Another snow has blanketed Saint Paul, hushing the gentle breath of the city that sounds around us. It is Christmas Eve and we are all bedded down in the still of a lazy lingering sleep. The problems of the world are all far away, past streets that sleep and houses buried in tight. The isolation is complete and splendid.
This is the second Christmas in a row that we’ve had this kind of snow right on cue. Though we have all had several difficult years, at least we can count on the snow to snuggle us in when we need it the most. The great and mysterious continent that we live on always finds a way to provide.
I was going to write today on the War on Christmas – a mysterious invention of some media who seem to believe that there is some organized effort to purge Christmas from our lives. I intended to research the origins in the Roman festival of Saturnalia and the drunken brawl that Christmas always was in old England. I had a few juicy quotes lined up from the Puritans who even banned Christmas under Oliver Cromwell. I hoped to trace the decline of the day of St Stephen, patron saint of the poor, on the day after Christmas – a day that started as giving presents to the poor but gradually became a day to give presents to everyone, winding up as mere “Boxing Day” in the UK or becoming merged with Christmas itself in the USofA.
But none of that is important.
The deep isolation and quiet of the snow says far more than any of that noise and history. The brilliant light that radiates off of the air itself as the snow trickles down cuts us off from all the troubles of the world beyond and the people who want to make a name for themselves by stirring up trouble.
Today is, instead, an interior day. A day to be indoors where it is warm with our own thoughts. A day to stop and let the holiday come.
To my brothers and sisters who share this beautiful city of so much charm, and all of use who call Minnesota our homeland – Merry Christmas. May this snowfall cradle your life and give you time to be thankful for all we have.