Well everyone, the Christmas season is coming to its climax (which, I realize, means this post will probably go unread by a large majority of the populace, but it is what it is..). It's Christmas Eve! In the immortal words of the Grinch, "Tomorrow is Christmas! It's practically here!!"
Tonight, many of us will have trouble going to sleep; we will have "visions of sugar plums (or Xboxes or cars or new clothes, etc.) dancing in our heads". Or perhaps some will spend this evening shut up in their houses, unhappy and unimpressed by the feelings of the season. Some may find sadness without loved ones; many will reflect on the supernal Gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ. How will your Christmas Eve be spent?
For the Grinch, Christmas Eve was spent plotting and seeking to undo the happiness of the Whos. He couldn't see past the commercialism and seeming shallowness of the Whos' celebrations. So Christmas Eve for the Grinch was a time of anger, selfishness and pride.
For Ebeneezer Scrooge, Christmas Eve was a night of learning and repenting. He was visited by three spirits: the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Over the course of the evening, he learned to love, open his heart in a Christian manner, and embrace the blessing of life.
For the shepherds of old, Christmas Eve was a night of rejoicing. They had the sublime privilege of an angelic ministration and annunciation, witnessing the Christ Himself, and finding the peace and renewal that He brought with Him. They "came with haste" to find the babe in the manger; they "made known abroad" all that they had seen and heard and done. The night of the Christ's birth, for these humble men, was one of "glad tidings of great joy" (See Luke 2)
For me, Christmas Eve has always been about family. I love the feeling I get when we are all gathered around, smiles on faces, my dad at the piano, with us singing those songs we love so much. Then we always reenact the Christmas story from Luke 2 (my 2 brothers and I were always the wise men, with my sister and littlest brother as Mary and Joseph). Grandma would send us pajamas, which we would open and wear on Christmas Eve. When I remember all of that, I think of warmth.
I pray that your Christmas Eve will not be spent as the Grinch, but more like the shepherds. And if you do find yourself "staring down with a Grinchy frown", pray that the Good Lord will help your heart and make it grow three sizes, too. Christmas time is all about love; it is all about light. It is all about letting the love and light of Christ bring you warmth and happiness.
God bless, my friends, and have a very Merry Christmas.