Every year, when Christmas Eve finally arrives, I sit back and think, I love this day.
Christmas is wonderful, but the day itself is always gone in a flash of brightly colored frenzy, leaving both children and adults semi-catatonic by noon. Christmas Eve, though...that's where the magic is, at least for me. And that's why this day, not tomorrow, is my favorite day of the year.
The stockings hang over the fireplace, ready to be filled. The tree glows gently, every beautiful present still wrapped beneath it. For once, the children are anxious to get to bed (but not before they've made sure, via NORAD's Santa Tracker, that the man himself is definitely on his way). The promise of Christmas is everywhere, the bayberry-scented air thick with it. It's finally here. Well, almost. But it's the anticipation, as we romance writers know well, that final instant before the thing we've been waiting for, that's really the most poignant...and often, the most fun.
The beauty of Christmas blooms fully tonight, though like most of the best things, it's a tiny bit sad. By tomorrow night, it will all be over for another year. But not now...not yet. Now is filled with the breathless anticipation of children, hoping to hear the faint sound of a sleigh bell echoing through the night. Now is filled with magic. And tonight, through my children, I get to be a child again too. It's a precious, precious gift.
Tomorrow we'll all be caught up in the joyful, noisy whirl of Christmas day, hopefully full of loved ones and piles of torn wrapping paper. So tonight, before bed, take a few minutes to snuggle up by the tree with a mug of cocoa, a blanket, and your favorite holiday memories. Tomorrow is about the giving and receiving. But tonight is all about the feeling that the Christmas season brings. And you can bet that I'll be up just a little bit late, remembering...and savoring the touch of the Christmas spirit as it passes through on its way back to the North Pole for another year.
Enjoy one more night of magic. Hope you all wake up to something wonderful. And have a very merry Christmas:-)