I love the quiet of Christmas Eve. I’m sure some of that (maybe most of it) is my imagination. And some of it comes from living in a small town. But to me Christmas Eve seems more than quiet. It seems peaceful.
Last night, as I was tucking my son in bed, he said, “Dad, I don’t know how to say this, but Santa always gives the best gifts.”
I wasn’t sure whether to take it as a compliment or an insult.
For a kid, there is something magical about this time of year. About tonight. And tomorrow.
As I tucked him in again tonight (Just two and a half more hours until Christmas, dad) we had a discussion as to how Santa could make it to so many houses in one night. He speculated that it might have something to do with the different time zones.
I’m afraid evenings like these are numbered. And I’m going to miss them.
I asked him if he knew what I liked most about Christmas. “All of us being together?” he asked.
That’s right, I said as I pulled the covers up to his chin and kissed him on the forehead.
I’ve thought about what he said, about who gives the best gifts. Every year we buy gifts for our kids to show them how much we love them. But I know that there’s no amount of gifts in the world that can ever truly express how much I care about them.
So this year I’m also writing them each a letter. A letter that will basically say just that: I love you. I’m proud of you. You make me proud every day.
Before he went to bed tonight, my son expressed concern about his chores for tomorrow. He usually does them first thing every morning. But he really wished that tomorrow, just tomorrow, he could maybe, you know, hold off on the chores until a little later.
I told him I thought the chores could wait just a little later into the day tomorrow. “Really,” he said, surprised.
And now I sit in the quiet that is Christmas Eve at our house. I always think what it must have been like all those years ago on the first Christmas Eve. How different the world must have been.
And how different it has been since Jesus came into our world.
As I was about to turn out the lamp in my son’s room, he said “I like the presents at Christmas, but I like them for a different reason. I like that I can open them with all of us together.”
I like that, too.
I know tomorrow is what he’s waiting for.
But I can wait just a little longer.