I already wrote about our Christmas Eve traditions a couple of years back. One thing I don’t know if I actually did, at that point, is emphasise how much I love Christmas Eve. If the Christmas-season is my favourite time of year? Well, Christmas Eve is the absolute highlight of it all.
You see, Christmas can so easily be a disappointment. You get your hopes up too high, you think it’ll be the best day ever… And then reality happens. There’s slightly too many people for your comfort, as well as slightly too much pressure to love whatever gift you’ve been given. And of course, there’s – for me, at least – the slight feeling of inadequacy which is, I’ll give you that one, more so inherent to me than anyone else’s fault, but still. You try facing 6 cousins that seemingly have their lives together, while you constantly struggle to understand what you’re doing and why.
So yes, Christmas day? I love it, but it also absolutely exhausts me.
Then, of course, there’s second Christmas day. Ah, the 26th, when leftovers are eaten, and gifts used to the fullest. And, let’s not forget, when that feeling of “oh, it’s over, isn’t it” starts to sink in. Sure, you’ve still got New Year’s Eve to look forward to. But, honestly – I don’t really look forward to it all that much. Well, at least I didn’t when I was in high school or in college, and I was supposed to enjoy it to the fullest. Basically: the more I feel under pressure to like something? The less likely it is I’ll actually enjoy it. Eternal rebel, aren’t I?
No, the real fun? That’s Christmas Eve. A night where we focus on just our closest family. A night where we take the time to spend time together. To truly enjoy what it means to be family. A night where we get to give gifts that don’t have to be perfect, but you know they always come from a place of love. A night where, surprisingly, you can enjoy the calmth of Christmas as well as the fun of it.
So tonight, whether you’re celebrating, or whether the big bash needs to be prepared for? Why don’t you join me in taking a second to enjoy that calmth. To sit by the tree, read a book, and take it in: it’s the most wonderful time of the year – and it’ll be gone sooner than you think.