... possibly one of the most recognizable words this time of year, standing on its own or in conjunction with that verse it is best known for.
This is likely my favorite posting of each year, my favorite day of the year, this day that is Christmas Eve. It has become a tradition of sorts. This is a season of hustle and bustle piled on top of the trials and tribulations of the everyday world we live in. In my profession the Christmas season the world is a hectic place. For nearly four decades I have lived and worked through this busy cycle. Perhaps that is why Christmas Eve is so special to me. All the chaos is finished.
What awaits me this eve is the beauty of a fully trimmed tree that stretches to the sky. This year My Beloved and I have six red stockings hanging from the wooden mantle that runs the length of the fireplace. It is a cozy world though we dare not let the warmth of a fire make its way from the painted bricks, it might melt the secret chocolate that hides deep within the toe of a stocking.
It is a peaceful evening we spend this night together, our house quiet with the absence of a mischievous child. That will change quickly in the morning as Christmas Day explodes in a torrent of wrappings and squeals as presents litter the floor. Some traditions linger for years while others are short-lived. Those are often replaced by new traditions as we age and our families entwine with others. One of my favorite reminiscences from the days of my youth is the wrapping paper photo with my siblings. After all the presents were given out the paper would be piled in the middle of the floor and we would all dive beneath the pile. Our heads would be sticking out and our beloved Aunt Esther would take a picture of us all.
But tonight is the night I relish, the quiet, the scenery of Christmas, the wreaths, the lights and pine garland hanging gently above the red stockings. This is a night it all comes together and I am at peace. Would that it were snowing...
Christmas is a day that is for families, yet we must remember it was begun by a certain family two thousand years ago. They are the real reason for this season, the reason we celebrate family. My decorated tree is a relic of pagan customs, but those customs are blended with the traditions we now hold true and dear. It is a merging of a different kind of family, but a family none the less. We are here for one reason.
I wish all those tonight a very Merry Christmas. My your Christmas Eve be cheerful and filled with love and family.