The townsfolk gathered in the square, wrapped up warmly against the icy breeze.
They squeezed in between the tiny cabins and market stalls, shuffling from foot to foot on the old cobbles as they awaited the appearance of the mayor at the open window of the Town Hall. Christmas carols tinkled on the air, the gentle music mingling with the softly falling snow. Near the front of the crowd, Father Christmas knelt to talk to some shy youngsters, their faces all lit up in wonder as they listened to him.
As the clock chimed the hour, faces tilted expectantly upwards. All eyes were on the mayor as he approached the window and began his Christmas message.
Slowly, and in a loud, clear voice, he read the proclamation of the Christmas Peace to the townsfolk below, just as had been done for hundreds of years in that same place.
Perfectly formed snowflakes fell gently on to the upturned faces of the listening crowd.
And then, as the mayor finished and stepped away from the window, there came the sound of music from the end of the Square. Friends linked arms and danced; couples stood in warm embraces; small children held out gloved hands to catch the snow as it floated lazily towards the ground. And the band sang, acappella. Their voices were the instruments, from percussion to trumpets; their voices rose in perfect harmony, ringing out across the Square.
Christmas in Tallinn: beautiful.
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