Sunday, December 18, 2016

Time for Quiet Amid the Noise

We live in a noisy world, and never more so than during the holiday season. Bells jingle and tinkle, horses clip-clop, carolers falala, and every store has piped-in music and noisy toys to tempt buyers and their children. Noise seems to be valued and desired more than quiet.

Picture book author Deborah Underwood recognizes that there are many different kinds of quiet. She names some of them in her Quiet Book. For example, there's "lollipop quiet" and "pretending you're invisible quiet." Some quiet times are happy, and some are anxiety prone.

Where I live, we are experiencing the deepest, darkest days of the year. We hurtle toward the Winter Solstice and our celebration of Christmas a few days later. These events toward the end of our calendar year make me want to stop and reflect, and that requires quiet.

Underwood knows that Christmas has its own kinds of quiet. Hence her picture book The Christmas Quiet Book. There's "knocking with mittens quiet" and "listening for sleigh bells quiet," for example. Even as I look back on the past year, these kinds of quiet indicate anticipation, looking forward.

Both books are illustrated with quiet animal drawings by Renata Liwska, who demonstrates that quiet does not mean inactive or passive.

As I wait for these days at the end of the year to arrive and pass, I wonder how I can be actively quiet? How can I stop, reflect, look back, look forward and still get done the many things this season demands? How do you find quiet time?

In tribute to the season, I offer this sweet Austrian carol, "Stille, Stille, Stille," sung in English by the Norman Luboff choir.


  1. I have and love The Quiet Book, but didn't know there was A Christmas Quiet Book! Beautiful post, Jane. Imi and I are spending these two days together, and mostly being quiet. She's playing; I'm reading.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Linda. Winter quiet is a special kind of quiet, isn't it? Merry Christmas!

  3. Hi, Jane,

    It's wonderful to know there are picture books celebrating quiet! And the carol and the coordinating black and white photo were lovely! As an introvert I crave quiet (lack of noise, as well as extra margin in my schedule) a lot, especially in the winter.

    Deb Watley

    1. Yes! Quiet IS celebrated in these 2 books! (shhh!) Thanks for stopping by.