photo Noel Zia Lee
Most people call this season a magical time, and when I think about what makes it so, I think of all the traditions that we revisit year after year—rituals that are shared by so many others at the same time that they become larger than our individual acts.
I love seeing cars with Christmas trees tied on top, people carrying bags of packages wrapped with red bows, neighbors stopping by with a tin of holiday cookies. And that special glow everyone gets decorating the home in sparkling lights and ornaments that we take out of storage only once a year and only at this special time.
When I watch Christmas Carol every year I can’t help remembering the way at age five, I hid behind the sofa the first time I saw the black robed ghost of Christmas future. Then last year I saw my friend’s little daughter do the same thing!
Back when I was a dancer living in New York City, I once had a rehearsal that ended late at night and I didn‘t have the money for a cab. So I took the stairs down to the subway platform below street level—a dark and desolate place in a not-so-savory neighborhood.
There was only one other person there, and by the nervous look she gave me when I arrived, I guessed she wasn’t feeling too safe either. I just hoped the train would arrive before any bad dudes discovered two defenseless women were down in this enclosed space where I doubted anyone would hear a call for help.
It was almost Christmas and I clung to the joy that always fills me this time of year. I quietly began singing to myself “Deck the Halls.” The middle-aged woman waiting several feet away must have heard my tiny song because she started singing it too, joining me word for word. Soon we were standing close together singing one carol after another until the subway arrived.
We didn’t know each other’s names and we got off the subway at different stops, but when we parted we exchanged a smile that told me we had shared in the special magic that is Christmas.
What about you?
Alicia Street is a USA Today bestselling author and a Daphne du Maurier award-winner. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher and is a compulsive reader of every genre. You can connect with Alicia at her website or visit her on Facebook or Twitter.
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