The red bauble hangs from the tree branch. We can see a young family in the reflection of the bauble; a family inverted and flickering. The bauble catches the light from a nearby fire, crackling in the hearth. The family are shadows sitting down together between the fire and the tree.
The girl unwraps a present and clutches it excitedly to her chest–it is exactly what she asked for. The boy plays with his wooden car, rolling it back and forth upon the rug. Mother and father laugh as they exchange gifts with each other.
The camera pans away from the tree. No longer are the family a mere reflection in flame, but solid colour. Warmth floods the room: warm tones, warm feelings. Discarded wrapping paper litters the floor. Reflective surfaces–drinking glasses, seeing glasses, eyes–catch the light of the flame.
Still further away and we are standing outside. Something could touches us. It is a snowflake. They are striking the window of this cabin where it is forever Christmas and they are melting against the glass. Outside, standing in the snow, a man in heavy black boots is watching them. His clothes are all red, except for his sleeves with are edged with thick, white wool. He has a thick and a moustache and eyes that twinkle as he watches the family. He smiles.
The camera pans back further and everything is lost in the snow. There is the sound of jingling bells. A sudden flash of light. Bulbs hum as they are switched on, blazing through the snow. The sign reads: Merry Christmas.
It is an advertisement.
This post was originally published as “21122020“.