Christmas Eve growing up . . .
- With such a large family we drew names. In the early years (before I was born), the name drawing gift would be the only one people would give and receive. In the later years, the name drawing gift became the best gift you’d give or receive. We drew the names on Thanksgiving and exchanged the gifts on Christmas Eve. In between those two dates, all my older brothers and sisters engaged in high level espionage to figure out who had drawn whose name.
- When I was 6, my oldest sister Libby drew my name and got me a football uniform. I was sure that could never be topped.
- Except when I was 7, she drew it again. That time, she got me a drum set. What football uniform?
- After the Name Drawing Drama on Christmas Eve, we went to sleep and woke up early on Christmas Day to open the rest of the presents. Our stockings always had a tangerine in the bottom. Always.
- When I was 17, I went to the first Christmas Eve church service that I remember. I went with some family and even though I hadn’t come to personal faith yet, I recall that night pretty vividly. It was an Episcopal Church with a high enough liturgy that one of my friends from high school was the “crucifer” — he carried in the staff with a depiction of the crucifixion on the top. I do believe something was tugging in my even that night, as it was only a couple of weeks later that I actually came to faith myself.
Christmas Eve tonight . . .
- At 7 & 9 p.m., we’ll have violin, cello, scoustic percussion, some Beatles thrown in — the music will be awesome.
- World record attempt for post-it notes in one place — you’ll see how it connects with the message, A Time To Remember.
- Our 5 o’clock Family Celebration will feature crowns for the kids and bags of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for everyone. You’ll see how it works!
- Candlelight. Holy Night.