When I was a kid Christmas Eve was one of my favorite holidays, rivaling Christmas day and my birthday. My aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents would come over for a big Italian feast followed by Irish coffees for the adults and all of us sitting around the piano singing every Christmas carol we could think of. There were some musically talented people and some not so musically talented people but we all belted out the tunes regardless. My Dad was known for singing an off tune, but of course charming, rendition of Silent Night. My Grandma, Mama, was known for crying during White Christmas. Us kids looked forward to Aunt Karen leading us in Rudolph or another fun song and as we got older we’d look forward to practicing and performing a carol or two for the adults. It was always a magical night, especially when my Dad got hold of some bells and convinced us that Santa was nearby so we’d better get to bed!
I’d love to provide that same sense of magic for my kids as they grow up. This year we hosted an Italian dinner for some family, I use the term hosted loosely since all I did was set the table. After our company had cleared out Jamie and I bravely decided to take our Christmas angels to church. We weren’t sure how it was going to go down but I really wanted to make it happen. I especially love the music at church on Christmas Eve, probably because music played such a big part in the holiday for me growing up. We bribed Elly with snacks and a stray candy cane we found in the diaper bag while Miles was bribed with a bottle and constant jiggling. Miles loved the music, gazing up with a big grin at his Daddy and big sis as they sang while I held him. The candlelit singing of Silent Night was so beautiful, Jamie was the opposite of shocked when I teared up. The folks around us were super nice and didn’t seem to mind the occasional outbursts from Elly and Miles.
After Elly set out cookies, milk and carrots, put on Christmas jammies, read a Christmas book and then went to bed we got everything set up for Christmas morning while watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. I remember hardly sleeping most Christmas Eves due to all the anticipation of Christmas Day. I can’t say that was the case for me this year, aside from when Miles so kindly reminded me it was time to eat, but I did have some excited butterflies fluttering around because I couldn’t wait to see the reaction of my little girl the next morning and to help my baby boy celebrate his first Christmas.