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The song is "This Christmas Day" with Music and Lyrics by Steve Lavner. It is from the BC/EFA Carols for Cure Volume V CD.
This Christmas Day
By Amanda Berendt
Copyright December 2003
December 24, 1992
"...God bless us every one..."
"...Herbie wants to be a dentist..."
"...teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings..."
"...that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown..."
Nick turned off the television and sat in the resulting silence for several minutes. His plan to avoid the holiday was being thwarted by the Christmas specials on all of the networks.
Even though he had only been working for the Toronto Metro Police for seven months, he had managed to get Christmas Eve off. He didn't really enjoy the trappings of the holiday. The precinct was having an office party and he wanted to try to avoid all of the commotion.
The holiday season was usually a time he spent alone. He even avoided Lacroix and Janette at this time of year. Perhaps it was the joy and cheer taking place in the mortal world that made him feel even more isolated, or maybe it was because he believed a creature such as himself did not deserve to be joining in on such a holy celebration. Whatever the reason, he had almost always spent the holidays by himself.
I never knew Christmas
I never saw angels
I never heard sleigh bells
Until I stood with you
The silence of the loft was broken by the grinding sound of the elevator opening. There was only one person other than himself who hadaccess to his alarm code.
"I love how you've decorated for the holidays." Natalie said as she stepped into the room and scanned the barren walls. "We missed you at the party."
"I'm not really a party person." He said, not moving from the chair. He was hoping she'd just leave him alone. Not a chance.
Natalie had taken his coat from the rack by the door and now threw it onto his lap. "Since you don't want to party, you and I are going to go out and spend the evening together." When he still didn't move, she grabbed his arms and pulled him to his feet. "You are not going to wallow in self pity on Christmas Eve."
Realizing there was not point in arguing with her, Nick grudgingly put on his coat and allowed Natalie to lead him to the door.
Instead of taking one of their cars, Natalie insisted on walking,despite the cold night air. She said they could better enjoy the decorations on foot. After a while, Nick began to relax and to enjoy looking at the yard ornaments and the sparkling lights in the evening snow.
And I never felt sunlight
Break through the morning
This chill of December
Until I could with you
They stopped for a while when they reached the park. Despite the late hour and cold temperatures, the snow-covered hill was teaming with children and adults enjoying an evening of sleigh riding. Natalie dragged Nick to the top of the hill. She persuaded one of the children to them borrow a sled.
Nick sat behind her and held her with his arms around her waist. As they flew down the hill, she was surprised to hear him laughing. When they reached the bottom, Nick had a huge grin on his face. They spent the next hour racing down the hill, then trudging back up to the top pulling the sled behind them. Finally, they returned the sleigh to its owner who had to go home.
"That was the most fun I've had in a very long time." Nick said,still laughing as they followed the path out of the park. "I felt so free and happy."
It was nearly midnight as they walked back to the loft. On the way they passed an almost empty Christmas tree lot. The attendant was taking down the banners and cleaning up the unsold trees. "You should get a tree." Natalie said, taking Nick's hand and leading him into the lot. Being that it was Christmas Eve, the attendant let them have one of the remaining trees at no charge. The trees that were left were in pretty sad shape, but Natalie managed to find the best of the bunch. They half carried, half dragged the tree back to the loft.
When they got it set up in the living area, they stood back to survey their work. The tree looked tiny and forlorn. It's branches were bent and misshapen and the whole tree kind of bent to the side.
But now my eyes are open wide
And my heart is in your hands
Just how it's meant to be
This tattered Christmas tree
And only you and me
This Christmas day
The pair stood for a moment just looking at the tree. Then Natalie said, "Wait a minute. I have an idea." She went to the kitchen and rummaged through Nick's cabinets. "Here it is." She held up a box of microwave popcorn she had brought over one night when they watched a movie together. Taking out a bag, she popped it into the microwave and set the timer.
Off Nick's quizzical look, she smiled. "We're going to make a popcorn string to decorate the tree. All it needs is a little bit of love." She said digging through her purse. Finally, just as the microwave timer went off, she pulled out a sewing repair kit.
After an hour of tedious work with a needle and thread, they produced two strings of popcorn, which they hung around the tree. Nick had to admit it did look a little better, but it still needed something.
He thought for a moment, then went into the kitchen himself and opened one of the drawers. He came back to the living room carrying a box of candles. "We'll light it up the old-fashioned way."
He showed Natalie how to attach the candles to the branches by dripping some wax onto the needles and sticking the candle to it. Soon the tree was shining with the glow of flickering candles.
Nick looked past the tree and out the window. A light snow was falling. He was more at peace than he had been in many, many years. This season that he had been avoiding for so long had given him the joy and peace he had been searching for.
Never knew Christmas
Never felt snowflakes
Then somebody told me
That soon enough it would be true
Natalie and Nick sat side by side on the couch gazing at the tree. Natalie had wrapped her red scarf around the base of the tree to make a skirt. The little misfit tree wasn't so bad at all. It was just as beautiful as any other tree.
Natalie put down her much of hot chocolate and pulled her bare feet up onto the couch. She leaned her head onto Nick's chest as he put his arm around her.
"Merry Christmas, Nick." She said as she closed her eyes.
"Merry Christmas, Nat."