Tis the night before Christmas and all is definitely quiet at this house. The stockings hang empty, there are no notes to Santa or cookies left out for him. How the years have changed, and while there is still the gladness of Christmas, there’s also a little sadness at not being surrounded by family.
Even so, there are some things that fill my heart with joy.
There is the candlelight service at St. Paul’s. I can’t imagine a more beautiful place than this church lit by candles and filled with voices singing in unison Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful. As everyone leaves in silence, there is such a feeling of shared peace and gratitude.
With our children creating their own family traditions, Christmas Eve is a quieter time for the hubby and me and is shared more often than not with friends whose now adult children are also not at home. I am very glad for these long time and ongoing relationships.
Before calling it a day, I sit quietly in front of the fireplace remembering my mother, daddy and brother, the absence of whom leaves a hole in my heart. I chuckle over memories of the hubby putting together the toys from Santa, fussing and cussing when he dropped and couldn’t find an all important screw. I remember trying to disguise (hard to do!) my handwriting so the girls wouldn’t guess the note from Santa was really from me! I think of the four of us sitting together, sipping hot chocolate as we read Twas the Night Before Christmas before the girls headed up to bed. I smile remembering their bright eyed excitement as they woke us early Christmas morning urging us to get up to see what Santa had brought.
Yes, much of Christmas is now in the memory bank but not its meaning. It is still a celebration of the birth of Jesus as well as about the magic of believing. I think I hear the sound of reindeers’ tinkling bells coming this way, so I better get to bed and let that jolly old elf do his thing but not before I read one more time Twas the Night Before Christmas!
Good night to all and to all a good night along with wishes for a very merry Christmas.