Monday 24 December 2018

Christmas Eve Love

Christmas Eve is probably my favourite day of the holiday season. The anticipation of Christmas Day has yet to come, and the chaos of preparing for the holidays are behind you- if it's not done yet, it won't get done. The excitement without the stress. 

December 24 has always been magical for me. As a child there was, of course, the anticipation of Santa (you can read about my yearly Christmas Eve encounter with Santa here). There was always something, regardless of my age, that was special about Christmas Eve. Decorating our tree, time spent with grandparents, visiting with friends.

Christmas Eve is the day that I spend with the people I love the most. Sometimes distance prevents me from being with someone I love, but in that case there will be a phone call...dedicated time to spend connecting. I spend the day visiting with my closest friends- sometimes we spend a couple of hours together over lunch, sometimes it's a few minutes to drop off a gift. 

A visit to my dad's office...a tradition started with him and his dad- a time to reflect on the past year, and toast the coming year. A realization that we are late to get home, where we- parents and siblings- rush to decorate our tree before spending time with other family members. An evening out, returning home to spend more time with my parents, siblings, cousins, and my brothers best friend of 30+ years.

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I have spent 'my evening out' the same way for the past 20 years. Back in 1998, a friend from school- a girl I met at summer camp- invited me to spend Christmas Eve with her and her family.

She is an only child, and her parents welcomed me that year and every year since. Her aunt, her mom's best friend, her mom's other best friend and her husband are also there. My friend has since married, and her husband joins us too. These eight people have become my second family. 

Everyone is welcomed with hugs, offered a drink, and we get to chatting. Eventually we sit down to dinner. We exchange gifts, take pictures, and enjoy spending time together. There is so much laughter and happiness. Just thinking about my second family and our Christmas Eve makes my heartful. 

Today is Christmas Eve, and I am looking forward to spending time with those I love most, and to celebrate my 20th Christmas Eve with my second family. 

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