Dec 25, 2012

By the Evergreen

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14, KJV


I sit next to the lit tree, all silver and blue this year, guarding its assortment of gifts.

I never believed in Santa Clause. It wasn't even an idea I toyed with as a child. I didn't even think other kids my age believed in him; I apparently thought my generation had grown more savvy than our predecessors. It wasn't until I was in my late teenage years that I met people who had believed in him when they were younger. It was a remarkable discovery for me.

I have always liked staying up late on Christmas Eve. Of course, this has never had anything to do with a hope to see a red-suited man with a stomach like a bowl full of jelly somehow squeeze himself out of the fireplace. But there is a certain stillness to the night that seems characteristic to Christmas. The following morning always dawns with eagerness: wrapping paper torn, gifts tallied, thanks given, new toys taken out of their packages and properly played with, and wonderful food eaten. But on that night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature is stirring (not even a mouse), it's like all the joy and wonder of the season has been pent up and is ready, waiting anxiously to be unleashed at the grand finale that is December 25.

As I've gotten older, I think I've grown to enjoy Christmas Eve even more than Christmas Day. Just being awash in the peace and wonder that comes with a carefully decorated evergreen, a house full of family tradition, and the knowledge of a strange unity that stretches around the world every December. Another night and day will come and go, and another Christmas will be gone. But for now I will receive the peace of this moment as the gift that it is.

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