My mom always calls Christmas Eve the most magical day of the year and I have to agree. I saw a quote while shopping that said, “May you never be too old to search the skies on Christmas Eve” and I thought that really sums up my feelings about Christmas Eve. There is just magic in the air and the kids are filled with joy, excitement, hope, and wonder.
Christmas Eve starts with brunch at our friend’s house. It’s my favorite holiday tradition. It’s always a laid-back morning filled with mimosas and with friends that are more like family. The kids are buzzing with excitement and it’s a moment to relax before the chaos of family and Santa.
For years my Mom and I went to midnight mass but once I had Jack we stopped going, last year we decided to join my Mother-in-law at her church (where my kids were baptized) for the early Christmas Eve service.
I love Christmas Eve mass, I’m not a religious person but hearing that story and singing those songs always fills my heart with joy. The pastor invites all of the children up to the altar and gives them candy canes, and the service is filled with every Christmas Carol you would hope to sing. For me, it’s not Christmas till I’ve heard the story and sang Silent Night.
After church, it’s home to feed the reindeer, put out the cookies and read Twas the Night Before Christmas. Then off to bed while we wait for Santa to come.
Jack woke us up at 5 standing by my bed with his homemade present, we made him wait till 7 when his sister woke up, to open gifts. No one is allowed downstairs till John makes the coffee, lights the tree and as we told Jack checks the house for stray elves and reindeer.
Christmas morning is a blur of wrapping paper and smiles and it always goes so much faster than I would like. This year Santa surprised even me when he left a clue for the location of one last present for Jackson and I. We had to follow the clues and we ended up finding the Lego Cinderella Castle at the end of the hunt. There might have been squeals of joy when we tore the paper open. Jack said, “look I fainted, mom” as he fell over after pulling off the paper. There was a beautiful mess around the tree and lots of smiles, even from Grace who didn’t quite get what was going on but enjoyed the wrapping paper and eating lots of yummy food.
And while it was all wonderful: the presents, the food, the family, and friends. The best part for me was the gifts that I didn’t see get opened by children who aren’t my own. We donated to a charity earlier this month and purchased gifts for two little boys. And it brought me such happiness knowing that those 2 boys had presents under their tree this year. My kids have so much, so much that it’s hard to surprise them or for them to conceive of the things they want not being under the tree. It’s blessing and it’s a blessing to be able to make Christmas possible for someone you will never meet.
I hope your family had a wonderful holiday and is enjoy this nice break before the start of the New Year.