My favourite day of the year. To me, all the preparations, the excitement, the planning, all leads to this day. The day before the main event, the calm before the storm if you will.
But Christmas Eve means something different to everyone.
For those with kids, it’s the excitement and anticipation of their children as they try to sleep in the hope that jolly old St Nick will come. I remember as a kid waking up at 4am, sprinting into the lounge to see what had been left for me under the tree and what edible delights were in my stocking. The waiting was almost too much to bare.
Christmas traditions vary from country to country. Some Christmas Eve celebrations for many nations include the installing and lighting of Christmas trees, the hanging of Christmas stockings, candy canes, and the creation of Nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas carols may be sung and stories told about such figures as the Baby Jesus, St Nicholas, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Christkind or Grandfather Frost. The sending and exchange of Christmas card greetings, observance of fasting and special religious observances such as a midnight Mass or Vespers on Christmas Eve, the burning of a Yule log, and the giving and receiving of presents.
For me, the perfect Christmas Eve is having friends and family over for dinner, cooking a lovely meal, laughing and talking about the year that was and what next year will bring, singing Christmas carols, and exchanging gifts at midnight. That happy hum of love and laughter that always brings a smile to my face, when it feels like nothing else matters in the world. If I could capture that time forever, I would, pure and simple.
So, however you celebrate your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I wish you and yours all the happiness in the world – MERRY CHRISTMAS – M H Lord.