Christmas Eve 2019

No Santa coming by sleigh to my house today. That’s a tradition we don’t observe.

No chestnuts roasting by an open fire either – no fireplace available.

Last minute shopping? Possibly – we’re low on milk and the stores are closed Christmas Day. The stores will be closing early, allowing employees to spend the evening with family.

Public transit was already on reduced holiday hours. Not that anyone notices, given the unreliability of OC Transpo.

The Christmas season is one of traditions. In our family, Christmas Eve has its own set of annual routines.

Our evening will start at church, a candlelight service of carols, scripture and prayer. That will be followed by a family feast, accompanied by laughter and reminiscing late into the evening.

On that first Christmas Eve, some shepherds outside of the town of Bethlehem were visited by angels telling of the birth of the Messiah. It was a preposterous story – but would you argue with an angel who appeared before you, backed by an angel chorus?

It is the story that captivates us, the baby born to be king. That is what we celebrate at Christmas. Babies are delightful creatures, full of hope and potential. Everybody likes a baby.

Easter is a more problematic holiday. That baby grew up, and claimed not only was he the Messiah promised to the Jewish people, but he was God incarnate, the saviour of the world.

That is a much more challenging proposition. The adult Jesus asks for more than the baby did. That is why society makes Christmas the bigger celebration. It is an easier holiday for those of little or no faith.

As you take time for family and friends over the next couple of days, whatever your traditions, remember the baby Jesus and that the story doesn’t end at Christmas.

 

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