Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Past 2009, 19

We had just finished Christmas dinner when it happened. The first person to notice it was my younger brother. I was too busy unwrapping my presents to notice him pressing his nose flat on the large window in the living-room. My parents didn't notice either. They were clearing the table and looking after my granny, making sure that she was comfortable on the sofa. She didn't notice it either: she was too busy watching me playing with my new toys.

After a while I noticed my brother had left all his presents behind, which was definitely unusual. I looked at him, still standing there, his breath fogging the glass as he stared outside. What was he looking at? What could be more interesting than his presents? Some were still lying untouched under the Christmas tree.

I moved to the window to discover what was out there.

At first I saw nothing. I asked my brother what it was, but he would not respond. He kept staring up into the dark sky. So I went closer, as close as possible to the window, my nose flattened by the cold pane, and tried to figure out what it was. I could see nothing special.

Just when I was about to turn around and start playing with my new toys, I saw it. Up there. There were only one or two at a time, white against the sky, and hardly visible, but those were definitely snow flakes falling from the sky.

I had never had snow at Christmas before, so the thought of a proper white Christmas was incredible. So I kept standing there, excited to see if the snowfall would get heavier, or stop. And after a while it did grow heavier. We watched the green of the grass at the front of the house being covered by white. We saw the black silhouettes of the trees turning white, slowly. The bushes and every single part of the sad-looking dark world outside turned white, just as if the angels themselves had dropped their feathers on our world. And all I could think of was that this was the best Christmas present I had ever got.

I can't tell you how long I was standing there for. Two little boys were fascinated by the snow falling outside. But finally my brother broke the silence.

'Let's build a snowman,' was what he said.

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