The Ravens of Avalon
You have finally admitted to yourself that the time for zombies has already passed this year. Your loved one will not emerge from the grave, dragging clumps of soil and worms on her bony feet, and sit next to you on the sofa. Your loved one will not rest her head on your shoulder as you describe your favorite Sir Arthur Conan Doyle photograph. Your loved one won't tap on your living room window with her beak, disguised as a hawk, like a character in a medieval lais. She is dead and the fireplace will roar, with or without her. Pine needles will drop and snow will fall, with or without her.
When you originally heard the story of the first Christmas, you, like all the other little imps eating glue in Sunday school, thought only of birth. You pictured baby Jesus swaddled in a pristine cloth as Virgin Mary cooed over him. Joseph, standing a step or two behind Mary, gazed approvingly at his son. Somewhere in the background, sheep bleated. Mice scurried through the hay. A couple of birds worked on their nest as Mary and Joseph adjusted theirs. You never once thought of death. Yet Jesus's birthday was no exception to the fact that people die everyday.
People heave their last sigh and die because they are hungry, or sick, or old, or simply overwhelmed. People murder other people. Other animals kill people. Both natural and man-made disasters kill people. Accidentally or not, people die everyday. And on the day that Jesus came into this world, men, women, and children died.
Somewhere in the fairy tale of Christmas, someone neglected to mention that. You only now see such neglect because, this holiday season, you are not celebrating birth. You are visiting the Isle of Avalon with a flock of ravens to carry you.