Dreaming of Christmas Past

Reads: 43  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic

The approaching days before Christmas used to be a time of anticipation and elation. It used to bring out the child in me, and my pure delight at feeling the magic in the air. Now, I sit atop a bunker in a land so far from home, waiting in anticipation for what might come and when.

DREAMING OF CHRISTMAS PAST

(At an outpost in Vietnam, 1969)

By Al Garcia

The approaching days before Christmas used to be a time of anticipation and elation.  It used to bring out the child in me, and my pure delight at feeling the magic in the air.  Now, I sit atop a bunker in a land so far from home, waiting in anticipation for what might come and when. 

How strange to remember how simple and how pure the days once were.  How welcoming the memories of times before the shattering of my childhood, my youth and finally my dreams.  I remember well the days of Christmas when I was innocent at heart and untainted by the brutality and vulgarity of life beyond the circle that sheltered and protected me.

For now, I am a man -- haunted by visions and images of Christmas in the Valley of Death, far from the little town of Bethlehem, and lifetimes removed from the divine and guiding light that uplifted the world and was supposed to change the destiny of man.  This is the season of my reflections of unclaimed dreams that could have been, and lives that could have touched and changed the course of all that was to come.  It is my time to remember once again, the cruelty of one extraordinary Christmas, when hope abandoned and dreams deserted the discarded and ravaged souls of boys not yet men, and of tired and misplaced men, who glimpsed for one brief moment the divine and guiding light amidst the smoke and sound and shadows of a forsaken battle, far from the sheltering and protective circle of those they left behind.

It is always on Christmas when I recall the faces of friends that never age and never feel the cold dry winter wind, or see the beauty of the falling snow, or sense the warmth of an embrace, or hear the church bells ringing or choirs singing on Christmas Eve.

Christmas makes me think of friends and even strangers I never met, who found no shelter from the chaos and the madness so many Christmases ago, in a land devoid of golden rays of hope and solace to help guide their souls to heaven’s gate. 

I look at my reflection in the mirror and see the splintered image of the boy I used to be and the man I have become.  Broken and exhausted.  Tired and beaten by the ghosts that haunt my mind and heart.  And I think of all the days that I have seen and felt, and the many Christmases I’ve shared with those I’ve loved and love, and it is then that I can feel so intensely and so deeply, the loss of those who once had dreams like me. 

If Christmas could be again like it used to be, when I was young and innocent and naïve.  If only I could feel again the promise and the hope that Christmas used to bring.

If only the approaching days of Christmas would bring back the anticipation and elation, and the delight and the magic of Christmases past, and not the memories or the images of a moment and a place in time that never fades and never ceases to wound my broken heart.

Dreaming of Christmas, again.  If only I could live the dream again.


Submitted: May 27, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Children Stories Articles

Other Content by A.Garcia