep fabric of the darkest night above you as it twinkles, with stars and a moon grinning back at you as if the Cheshire Cat has found himself stuck up in the stars like a tree and is unable to return to the earth. ‘Perhaps wonderland is in the stars,‘ you think, as your hand brushes the page of the new book you started in the yarn shop earlier, its characters not unlike the stars far above. A kind of peace washes over you as you find yourself drifting off into worlds far beyond, Christmas echoes playing in your thoughts.
The knowledge that the Christmas Season has found its way into your heart almost always comes too late. You sit on the couch in your vacation spot two days from the big moment and your find your heart becomes warm. The blankets that are tucked close to you, the resting of the heavy necklace against your chest, and the fuzzy pants that comfort you all of a sudden make you smile. Here, it’s come, the lightness and comfort to yourself and your family, even if but small. Inside you, you know. It’s Christmas time now.
~ Of Rainy Days,