May the hope, peace, joy and love of God fill you this day and every day!
It was my sophomore year in college and we were all home from school for Christmas. My older brother was home from college and my younger brother was a sophomore in high school. We all went to church on Christmas Eve and then came home and decided since we were all “adults” we could open our gifts that night. And so we did.
Being an early riser, I remember waking up on Christmas morning and thinking, “there is no reason to get up, there are no surprises, everything was opened last night.” I recall that day as my worse Christmas ever! I decided then that I would always save the surprises for Christmas Day.
This year, because of travel plans and worship services, Art and I had our Christmas Day on Christmas Eve. We remembered our traditions of oyster stew and Stolen for breakfast and then we opened our gifts,
But, I am grateful to say, I am no longer that same person that I was in college. I realize Christmas is about much more than the gifts and surprises that I receive. I can open gifts on Christmas Eve and still be excited about waking up to celebrate Christmas morning. In fact it is a joy to wake up to this peaceful morning and not be distracted by traditions and gifts and things to do.
We have a booklet that one of our boys made in grade school that I always place beneath our Christmas tree; it says, “Christmas lies not beneath the tree but in the hearts of thee and me.” May that be true for all of us this day. May our hearts be filled with Christmas this day and every day throughout the year. And may we wake with joy and excitement to live each day as a celebration of the Christ-child.