by Steve Clem on December 23, 2009

Being alone is rough. Being alone on Christmas, I think, will just plain suck.

No kids. No loved ones. No special someone. Nobody to enjoy a cup of egg nog (does anyone actually enjoy egg nog?) in front of a fire (if I had a fireplace) with.

No squeals of joy from little ones when they see what Santa brought them this year.

It would be easy to mope. To get down. To say “screw this” and turn Christmas into a 12-pack induced pity party.

But as I stood on my balcony tonight, pondering my first real Christmas all alone EVER in my life, I realized it could be much worse.

I could be alone, and homeless.

I could have nobody who cares about me…which I know is not the case.

I could be hungry and not sure where to find a meal.

I could be estranged from my childrens’ lives and not know that they like raisin bran more than cheerios, and donuts over bagels.

I could be fighting for my country halfway around the world, worrying about being blown up by a guy with a garage door opener, away from my loved ones with no chance of seeing them anytime soon.

Or I could be gone from this world, dust in the wind, and not be able to wake up Christmas morning and take a deep breath of the cold air and thank God for being alive this day.

So Christmas Eve, I’ll put on my snow boots and trudge through whatever amount of snow down the street, go to a Christmas service, and thank God for what I have in my life:

  • Two amazing sons who never cease to amaze me or bring a smile to my face.
  • Countless friends who are always there for me and always find a way to make me laugh.
  • An amazing family who has helped me out through some rough times in the last few years (Thank you Mom, Dad, Dave, Jim, and your families).
  • The fact that I understand that my life is not about my possessions, my income, my things, but about who I am as a person, and how I treat the people around me.

Standing on the balcony alone tonight, I heard from across the street ice skates shushing across a rink, and the sound of a puck being smacked off a stick, then hitting the rink wall with a loud “thump.” As the snow lightly fell, I heard the sound of a shovel scraping against a sidewalk, scratching its way from clean white to dirty gray. From a distant snowbank, the sound of children taking delight in the early stages of the “stormegeddon” can be heard.

What a beautiful, peaceful and not so silent night.

Merry Christmas! May your nights never be silent.

* * * *

Steve Clem originally published this piece on the blog A Prisoner in the Tundra.

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