It’s Christmas Eve – we made it! Unless you’re reading this post by tapping on your iPad with your toes while wearing a straight jacket, of course. For the past few days I’ve been listening to Christmas music every chance I get. I love both the classics and newer music, but I prefer religious to secular and acapella to complicated musical renderings. “Away In a Manger” is my favorite, with “What Child is This” a close runner-up.
I had a wonderful childhood, with magical Christmases every single year, and hopefully I’ve been able to recreate some of that joy and magic for my own kids as they’ve grown up. My favorite Christmas memory, though, is from my teenage years. We attended a very small country church, and this particular year someone decided that we’d stage a live nativity scene on Christmas Eve. There were a half-dozen of us in the “teen” Sunday School class, and we snagged the 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. slot. It was bitterly cold, with strong gusts of wind, one of which caught hold of my angel costume made out of an old choir robe and blew me right off my stack of hay bales. But we took frequent hot chocolate breaks, and by the time midnight and the candlelight Christmas service arrived I’d had a Christmas Eve I’d never forget. I lost track of how many people caught sight of us in front of the church as they drove past on their way home from Christmas celebrations, and veered off the road for a closer look. It was cold, and clear and quiet, and when the church choir sang “Silent Night” it took on a whole new meaning. May your Christmas be peaceful and beautiful!