Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

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:-)

Kendra

8 comments:

  1. Oh Kendra, how beautifully you have expressed my sentiments!

    Of recent years, Christmas has become so diffused by all my families choosing to celebrate on different days that the arrival of day itself hardly makes a ripple.

    And yet my love of Christmas Eve grows deeper and stronger.

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  2. Happy Christmas Eve, Kendra! Hope the day is everything you hope it will be. Your posting was very beautifully written!

    This is our first year without Santa. Our younger child asked us straight out for the truth last year. After the third time he asked, we had "the talk." Mostly he was disappointed that we hadn't told him the truth the first time he asked. Sadness... We told him we wanted one final year with the magic in place for him. This year is definitely different, and easier for mom. I'm just hoping the magic will still show up at some point.

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  3. Kendra--

    You are so right! Christmas Eve is the BEST; it really does set the mood for the "big day" that seems to be over before you know it.

    Happy Holidays to Everyone!
    Danielle

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  4. Kendra~

    Thank you for another beautiful post. I hope this Christmas Eve brings you all the magic, joy, and happiness you can stand.

    Hugs and Merry Christmas to all~

    Robin :)

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  5. Kendra! Your post gave me goosebumps!
    Christmas Eve used to be the Christmas Day for my family. We'd get up early and hit the road, not getting home until almost midnight. Most years, I spent the first moments of Christmas Day feeding the horses, and I kept waiting for them to talk, as animals are supposed to be able to do at that moment, but they always speak to me anyway, whether it's with words or not.
    This year, however, we get to stay home, and now the guys have all gone Christmas shopping. I'm going to get busy and make my olive bread pretty soon.
    Yes, Marie, you lose a little of the magic when your kids grow up, but it's still there. You just have to look deeper to find it.

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  6. Thanks, ladies...I'm glad I touched a chord with my post. It took growing up to realize it, but Christmas Eve really is the best day of the season.

    MM, the same thing has happened to us...as people have moved and things have changed, the day itself changes year by year too...but Christmas Eve is always, in spirit, the same for me.

    Marie, I remember losing Santa...I cried my eyes out. I was older (just turned 11) and I finally asked. I think part of me knew...I just hadn't wanted to let go of the magic. I think I've spent the ensuing years trying to recapture some of what I felt back then (I mean, I do write paranormal!). Still, Cheryl is right. The magic is still there, even if things will have changed some. And I'm sure you'll have a beautiful Christmas.

    Danielle, I hope the mood set today is a great one for you:-)

    Robin, I send those wishes right back atcha!

    Cheryl, olive bread...yummm! I had forgotten about the talking animals thing, but you never know. One of these years, it might just happen! I hope you have a nice, cozy Christmas at home with the men in your life:-)

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  7. Lovely post Kendra. Enjoy the day.

    Christmas Eve is always special at our house because it is just the four of us for lobster dinner and then we play board games and these days enjoy a glass of cheer together, until we can no longer stay awake.

    Christmas day morning we head out to spend the day with family who live nearby.

    This year it is all rather bitter sweet because it is the first anniversary of my mother's death. I was on a plane to England on Christmas Eve, but sadly arrived in England too late to see her.

    I didn't expect to feel quite this sad this year, but I am sure once the family are gathered later in the day, we will be able to drink her health, talk about our memories and then enter into the spirit of the holiday.

    I do wish you all a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year.

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  8. An absolutely fabulous and gorgeously written post. Thanks Kendra! I could not agree with you more. I love Christmas Eve and always have. My kids are now 20 and 16, so the Santa days are long past. Like Marie said, at first it made life easier and we still kept up the pretense just for fun. But eventually we let the tradition go and with each year I realize how much I miss that magical part of the holiday. Have to wait for grandchildren now!

    But, we do have our favorite Christmas Eve traditions. Our church has a great Candlelight and Carols service. Then we relax with warm drinks and watch 'Die Hard' - that is a whole story all its own! LOL!! Then I have to watch 'Scrooged' - OK, guess we are a little bent! But it is all about doing something each family deems special.

    Oh, I could go on and on! Love the Eve!! Thanks again Kendra for putting it so eloquently. Have a truly blessed and marvelous Christmas, all of you!

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