Anticipation makes the celebration all the more sweet. Our stored hope feeds the outpouring of gratitude as we express our joy. Christmas is the annual expression of humanity’s longing for a Redeemer conjoined with a collective, eternal “Hallelujah!” for the gift of God veiled in flesh.
Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year.
The lid is closing on last minute prep. The practicing is over. It’s time for the big game.
For me, Christmas Eve is like standing in a big stadium tunnel. I’m suited for play. The band is performing their pre-game routine. The crowd builds – in number and noise. I bounce lightly on my feet, extending and curling my fingers in a slow, methodical rhythm. My body is tight and alert with adrenaline. I feel powerful. Giddy. Ready. The big game is moments away.
Bring on the assembly of plastic toys!
The big game (i.e. Christmas) causes homes to buzz with a wonderful tension. Laughter is more frequent. Conversations ripple with excitement. Niceness coats parent-child relationships. Children wear-down the carpet in front of the tree as they ponder, prognosticate and speculate against their naughty or niceness. Sleep loses the battle with wonder. There’s food and feasting. We share, remember and anticipate.
At Christmas, we give gifts in honor of our Heavenly Father who gave to us with exceptional, undeserved generosity. He gave a gift to fulfill His promise. A gift anticipated, and now here.
We give gifts to celebrate the birth of the long expected Jesus. A Man pleased to dwell among us. To be our friend. Our rescue. Our Savior.
So we celebrate on Christmas Day – and every day – with an out-pouring of joy for the gift of salvation that is Jesus Christ!
May your anticipated Christmas Day celebrations be rich, warm and expectant for the day when we see face-to-face the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” – Luke 2:14