by Elizabeth Dargis
Christmas as an adult is exhausting and overwhelming. Shopping, cooking, writing cards, shopping, baking, entertaining, shopping.
But, one night in December is different from the whirl of the other nights for my family. We hold our “silent night”. Early in the season we mark the date and make sure everyone is home that evening.
Silent Night begins after dinner. We turn on the tree lights and we light candles around our living room. All the rest of the lights in the house are turned off. No music, TV, and other noise is allowed. No one talks. We cuddle on the couch together under a blanket and watch the lights dance. Our minds settle. We become relaxed and peaceful. The children’s eyes glitter from the candlelight. Contented smiles warm their faces. They remind me of adoring angels.
When we are ready, we each sit in the living room reading an inspirational book. We read by the glow of the candles as in times past. I always read the Christmas story in Luke. Something new is revealed each time. The kids enjoy Christmas stories like a “Little House Christmas” or “Angels and Donkeys”. Afterwards we pray silently thanking God for this season.
Softly someone starts singing, “Silent Night.” Others join in singing barely above a whisper. Our music fades away at the end of the chorus and we are quiet again. We listen to the silence for a few more moments.
Without a word, we blow out the candles, until no light remains but our tree lights. I can hear our breathing. The darkness seems to bring with it even more silence.
Then the silent night is over. We give each other hugs and turn on the lights. We continue our night- doing homework, chores and Christmas planning. But, we are all a little more quiet, a lot more peaceful and still glow from the light of the candles.
Let’s Do Something Different For the Holidays This Year!
Each year, for too many of us, the holiday season just doesn’t live up to our expectations. Instead of joy, it brings stress; instead of peace, it brings tension; instead of love, it brings animosity. This holiday, let’s do something different.