whAT TO EXPECT ON THIS DAY?
Because everyone on this day is hustling about getting presents, looking for the best gift they can find this year.. there's also much more anticipation on this day than on Christmas. I personally feel it more on the days leading up to Christmas than the actual day. In the back of your mind you know everyone is going around buying presents for family members stuffing their stockings and making lists of what they want for next year. Christmas Eve Eve is capitalisma and commercialism at it's best. With lists and lists of presents and friends sending small and simple kindnesses that keep one another close in theory, but how are our hearts. Are we really closer to each other from giving one another a gift? I would say, YES! If it's with the heart you could say we are being like the wiseman who presented the gold, frankinsense and myrr. I like to think that gift giving is like a representation of our commitment to a baby, in Jesus Christ. We forget our cares for the hollidays and want to give and receive.
But what to expect? Family members to want to be close to you. Family traditions to be formed, good examples? Making ginger bread houses, going places with family, opening one present, trational mary and joseph play presentation, travel, parties and togetherness. It's a wonderful time of year! A celebration of the time when the birth of the King of Kings was born. A time to reflect on all that He as done for us. Although we don't see it or with our eyes, we feel the feeling that this was something important, to remember the Son of God, why? Because He paid the price for all sin and allowed all humankind a chance to become cleansed like He is clean. To be recommpensed for all wrong to one day enjoy life like He lives it. We expect that to be the motivating factor behind all the hustle and bustle to give the gifts that we all want to recieve, LOVE.
Why is Christmas Eve a Celebration in itself? It is believed in Lutheran churches that Christ was born at night, midnight mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve. We thus find lots of family members celebrating on this day the birth of Christ, reinacting his birth. It is also the tradition that Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus or Father Christmas would depart their homeland on their long annual journey to diliver gifts and presents to children all around the world. Many people belive this tration of gift given is given from the maji, who were the wiseman who brought presents to Christ at his birth. Saint Nicholas was trationally known to have lived from March 15 270 - 6 December 343. He was also known as Saint Nicholas the Wondermaker from his many miracles that he performed. He however began secrecly giving gifts to various people, which has formed the traditional model we now know as the role of Santa Claus.
There is so much happiness and joy with the secret gift giving. It means hope. It means miracles. One example is a friend I made while I was in Brazil for two years. When his family not only didn't have money for Christmas, they didn't have enough for the coming bills to pay their mortgage and gas bills. They had spent their money on fivolous things like a Porsche. However they didn't have anything to give each other on Christmas. They had been praying for months for something to happen. To get a Christmas miracle they didn't have any money for the coming months. When they got home Christmas Eve Eve, with days awaiting Christmas day they found an evelope on their front porch. "What is this??" Must be a letter from aunt Stephanie. After hopening it up it was $10,000 cash in an envelope. No known person. It wasn't stamped, just a full envelope. They thanked their God that day for the gift of their secret santa. With enough money to last the next 5-6 months for their bills they had their fires full and warm that winter.
This is the meaning of Christmas and the things we see on Christmas Eve Eve. May you have a great Christmas and remember Jesus Christ this winter season.