I love Christmas Eve. I might even like it a bit more than Christmas Day. You can almost feel the anticipation in the air, and as a child, it felt like magic.
I remember one Christmas Eve when Zack was about 6. He woke up and ran into my room. "MOM! DAD! IT'S CHRISTMAS EVE!" he yelled excitedly. Paul and I were a bit puzzled about all this excitement about Christmas Eve, so we asked him a few questions and it turned out he thought we opened all the presents on Christmas Eve. Let me tell you, you have never seen such disappointment when he realized Christmas Eve was the day BEFORE you opened all the presents. I think there even may have been a few tears. His brother Paul, in an attempt to console Zack, told him that maybe Christmas Eve meant Christmas eventually. We laughed a long time about poor Zack, and every Christmas Eve it seems someone brings this story up.
My favorite Christmas Eve happened about 13 or 14 years ago. We were living in Florida at the time. My parents had moved to Kansas earlier that year, so it was our first Christmas without them. My brother and his wife decided to spend Christmas in Kansas that year which meant we were on our own. We had lots of friends, but most were busy with their own families Christmas Eve.
I wanted to do something special and God gave me a wonderful idea. He placed on my heart 3 older ladies who were alone that Christmas Eve: Sue, Sandy and Helen. We invited these ladies over to spend the evening with us. The kids and I cooked and cleaned all day in preparation of our company. I was able to put together gift baskets for each one. We were all excited and had a wonderful time. We sat and talked and ate and laughed. It meant so much to the ladies that we had reached out to them and made them feel special.
It was not a big thing to do. We enjoyed it as much if not more than those ladies. Today, 2 of them are in heaven. I have lost touch with the third. I am so thankful that God nudged our family to open our home to others who were alone that Christmas Eve.