This was the door to Christmas town. Everyone who lived here celebrated Christmas every day. Every night was once again Christmas Eve, with the anticipation and eagerness you would expect. It seemed backwards to do it this way, but it worked for them. And who were these fine citizens to do anything in a normal way? They had all, independently, come to the conclusion that this day was too special to have only once a year.
Some had started with the idea of celebrating Christmas for the 12 days, right up to Epiphany. That tradition had faded out of practice but the clue remained in the Carol, or in the Catholic observance of Three Kings Day. What had been lost was found again.
Other had celebrated Christmas in July, watching Hallmark holiday specials and having a grand dinner with all the trimmings. Others had a special dinner with family and took the whole day off to rest and rejoice once a week.
But for some, these make-do attempts weren’t enough. They wanted Christmas every day. It wasn’t the presents they wanted, but the presence. They had come to recognize that Christmas was its own entity, a very force in itself. It was if a certain Someone was in the room, but they just couldn’t be seen. Neither old nor young, male nor female – this presence was eternal, and available to all who made a place for it in their homes.
It was why Advent was such a powerful time. It was a preparing, a setting-aside, a making-space. In Advent, you didn’t just prepare gifts or food or clean your home or pack to go visiting family (blood or otherwise). In Advent you made a space for this Someone to live in your heart. It took a month for most to clear away the cobwebs, to gear down from a workaday life of getting and spending. They were so used to a life of lack and want and ignorance that it took all that time to settle into the new pattern that this Someone offered, a pattern of wholeness, of contentment.
For the residents of this town, one day of this feeling wasn’t enough. One by one they moved here, having heard of this place through rumors and whispers.
There was no industry here for people to travel to – no shops or businesses. Everyone had the day off. Nobody wanted for anything. There was always enough food, always enough craft supplies, always enough books. Nobody finished anything in Christmas town and nobody felt bad about it. There was always the next day and never a rush.
For you see, Christmas town was in a temporal bubble. It really was Christmas every day here. They weren’t just pretending. Food never went bad because it never got old. It simply transformed at the stroke of midnight into fresh groceries again, so they could enjoy the pleasure of filling the house with all those delightful aromas from cooking a Christmas meal.
People didn’t age here either. Children were always youthful and agile, elders were always mirthful and spry. Each enjoyed the company of the other, and the Christmas Eve bedtime stories never got old.
However, the people who lived here never realized that it was always the same. They too reset at the stroke of midnight, also becoming new again. They never aged, never counted the days since they had moved to this unusual town. How could they? It was all the same, an unchanging day of joy repeated ad infinitum.
(Written around Christmas 2019)