Christmas Eve

I am still holding on to Christmas Eve.  Christmas Day was wonderful, without a doubt.  But Christmas Eve...there was something magical that day.  Maybe it was the before...the possibility, the excitement, the preparation.  I am not sure exactly what made it feel so good, and maybe that's part of the magic as well.  If I knew I would be trying to recreate it every day--and then it wouldn't be so special. 

The evenings leading up to Christmas Eve were filled with caroling.  We met in the BTI lobby the three nights prior and then headed out to sing.  We sang on every floor of the BTI (some floors twice!) and in every bay at the Manor.  We caroled at the Anchor Inn restaurant as well.  A big group of kids and adults, people joining in as we went along.  I didn't have any idea the effect this would have on my heart.  It was huge.  Here we are singing for an elderly neighbor of ours...heartwarming, touching, inspiring...I can't quite find the right word here...

I think we touched it here.  The true meaning of Christmas...the living in community, spreading God's love and his message.  Touching other people's lives.  We don't get it right all the time, but this was right.  

On Christmas Eve the girls and I made cookies...lots of sugar cookies.

It also snowed on Christmas Eve, so that added to atmosphere of wonder.  Especially this year when snow is such a rare event!

As usual, Santa arrived in his Whittier Fire Truck and dropped off treats in the BTI lobby...

Shortly after Santa visited we were all gathered in the school gym for the Christmas Eve services.  There are no words to describe how wonderful that service was.  The youth and kids had put together a very nice service--I had exactly the same reaction I do when I watch/read/hear The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  Awe and tears.  Here's a clip for you...

It was hard to hold my phone still as I sobbed away during this!  It was truly an experience that I cannot describe for you here.  It was good.  Very good.  All of these things added up to a day that was wonderful, that I will remember for a long time. 

Ha!  This post kind of turned into an emotional brain-dump of sorts.  I've warned you before...lots of feelings here in my head! :-)