I remember it so clearly it could be yesterday. It was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, everyone was in bed and stupidly excited for Christmas. My grandparents were staying at our house, and because my room was the bedroom/guest room, I had moved in to my parents' bedroom and was on the put-me-up bed. Still in primary school, I could snuggle so far under the blankets I almost disappeared. I remember they were brown and woolly. I'm pretty sure my parents still have them. Every time I think of them, I'm taken back to a childhood of cold winter nights spent huddled underneath those blankets.
So anyway, there I am, the carrot, milk and biscuit had been left out in anticipation for the arrival of Santa and his sleigh, and I am about to go to bed and let my family get a precious few hours sleep before they awaken to me jumping up and down and emphatically declaring "It's CHRISTMAAASSSSSS," and then forcing them all to get up, bleary-eyed and bed-headed, and head downstairs to open presents.
I sneak out of bed and peep out over the windowsill. I can see down in to the garden. To me, at four years old, it seems to go on for miles. The sky is pitch black and twinkling with a sea of stars. It is breathtaking. I can sense the magic in the air. I stand there on tiptoe for a few moments, only just balancing, and watching out over the world.
And then I see it, right up, high, high up in the sky. It shoots across the star-blanketed sky and leaves a trail of silvery-white light behind it. The biggest, and brightest shooting star I have ever seen and ever imagined! Are my eyes playing tricks on me? Am I dreaming? Or did I see a flash of red winking at me amidst the silver?
And now, even as a twenty-seven year old, looking back at that night always gives me goosebumps. I will never know what I saw on that Christmas Eve. Was it just a shooting star? Or was it that jolly man dressed up in red with his team of reindeer? Every time I look back, I recapture the magic of that night. In that memory, I remember all the amazing Christmases I got to share with my grandparents (who have since passed.) In that star I always remember to embrace every moment, to live with excitement and never lose the wonder of making memories, And every Christmas. without fail, I will peek out the window and look up at the night sky, wishing, and hoping that I will see that star again. And maybe one day, just one day, it will shine down on me, reminding me that the magic if Christmas is something that won't ever leave me.
*This blog post is a competition entry for the Transun "Win a family trip to Lapland" competition.