So here we are. It’s the eve before Christmas Eve. And here are some of the things I love about Advent and Christmas in no particular order.
1. Having friends over for Christmas dinner. Opening our home is something we love to do. Not only at Christmas but it gives us a great excuse!
2. Our Christmas Eve service. It’s small and quiet and reflective and prayerful. While I do sometimes miss having a larger service with lots of people, including plenty of folks we would only see this time of year, I still find Christmas Eve worship meaningful and essential.
3. Watching Die Hard. Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed I traditionally wrap the remaining gifts while watching one of my favourite Christmas movies. I mean, c’mon, Alan Rickman and Bruce Willis facing off in the Nakatomi Tower!
4. Stove Top Stuffing. Yes, I know it’s nothing like homemade stuffing. But cooked in the oven on top of chicken and gravy it becomes a dish of delight!
5. Terry’s Dark Chocolate Oranges. Accept no substitutes! My favourite Christmas chocolate treat! Whack and unwrap!
6. Advent devotions with my family. No, we don’t get to them each night, but we do most nights during Advent. We enjoy lighting candles, Scriptures, prayers, and some light and occasionally serious theological chatting!
7. Christmas Movies. Elf, A Christmas Story, Nativity, the original Peanuts Christmas special, the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Scrooged are among my favourites.
8. Christmas hymns. “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” “Silent Night,” and “Joy to the World” are just some of the hymns that we break out during this season.
9. Christmas morning. Yes, it’s fun to give and get gifts. There’s anticipation and excitement. There’s surprises and laughter and joy. And eventually the realization that the best gift is being able to share this time together.
10. Clementines. Again, we usually only get them this time of year. Little bits of tart, citrus-y, sweetness!