A Generous Eve
Memories of Christmas Eve have always burned especially brightly for me. People who celebrate Christmas usually break into two camps: those who open presents on Christmas Eve, and those who open presents on Christmas Day. My family was of the latter, and so Christmas morning was a torrent of wrapping paper and boxes and then the marathon of play that followed. Yet Christmas Eve was perhaps even better. The wait, in the longest sense of the word, was over. Now all the potential of what could be stood center stage in my own candle-lit imagination. I placed all this potential on the morning to come and the presents and the fun, but the potential had nothing to do at all with Christmas morning. Rather, it was the promise that all that you wanted could come to you. That what you wanted wasn’t actually presents was the inevitable disappointment of the day itself, but the gift Christmas gave, to me at least, was a glimpse of the inherent generosity of life. I found that truth within myself, and then called it Christmas.
Finding that abiding generosity is a search worthy of a lifetime, and so I seek it still. Now I have children myself and I watch from my perch of middle age their mounting excitement and hold my tongue. They will not get what they want Christmas morning. No matter. They are too young to know what they actually want, that vision blooming still in their own young candle-lit souls. Who wouldn’t be excited catching even a glimpse of that? So I will leave them to their excitement and to the discovery of its actual source.
Merry Christmas to those of you celebrating, and to those not, enjoy the quiet of the day. Silence is the finest place to find what you might be looking for.