Since Thanksgiving, howling Arctic blasts had pummeled the cabin’s sturdy door all night, every night, as if to seek entrance. Was this simply a reminder from the great, white north that something was coming — something big — and that the time for preparation was at hand? The dawn of a new day would soon arrive, but he wasn’t ready to greet it just yet. He pulled the covers over his head to stifle the endless sounds of the outside world. Perhaps he could keep it at bay for just a little longer? There were still dreams to be dreamt, and his head remained wrapped in a pleasant, sleepy fog from the night before’s batch of egg nog. (Potent, just as the recipe his great grandmother had brought over from The Old Country demanded.)

When the fingers of golden morning sunlight finally crept in through the window to pry his brain awake a few hours later, he was ready. He pondered how just a little extra slumber above what he was normally able to enjoy could brighten the prospects of the day ahead. In spite of this positive disposition, however, something was troubling him. He peeled his limbs from bedsheets that, like soft, cozy tentacles, seemed to entwine and entice him back to rest. He resisted the temptation and reached out to the nightstand to feel around for his spectacles. They were right where he’d left them the night before: next to the iPad on which he’d been watching A Christmas Story with Peter Billingsley. (“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”)

I Wish You a Merry ChristmasAh! Christmas! So that’s why he’d been able to sleep through the morning without conference calls or other forms of interruption for the first time in ages! That’s why he had half a gallon of egg nog sitting in plain view on the counter (and another half gallon of egg nog in his belly)! That’s why he was wearing giant red stockings and a nightcap that resembled the one Santa might have worn last night as he was zipping across the globe in his magical, flying reindeer-drawn sleigh! He blinked a few times and looked through lenses smudged with candy cane-sticky fingerprints and cookie crumbs to appraise the surrounding cabin. Something was missing…

And then he heard the singing. Was it just more wind playing tricks on him? As the Great Indoorsman, it wouldn’t be the first time he’d been fooled by the mischief-making minions of Mother Nature. No! There it was, again. Distant, but the melody was clear, even if the words that fell upon his ears seemed like a bunch of nonsense. Out in the middle of nowhere, though, it was inviting nonsense, so he resolved to investigate the mystery to its source. It was Christmas, after all, and what harm could there be in finding out what such friendly voices were up to in the enchanting winter wonderland beyond his front door?

He strode into the serene forest glade, his breath misting in the crisp morning air. A cheerful menagerie of woodland denizens were there, gathered around an aged pine, and they shared merriment at the occasion of Christmas. Laughter! Song! Camaraderie! Joy to the World! Peace on Earth! Good will toward… bunnies? Deer? Honey badgers? Pine trees? He scratched his head as he struggled to recall just how that quaint old phrase was supposed to end. Too much nog in the noggin.

And that’s when he suddenly remembered what his Christmas had been missing all along…

I Wish You a Merry Christmas by LockerGnome