I have more memories of Christmas Eve than I do Christmas Day. For a time when I was young and my family lived in Utah - we drove several hours to my Grandma and Grandpa Vans for Christmas Eve. The whole family (cousins, aunts and uncles) would sit around one huge table. The table's base was the pool table. There wasn't a kids table - just one huge gathering and I loved it. My grandfather would also give his children Father's blessings that night. It was peaceful and I loved it.
When our family moved away from Utah - we had Christmas Eve with friends who were like family. Those nights were wonderful - because we had time after the big gathering to have time with just our family. My Dad would give us Father's blessings and we would sing a few hymns and read the Christmas story from Luke. I loved it.
Since we have been married - we have spent very few Christmas Eves with family. So we have become extremely thankful for those friends who have become family. Tonight we went to the Williams for dinner. And for the second year in a row Susan and Jay gave all the kids pajamas/robes. But before the tearing open of the packages, there was ten whole minutes of wonder. We listened to "Oh Holy Night" - my favorite Christmas Carol and "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" my favorite hymn. Susan asked us to think about why Jesus lives for us.
I know he lived to be the ultimate example for us. He lived so that we would learn about our Father in Heaven and desire to live with Him again.
He does teach us how to love. Who to love. How to forgive and Who to forgive. Every day that is our challenge. I am thankful for friends and family who are so good to us and follow the example of our Savior.
Merry Christmas to all, may you have a Holy Night!
And to my father who is probably just now starting to write his annual Christmas poem - Get to bed! (but not until it's finished - because it is my favorite part of Christmas morning!)