Christmas Eve is the essence of the Christmas story. In the stillness of the night in a cave in Bethleham, Mary gave birth to a son with only her husband Joseph by her side. It was a moment in time that changed the course of history but that night I picture it as a moment of majesty as they gazed in awe at this precious and perfect baby who was…the Son of God! What amazement they must have felt. What wonder. What awe. I want to feel that same way on Christmas Eve. Our evening begins with a candlelit dinner on our fine Christmas china. We serve a fancy Parisian salad with candied pecans added to it, clam chowder (from the place that makes the all time BEST clam chowder in the world – Buds Seafood Restaurant) and sour dough bread. Our goblets are sparkling with cider and soft Christmas music is played in the background.
We are all dressed up in our Christmas best…Daniel even wore his first tie!
After dinner we head out to a church service at Lincoln Presbyterian Church. (our home church does not have a Christmas eve service so this has been our Christmas Eve church for 16 years – to me going to church on the most holy of holy nights is a MUST!) The service is always wonderful ending with a candlelight singing of “Silent Night”. It is the type of moment where you feel the sweet soft Spirit of God in your heart.
We then always go to look at the larger than life nativity that is in front of Alex G Spanos home. It is magnificent and majestic! We drive home down Christmas Tree Lane (aka – Meadow Dr) and look at all the Christmas lights.
At home we have our family Advent devotional service and serve Christmas cookies, cream puffs, egg nog & coffee.
Our evening concludes with the opening of the Christmas jammies! Every year we purchase the girls a pair of Pajamas to open on Christmas Eve. Even though they know what the gift will be – it does not lesson their excitement as they line up on the couch to open their presents.
After getting in their jammies we take our traditional stocking photos and then settle in to watch a movie. (For years it was “It’s a Wonderful Life” but this year it was the newly released “The Nativity” – which will now become the first choice.)
For the past several years, I have also attended Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of Annunciation. A few of the older girls, who can stay up that late always join me. This year it was Michelle, Amy & Kristen. I can’t tell you how much I love doing this. Though I was not raised Catholic, my dear darling husband was, and I have a respect for many of the Catholic traditions, liturgy and their strong unwavering pro life position.
The incredibly beautiful and ornate cathedral, the dimmed lights, the smell of incense, the Christmas greenery, the quiet reverence and the inspiring music all come together in the wee hours of the morning to create that mystical moment of awe and wonder that I want to feel and experience on Christmas Eve. The majesty of the King of Kings – the Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – the Son of God – Jesus Christ – my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer and my Friend.
The Cathedral on December 20,1986 – my wedding day