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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Carols/Carolling (10/02/08)

TITLE: Silent Night (ii)
By Josiah Kane


26 December

Dear Dad

Yes. I know that Christmas is a season for good will, forgiveness, rejoicing, and not the confiscation of any newly acquired objects. But the way I see it, there weren't any stereo systems in the stable, were there? Beside, it is my responsibility to punish wrong, isn't it? OK, I'm sounding as dishevelled as I feel. Let me start at the beginning.

I awoke on just a normal Sunday morning. Church wouldn't begin 'till 11, and I would have a lovely thick duvet and coal-fired hearth to banish the intruding wisps of winter air that seeped beneath the door. Yet I did not lie in until 9:30 today, because yesterday just happened to be Christmas. I awoke to hear the din blaring out of four large satellite speakers strategically placed to wake everyone in the street! I hooked two dressing gowns onto my wiry frame, and shivered and stumbled down the staircase. I confronted my son, arrayed like a dishevelled, slouching vagrant, with the words “Hey, that ain't so cool. Cut it.”

“What's cool? The ice, or the iceband? And why are you playin' Santa in mum's gown?” he droned in a practised careless voice I could not hope to match, accompanied by various hypnotic hand gestures. I cut it to him straight—he was not to play that music, or any other Rock, for the next three days. I returned to bed. My son leaned toward the remote, and activated the telly. He switched to the God channel, to encounter a lovely choir singing “Silent Night.” This he turned to full volume. Then my son set his new stereo (and all available amplification), our radio, and his Cellphone to sing the same song at maximum noise. Finally he joined in. The cacophony perverted from that lovely hymn was terrible.

I stuck by my rule that I never ground someone away from church, and hence he accompanied myself and my wife to the old brick building. While we shivered in the shadow of the stalagmite steeple, the congregation was intoning “Hark the Herald.” We entered, and the song switched. We had reached “Silent night.” I did not lose my head. My son did. He, and his “gang” sang along, an octave low, a minute behind, and jokingly juggling the wholesome words of the hymn with their own words and flurries of fun-poking. I could only hang my head, as halfway through my son was frogmarched out of the building by two deacons lest he could commit any more serious blasphemy.

So, I confiscated his speaker system, and using electronic skills this youngest generation has yet to learn, disposed of the batteries. I grounded him for the rest of the day, limited to his room and the bathroom. I sent him up his supper—a meal of reheated spuds, pork, and Brussel Sprouts.

I am now in my own room, mulling over the days events and writing to you. I felt terrible for reacting so badly to him, and yet I know he was deliberately trying to provoke me. Christmas is about Jesus, and the light coming into the world. I've reread all gospel accounts of the time, but there is little encouragement. My reassurance comes from Romans 3:8. “Why not say...as some claim that we say—let us to evil that good may result. Their condemnation is deserved.” So I suppose that Christmas is more than a time of goodwill. It is a time of goodwill, good thoughts, and good actions. It is the starting point for the good news, and innately good. I suppose that it is my responsibility to punish wrong, as I would do any other day of the year. But I ought also be thinking of mercy. What do you think, Dad? I wasn't like this was I. I mean, we had our moments, but really, this is incredible. And by the way, thanks for the T-shirt and I hope you've had a merry Christmas.

Lots of love

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This article has been read 591 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Funmi Betty10/09/08
jeez! this piece reminds me of my dad. keep writing.
Jan Ackerson 10/09/08
I like this approach, and the multi-generational aspect here. Good job.
Catrina Bradley 10/12/08
This is very good! I think it would be just as good without the letter format, too. Strong writing & nice approach to the topic.