It's another Christmas Eve, and I've seen a few. For much of my life, Christmas Eve was a day filled with eagerness and wonder, first over the amazement of impossible gifts to be found in a chilly living room warmed by an open hearth fire, and then, years later, by the wonder in the eyes of little children as they beheld an assortment of gifts eagerly awaited.
This Christmas Eve is a quieter day marked by a day off from work and a day of toil at home to prepare for visits from younger generations. And there is, as usual, a bit of shopping to do to wrap up the preparations for the morrow. I have reached that certain age when wonder and excitement have been dropped aside. I recall the most troubling Christmas Eve of my life, when my wife and son and I decided to spend Christmas Eve night with my aging parents along with my sister and her family. It would be, we thought, a fun and nostalgic occasion. We would eat and sing carols and recapture the joys of childhood Christmas Eves. But my sister and her family canceled their plans, and my parents seemed to have no energy for celebratiion. The evening, which we thought would be joyous and exciting, was dull and bland. We trundled off to bed with no sense of anticipation or excitement; it was just another evening in an old house in the country.
In the morning, we will arise early enough to sit quietly and enjoy the twinkling lights and the fire in the fireplace. Christmas music will play on the stereo, and the room will fill with happy memories and gratefulness for blessings. Grandchildren will bring their excitement, sparking more memories of what it had been like to be young parents in a house filled with squeals of joy and breathless excitement.
Christmas will have come again, and my wonder now is how many more I will be blessed to experience.