I was about eight. It was sometime in December, an early evening a couple weeks before Christmas. The phone rang, but my mother was off elsewhere in the house, either doing laundry or hiding a present, and my father was also off busy somewhere. I was just old enough for proper phone-answering manners, and picked up the receiver. “Hello?”
The woman on the other end didn’t say hello, or ask for my parents or ask whether she had the right house. Instead, she simply started singing.
I stood there, the phone frozen against my ear, listening as she sang me a carol – I don’t remember what it was, only that it was something lilting and medieval-sounding, something I’d never heard before. I also didn’t recognize her voice. I was too rapt to call anyone else to the phone, and I just stood there taking in that beauty.
She only sang for a minute or so before finishing, and then she finally spoke – “Merry Christmas!” was all she said.
I snapped out of it, realizing I should be polite and say something. “Merry Christmas!”
“Good bye!” she said.
She hung up, and a second or two later so did I, and wandered back off into my room.
I never told my parents about that; not intentionally, but because by the time I saw either one again, it had pretty much slipped my mind about being anything noteworthy. Children just assume that small magic like that is prone to happen this time of year.