As long as I can remember, I always loved Christmas Eve the most. It was always the night of our big family party with my grandma and her siblings and their kids and their kids and their kids. I can remember taking a bath with my sister in our black-and-white-tiled bathroom, hardly able to contain the excitement for the day ahead. We would go to mass, and then home quickly so that mom could stuff the tuna puffs, and then on to the party. We always had so much fun with our cousins, singing Christmas carols (and the one embarrassing year when Grandma Kitty had us play our instruments), listening to Great Grandpa sing “White Christmas”, and waiting for Santa to join the party and hand out the gifts. We, with our cousins, would talk about when we thought Santa would arrive at our homes and what he would bring. On the way home, we would try to stay awake as my parents would point out the blinking red light on the telephone tower and tell us that it was Rudolph guiding Santa to our house.
Our tradition has remained mostly unchanged. I have not had to play the trumpet again (thankfully) and we now watch Grandpa sing “White Christmas” on a video, forever immortalizing him in the Christmas of 1997. My aunt now reads from “Twas the Night Before Christmas” while all the kids (except mine) listen intently.
I think our kids have the same excitement that I had, two-fold, because after we leave my family party it is on to Mark’s family party; another big, festive celebration. I am so grateful that there are more kids in Mark’s family now. The first Christmas we had Brady, he was the start of a whole new generation (sort of.) We could not fit all the gifts in our Escape. He was six weeks old.
Today we had a busy, but mostly relaxing day. I had to work this morning so Mark gave the kids their bath in our own black-and-white-tiled bathroom that is eerily like the bathroom in the house I grew up in. We were all able to take a long nap and rest up for the fun ahead. We usually try to cram Christmas Eve mass in, but we decided that this year we would go to mass Christmas morning. (Mark just asked me if we could watch church on TV and call it good. Ref: Midnight Mass from St. Peter’s Basilica.) We all had another beautiful Christmas Eve carrying on our family traditions. And as I sit here surrounded by a mess that only three boys (plus one husband) could create, I am once again reminded that it truly is a wonderful life.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!