It's almost midnight and we're just about to turn in after a delightful Christmas Eve with our extended family. This is the first year after many, many years that I didn't host the festivities and it was really nice to be the guests this time. The biggest and most predictable revelation: No clean up!
My son and his lovely wife were our hosts this year and everything was perfect. Their home was done up with lovely decorations complete with a beautiful purple and silver tree with a velvet tree skirt. There was enough delicious food to feed an army and the songs of the season wafted through every room. This was the first year that my grandsons could communicate in words and one was particularly talkative through the first part of the Christmas Eve services and sung along to every hymn. By 8:30 these darlings were ready for Ni-nites and I'm sure were so over stimulated from all the gifts that it was obvious it was time for them to go home. I'm sure they didn't understand why these pretty wrapped packages were being shoved at them that they were instructed to rip apart. But when tomorrow comes they'll have plenty to do.
My husband and I left about 10PM and were not able to just come home and hit the hay, so we exchanged our gifts for each other. That is the most relaxed part of Christmas Eve and in many ways my favorite. But the gift exchange part, though pleasant, is not the reason for the celebration. We remembered the Christ Child once again, God's promise fulfilled and the reality of what that means to us today, December 24, 2008. Soon this year will be a thing of the past and we will again herald the coming of the New Year, a fresh start, a new beginning, maybe some new struggles but it'll be a new year, 2009. My hope is that we cherish each day and live it as though it were our last because we never know when "our last" will come. I pray we have many more years to show our love for one another, to appreciate the little things, to watch little ones grow & learn and to realize the importance of forgiveness. My final wish for all of you and your families is just that you LIVE WELL, LAUGH OFTEN, AND LOVE MUCH!!!!!