Alexei Kawula! Alexei is a Year 11 homeschool student all the way from Canada!
I stand by the fireplace listening to my mother delegate to me a very important responsibility. After receiving my orders, I walk up to the closet, slide on my boots, zip up my jacket, and put on the warmest gloves I own. This is the first Christmas Eve that performing this great family tradition is my responsibility. So, when I look back toward the dining room and see all my family members living the Christmas spirit, a new sense of duty overwhelms me. Consequently, I pick up my precious bundle and steel myself to what I may find outside in the cold. My backyard is the ideal place to perceive the majesty of this wintery Christmas Eve.
Stepping outside, I stop on the patio steps, noticing how my senses react to the abrupt change in environment. To illustrate, an overwhelming cold envelopes me and begins searching for a spot of exposed skin. Furthermore, the path ahead of me is a road of glittering diamonds, as the moon light dances off of the new skiff of snow. I hear the wooden steps creak and groan under my weight. I jump down the steps and walk down the trodden path before me, but then something else grabs my attention.
Sounds instantly break the still silence found when I first got outside. I hear a gust of wind as it howls past. The wind, blowing the snow off of a tree branch, sends the new snow slowly falling to the earth, like sugar being sprinkled over the ground. The urge before me is irresistible, so I shift my bundle and throw off my glove, letting the snow fall onto my hand. The cold surges through my fingers and palm. As the snow melts, it turns into tiny droplets of water, gathering in my palm. Hearing laughter from inside, my attention instantly turns back to my bundle and my uncompleted mission.
My gaze falls onto the wooden structure at the end of the yard, and I walk over to investigate. Upon reaching the structure, I smell the comforting scent of freshly cut wood. The darkness in the structure hinders my ability to see, so I reach for the light switch. Like staring at the sun, the light that instantly fills the stable momentarily blinds me. After regaining my senses, I see all of the life sized statues creating the Nativity set. My gaze drifts to the most beautiful statue there. In a blue mantel and with her eyes and face smiling, Mary is a sight to take in. Joseph is standing guard over Mary, a look of fatherly pride marks his features. Moreover, I can see that the statues of people and animals are all facing an empty crib in the front of the display.
On this Christmas Eve and right here in my backyard, I perceive all of the elements that make this winter night so memorable. Looking back towards the house, I see all my family has ceased their festivities and begun to gather around the window. The weight of my precious burden suddenly comes to my attention. I look down at the precious statue of baby Jesus held in my arms. Then, I gently lay my precious bundle into the hay filled crib. At that moment, the sound of my favorite Christmas carol, “Go Tell it on the Mountains” drifts to my ears and I fall to my knees in front of my Savior. Although nothing like the first Christmas, being here in my backyard in front my Savior is equally memorable.
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