By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Merry Christmas to all. I am actually working today, but it’s not so bad.

For starters, in this economy, I’m grateful to have a job. And on a holiday like this, the office is as quiet as it ever gets.

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So was my neighborhood when I walked Buddy the Lab this morning.

So were the streets on my ride into work.

And you know what? There’s something very refreshing about all that peace and quiet.

I live in a town near Boston that is not especially urban. But on days like this, you realize how much noise you’re used to, from leaf blowers to ambulances and beyond.

And noise means stress. As one web site puts it: “Our stress response is getting knee-jerked around by all the bells and whistles of modern civilization. From the clatter and jar of diesels and dump trucks, to chest-thumping teenage car tunes, noise is almost impossible to block. Its very uncontrollability further adds to the stressful impact.”

I’m not whining about it. I chose to live and work where I do, and noise and stress go with the territory.

But the quiet of this day has some welcome side effects.

Both Buddy and I were especially mellow on our peaceful morning walk, to the point where I don’t remember parts of it because I was daydreaming. In my daydreams, it’s always early September weather, and the Red Sox are always beating the Yankees.

On my drive to work, I never even turned on the car radio, because the calm of the commute was so soothing. And here at the office, the police scanner is on low and the voices across the newsroom are muted, like the distant conversations you might hear from your porch on a summer night.

All in all, this might be the most stress-free day of the year because of the holiday quiet. And for me, that makes it a very Merry Christmas.


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