About four o’clock this morning, a sudden crunch! on the roof woke me. I peered out the window. The half moon, high in a clear sky, illuminated everything. “The moon on the crest of a new-fallen snow gave a luster of midday to objects below.” Everything glowed softly, silently, white.
The sound I heard was probably ice shifting on the roof, but I couldn’t rule out another possibility. I recalled a similar instant, hours before Christmas, over thirty years ago. I was asleep in my little bed, in Woodstock, Connecticut. Above me, I heard a quick grinding crunch. I knew it was Santa. Yet beyond this—with strange precision—I knew specifically it was the sound of the sleigh’s metal runners departing the roof. There was something in the crunch! that announced lift-off, not landing. I saw, in my mind, the heavy sled pulling loose from a crust of snow.
This morning everything is frozen. The thermometer struggles toward ten degrees. I see no sleigh marks on the roof or anywhere. No reindeer tracks. Nonetheless, here are some pictures of a beautiful Christmas morning: