The House Is Quiet Now  

Posted by Brock Booher

The house is quiet now.

The decorated Christmas tree shines in the window and the lights on the house cast a red and green glow in the night. A mountain of neatly wrapped gifts awaits. The pantry is stocked with treats and the refrigerator is overflowing with food. The beds are all made with clean linens and the smell of scented candles wafts along the hallway. Everyone will be home for Christmas soon.

The house is noisy now. Everyone arrives with holiday greetings and a warm embrace. The kids chatter on about school and friends. The grandkids squeal with delight at the sight of the miniature train as it circles the tree and blows its whistle. The kitchen is filled with the sounds of tinkling glasses and pots and pans. Animated conversations fill the living room and rise above the sound of background music. Laughter echoes down the hallway. Everyone has arrived for Christmas.

The house is crazy now. The bathrooms are constantly full and hot water is scarce from time to time. Mealtime is an undertaking akin to feeding a starving army marching across Siberia in the wintertime. Siblings fight over the comfortable seats on the couch and jockey for position in front of the television to play video games. Wrapping paper seems to have proliferated through every room in the house. Offices have become spare bedroom space with mattresses on the floor. The doorbell is constantly ringing as deliveries roll in. Everyone is anxious for Christmas.

The house is happy now. Christmas morning has arrived! With a prayer of thanks the festivities begin. Presents are distributed and one by one the ribbons and wrapping paper are discarded. Eyes light up at the sight of cherished gifts. The words, “Thank You” and “You’re welcome” are repeated over and over again. The smell of waffles with buttermilk syrup and bacon invite everyone to the kitchen. Everyone is happy that Christmas morning has finally arrived.

The house is dirty now. Piles of wrapping paper are scattered across the living room. Dirty dishes languish in the sink waiting for their turn in the dishwasher. Discarded socks litter the entryway and shoes clog the hallway like cars in a traffic jam. Crumbs from cookies and homemade bread await the broom. Fingerprints cover the refrigerator door handle. Damp towels carpet the bathroom floor. The washing machine hums along trying to keep up. Everyone wonders how Christmas could make such a mess.

The house is stressful now. Travel arrangements are checked and suitcases are stuffed with gifts. Work emails must be answered and school beckons. Linens are stripped from the beds and piled in the laundry room. The alarm clock is employed once again. Quick farewells are exchanged and tears wiped from cheeks. Vehicles are packed with bodies and suitcases are stuffed into trunks. The car exhaust lingers in the garage like spoiled perfume. Everyone has departed after Christmas.

The house is quiet now.

Matching Christmas Pajamas Yay!