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Righteous Christmas Winter 1980

Skye Robinson-Bean

It was a Friday on the beautiful Island of Bermuda and I truly believe that no one was more excited about that than I was. I looked out of the window to see winter; winter in Bermuda that is. The loud boom of thunder and flash of lightning came at once, as the melodic sound of rain hitting the black asphalt somehow counteracted the scariness and sadness of the dark gloomy sky. The chilly breeze of winter escaped and swept through the radiant, adventurous Island of Bermuda. The iridescent leaves that remained on their home branch, rustled gently; others blew from their position on the ground. The once soothing crash of the ocean waves was disturbed by the roughness of the weather and...“Annabel? Annabel?”As I reluctantly turned away from my observations, I noticed that the class was completely empty. Oh no. I did it again, I thought to myself. Then I realised that my English teacher, Ms Greene, was the one who had torn me away from my daydream.“Sorry, Ms Greene,” I replied quickly. “I was just simply observing the rapid change the nature has made since the presence of winter and....”“It is all right Miss Wright,” she stated, cutting me off. “But, may I suggest you start heading off to your next class, before you get into trouble?”“Right.” With that I packed up my books, and sprinted to my next class. But before I left the classroom, Ms Greene added, “Please don’t let it happen again, Annabel.”I stopped momentarily to reply. “I’ll try, Ms Greene. I’ll try.” Then I proceeded my sprint to home economics in the building 2 across the street.Thank goodness, I thought to myself as I reached the classroom. Fortunately, I had made it just in time to enter the room with the rest of my classmates. I sat down at my usual spot (right by the window) and waited patiently for Mr Smith to start. Thankfully, I did not have to wait too long.“Good afternoon class,” Mr Smith began. “I am sure you are all excited for the winter break and of course Christmas and the New Year. So to end the term on a good note, I thought it would be nice to bake some Christmas cookies.” Murmurs of approval filled the room but I could not approve; I did not approve.“Now, Jeremy is going to come around to give you the ingredients and the instructions,” he stated. “Once you receive them, you may begin.”After his instructions, I found myself walking to his desk. “Um, Mr Smith?”He looked up from his newspaper. Mr Smith was fifty-five and I always thought he looked good for his age. But in that moment, about five feet away from, I was able to notice many signs bringing out his real age (signs like fine wrinkles and permanent tired circles). Before I could take in any more signs of old age, a bright smile spread across his face, hiding his many wrinkles and permanent circles.“Hello, Miss Wright. How may I help you?”“Well, actually,” I said, “I wanted to remind you that I do not celebrate Christmas.” His eyes suddenly became distant, as if trying to remember the time when I told him.Soon his face became calm and he apologised by saying, “I am terribly sorry, Annabel. I do remember you telling me.” Then he added, more to himself really, “How could I have forgotten?” Then to me, “If you don’t mind me asking, do you know why you do not celebrate Christmas?”“Well, the simple reason is that I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and we believe that Christmas is not the real birth date of Jesus Christ. We believe that Christmas has a Pagan origin as do most holidays that are observed today. So as true followers of Jesus we obey his commandments as set out for us in the bible and therefore do not participate in such events. In addition to that, I personally feel that people celebrate Christmas just because they get presents that their parents trick them into believing it comes from Santa Claus. I believe that most people have never even considered the history and the facts stating what Christmas is really all about.”“Wow, Annabel,” he said after I had finished. “It sounds like you truly believe in this religion of yours.”“I believe in Jesus and want to do what pleases him, Mr Smith, even though it can be hard to do sometimes” I confirmed, confidently.“That is very good, Miss Wright.” Then after a short pause he asked, “Well, what do you suppose we do about this then?”“Actually, I was wondering, Mr Smith, if I could just bake last week’s assignment, because I didn’t get a chance to complete it fully.”“Brilliant idea, Miss Wright,” he said in reply. Then, considering the conversation over, Mr Smith returned to his newspaper and I returned to my position by the window.That same afternoon, I was curled up on the warm fuzzy bean bag chair, located in the safe boundaries of my diminutive but appealing room. As I lay in that position, reading a book, I knew that this winter break was just what I needed.Christmas Eve: 1980It was indeed Christmas Eve. Yet, to me and other fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses, it was just another evening; an evening spent in the comfort of our homes.Christmas Day: 1980Christmas Day was, again, just another day for us. But, for the rest of the world, it was one of the most important days of the year. As the rest of the world (not including Jehovah’s Witnesses, of course) celebrated this Pagan holiday, singing Christmas carols and eating Christmas dinner, we sat at a dinner table eating normal dinner, laughing and interacting with one another, genuinely enjoying the company of other family members....and most importantly felt much joy and happiness knowing that we are pleasing Jehovah and his son Jesus.