Quiet Little Neighborhood

Snow so white, stars so bright, the peaceful town lay silent at the foot of a mountain so large it appeared to cut right into the fabric of the midnight sky. Snow danced and twirled in the wind as it made its way to the ground, getting caught here and there on the tree branches, covering the green tufts in a sprinkle of white.

The houses of the town lay still, the windows dark, outlined with colorful lights blinking in vibrant blues, greens, and reds that. Some still hidden underneath the layers of snow that covered the rooftops. Fluorescent deer grazed out on the lawns of some of the homes, picking through the snow to get to the dead grass. On the front porch of the Tenanbaum’s stood a glowing statue of Santa Claus, with his ratty, tan bag of toys slung over his shoulder. The festive statue stood proud, shining like a beacon to direct the big man.
Inside the home of the Tenanbaum’s, all that could be seen were dancing lights that mimicked their counterparts on the outside, twirled around the Christmas tree that stood tall in anticipation of jolly ol’ Saint Nick. Across the living room from the tree sat the brick fireplace. The Tenanbaum’s were one of the last families to hold on to their wood fireplace and refrain from progressing to the modern gas fireplace. The smell of a wood fire still hung in the air from the fireplace, adding a wondrous winter aroma to the household. Atop of the fireplace hung the family stockings. Each of them hung from their designated spots, indicated by a letter that corresponded with their name. M for Mom, D for Dad, B for Ben, and J for Julia. The colors of the stockings alternated colors in the classic Christmas colors; green, red, green, red.

Above the stockings up on the mantle of the fireplace, lay a large strand of green garland that extended from end to end, hanging off the sides by a couple of inches. Intertwined within the garland were gold lights that dimly illuminated the outline of the mantle. Two nutcrackers, dressed in uniforms of ice blue and white, stood guard on each end of the mantle, watching over the house. Follow the gazes of the guards to the mahogany coffee table in the center of the room and see the plate of freshly baked cookies that sat on the table, the sweet smells infusing with the lingering aroma of the fire. The cookies were homemade chocolate chip, a flavor completely irresistible by Santa. Underneath the plate was a note addressed to him, scribbled out by little Julia Tenanbaum, thanking Santa for all that he has done for her and her family. She loved Santa and was always so excited for his arrival.

Julia lay in her great big comfy bed in the room up at the top of the stairs, surrounded by loads of poofy pillows and warm blankets. She laid amongst the fluffiness with a great big smile on her face and she dreamed of the magical morning she would wake up to the next morning. Her thick, frizzy black hair was put up in a bun to keep it out of her deep brown eyes while she slept. Her mother had painted her nails with red and green stripes to keep with the spirit of Christmas. Her nails perfectly matched the stripes of her cotton pajama pants that she wore with her red long sleeve pajama shirt that had a picture of Rudolph leading the sleigh on the front. It was a Christmas look for the ages.
Across the hall from Julia’s room was the room of her brother, Ben. Ben loved Christmas just as much as his little sister, but since he was older, he kept his love for Christmas a bit quieter. He was not outfitted with Christmas themed pajamas like his sister, instead he lay underneath his dark blue comforter, dressed in basic green flannel pajama pants, and a red long sleeve. He still liked to keep with the color scheme, but preferred to keep it simple. Ben, as well, slept with a smile, eager for the morning ahead.

Down the hall slept Mr. and Mrs. Tenanbaum. They lay close together underneath the covers, happy to have one another around the holidays. The parents lay peacefully, looking forward to the day with their kids the next morning, but not looking forward to being awoken by their human alarm clocks at the break of dawn with their kids charging in and jumping on them. Although they dreaded being awoken so early, deep down they loved and treasured those moments, for they were moments that they would not trade for the world.

There was truly no reason to grieve, on this wonderful Christmas Eve.


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