In many ways, I love Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day itself. Christmas Eve is full of the anticipation of the day, whether from the eyes of the child who is eagerly awaiting the final hours until Santa will arrive with those most wished-for items, or as the adult who finally takes a few moments under the tree to ponder the blessings of the season.
My immediate family often gets together on Christmas Eve to celebrate the Italian ancestry of my brother-in-law with an Italian meal and some stories and laughter. Although we usually go to a Christmas Eve Service, in recent years we have participated in the service at Mt. Zion. This is the church of my German ancestors, many who could not speak English when they moved into Southern Indiana. So many of the church records are written in German as well. In recognizing that heritage, part of the Chritsmas Eve service is also in German and I cannot help but imagine them in those very pews singing those songs years ago.
So much of the holiday season has drawn me closer to my ancestors this year and I am grateful. I believe particpating in this Advent Calendar has been a trasure leading the way. I hope I can use it as a stepping stone in the new year to delve further into the lives of my ancestors.
In the next few days I will be deciding on my goals for year 2010, but before that my family is going to enjoy one fun morning tomorrow when we read "Twas the Night Before Christmas", throw all the paper into the middle of the floor so we can have a big Christmas paper fight after the gifts are opened, and sit down to the annual meal of barbequed ribs, garlic bread, devlied eggs, and all the fixings before watching rented movies over dessert.
I wish all of you a very blessed Christmas day!