I love Christmas. I always have.
As a child, my excitement for the Advent season would pique as soon as I could see my breath in the air and feel the chill in my bones. I would grab extra socks, throw on my thickest scarf and almost shake with the anticipation that soon my driveway would be full of snow and Christmas would finally be here!!!
Every Christmas Eve, I would put on my nicest dress, wait to be dazzled by Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby in White Christmas, and long for the day I was old enough to wear white gloves and a black velvet dress. Then as the credits rolled, it was time to leave for the midnight Christmas Eve service at church. It was the only time I was allowed to stay awake past 8pm, and my mom made sure I took at least a three-hour nap beforehand. There at church, we would hold hands, light our candles, and be reminded of the great love our Father had for us by sending His Son to be our Savior.
In my family, I did not have to wait until the break of dawn to open Christmas presents. Nope, we convinced our parents to let us open our presents after service because, after all, it was technically Christmas! I would go to bed exorbitantly happy and wait for the great celebration of food and family on Christmas day.
With age, however, the magic of Christmas has dimmed a bit. No programs to attend or practice for, a large majority of midnight Christmas Eve services have been pushed up to earlier in the evening, and multiple obligations have made it difficult for the entire family to be together to celebrate. But every year, I make sure to watch White Christmas and long for the day where I can put on white gloves and a black velvet dress, I read the story of my Savior’s birth and light a candle to remember that Christmas — more than anything — is a reminder of hope.