Christmas Eve – Brace Yourself
Christmas Eve – one of the most magical days of the year – if you are a child. If you are an adult it is a night when you are exhausted, frustrated looking for those darned scissors, and suffering from paper cuts.
The Christmas Tree is up and decorated, gifts are wrapped and under the tree, and that bottle of Christmas cheer is getting low.
In our family, as we gather down in Texas, the old house is packed to the walls with four generations. There are little ones everywhere anxiously waiting for it to be time to open all of those packages. Last year there were 28 people squeezed into the Family Room. It was so crowded we all had to take turns breathing. This year will be much the same, only the kids are a year bigger. Things could reach a critical mass if someone has a growth spurt or an extra dessert.
The benefit to having the Great Gift Opening on Christmas Eve is that there is none of this getting up at the crack of dawn on Christmas Day. Everyone can get to enjoy sleeping in a bit. I intend to milk that for all it’s worth.
Don’t call me Scrooge because I’m not a fan of Christmas Chaos. When I was a kid we did the gift opening stuff on Christmas morning, but there were rarely more than six or seven people involved. The craziness was limited and the noise level was manageable. Jack that number up to 28 people and you can imagine the decibel level in that room. The old folks were turning off their hearing aids.
One of the more beautiful and touching parts of the Texas Christmas is when one of the older children stands up and reads the to the room the Scriptural story of the Nativity. It is quite moving to see the look on the faces of the little ones as they are reminded of the “Why” behind it all. I wish that we had done that when I was a kid. At our house it all usually ended up with someone getting angry and the grown-ups in a shouting match. Fa La La.
The Texas way of doing it is better.
This year there are plans being made to gather up a bunch of the little ones on December 26th and going off to the Cineplex 800 Screen Theater to see the new Mary Poppins movie. Again, don’t cast me as Scrooge, but I’m going to try to weasel my way out of that. I may have to gnaw off my good leg to get a dispensation. Last year it was a cinematic pilgrimage to see the Star Wars movie. This year I fear that the theater will be filled with sugar fueled tykes yelling and squealing like heavily caffeinated hogs. I’d rather not be there. I will go along if I am sincerely asked or physically threatened.
I hope that you all enjoy this day whether it be a Christmas Eve for you or only December 24th. Take it for what it is worth. It is a day in your life that will never come again.
It is a blessing.