12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar – December 6

December 6 – Andrea Tyler

I never really took the time to notice Christmas carols growing up. I mean, I knew when they were playing, but I had no real loyalty to one above another. And I almost answered this by saying I didn’t have a favorite because they’re all equal in terms of, of… well, crap. I never really got into the schmaltzy sentiment of it all. But then I thought about it for a moment and I realized that there was one song I liked above all the others.


I lusted after Kelsey Quinn for a long time. A lot longer than I would care to admit. When we ended up together, it seemed magical. Like if I fell asleep I would wake up and realize it had all been a dream or a fantasy. But we managed to get through to Christmas, and I escorted her to an adult’s-only ball. No, nothing like that. This is small-town Montana, for Pete’s sake. It was just a nice quiet evening with friends, and I arrived with Kelsey as my date.


When we arrived, the doors were open and I could see fairy lights twinkling inside. Loud laughter, lots of people, nowhere near my comfort zone. Kelsey noticed when I tensed, and guided me to the side of the building. We stood in the shadows and she said we didn’t have to go in until I was comfortable.


While we were there, a man came out with an acoustic guitar. He sat on the curb and very quietly began strumming God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Kelsey and I danced a little bit in the shadows before I told her we could go in. She took my hand, we wished the musician a merry Christmas, and joined the festivities.


So without contest, that song will always have a special place in my heart. I know when I hear it this year, I’ll think of that man, that night, and dancing in the shadows with the love of my life.


– Andrea Tyler appears in short stories Alive Day and A Little Gossip as well as the forthcoming novel Only Flame and Air.