Can you feel it? Something is different, very different. It only happens once a year and it is magical. I don’t know about you but every Christmas Eve something changes. I’ve never been able to put my finger on it but it’s palatable. This year it could be the remnants of the 14 inch snowfall we had two days ago. Santa will definitely be maneuvering through the white stuff in Colorado tonight. Maybe it’s the wrapped presents under the tree or the neighbors stopping by with holiday goodies. Maybe it’s the smell the glazed ham or the stuffing baking in the oven while the cranberries are popping on the stove. Maybe its the anticipation of the ghosts visiting Ebenezer Scrooge or Clarence getting his wings or Bing once again singing White Christmas. I’m not exactly sure why today always seems so different but it does.
People are rushing but they’re smiling and offering holiday greetings. Scores of people are wearing Santa hats and reindeer antlers, lighted necklaces and a wide variety of tacky holiday sweaters and socks. There’s last minute shopping for gifts, food and booze all in anticipation of the evening to come. For some families the main celebration is on Christmas Eve, for others its Christmas Day and some brave souls celebrate both in earnest. But regardless of the wide variety of traditions and beliefs, it all begins to start feeling different today. Why?
As I was traveling out and about today I gave that some serious thought. Here I was in my car and once again feeling very different. Why does this happen every year at this time? And even though I’ve never been able to figure it out, something suddenly something dawned on me. Unfortunately as you get older you tend to get a little jaded about some things. You’ve been around the block a few times and seldom do you look at things with childlike awe and innocence… except on Christmas Eve. It is the day when you believe again, in angels, in people, in goodness, in family, friends and yes, even Santa Claus. The tree seems brighter, the presents shinier and there is the anticipation of reindeer on the roof. I know there is also a strong religious implication with this holiday, and although I am not traditionally religious, there is also the belief that many years ago on this night in a stable in Bethlehem the Christ child was born. On no other day do these feelings occur making Christmas Eve perhaps the most special day of the year.
So on this Christmas Eve, I am thankful for my family and friends and grateful for the many blessings in my life. I am also missing my parents who instilled in me a special appreciation for this time of year, but am feeling them in spirit sharing with me the joys of this special day. And in the spirit of sharing, some past holiday memories of my family and me set to some of my dad’s favorite holiday music. Merry Christmas to all!