Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Christmas & Merry Birthday

Every Christmas Eve I go with my Grandma, Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother-in-law, and Hubby to the service at the church I grew up in.  We hear the Christmas Story, sing carols, and light candles.  It is one of my favorite things to do all year.  But most of all, I look forward to going to the 11pm service wherever that may be to be awake and in a state of praise when Christmas Day greets us.  After the early service with the family we went back to my parents' house and had snacks and cookies.  With no avail, I'd begged my mom to go with me to the 11pm service at the church up the street since our church decided against it this year.  I'd even asked my hubby to go with me and his response was "Two services?!? That's too much Jesus for one day". I'd convinced myself that I'd have to wait until next year to restart my 11pm service tradition.  Then, at 10:45, my sister and her mother-in-law said they had to go if they were going to make it to service.  I was so excited and quickly invited myself and was the first one ready to go out the door.  Christmas Eve Candlelight service at 11pm is honestly my favorite service all year.  I love seeing the Churches all decorated with lights, trees, Nativities, poinsettias, banners, and filled with other lovers of the Christmas Season. I love the silence in the night as we prepare to celebrate the Birth of Jesus.

Christmas has always been a special time for me.  Being a Christmas Baby isn't a common thing {although it's probably just as common as being a Halloween Baby, Valentine's Day Baby, or 4th of July Baby}. I haven't always been as grateful as I am this year of having my Birthday on Christmas.  My whole life, my parents have done the best they could to make me feel special.   When I was younger, they separated Christmas and Birthday by having my party on the 15th.  As I got older and didn't do so many parties, Christmas was in the morning then we'd break out the balloons and banners in the after noon.  Still, I always felt a little bit 'jipped' when it came to presents.  It seemed to me that others got to open just as many as I did when it was MY birthday!  This year's big milestone of 25 was no different.  The morning started out with slight jealousy, like most years.  I made an escape just after presents to think quietly for just a few minutes and I quickly realized that for all these years I've been taking the best gift for granted!  The gift of family.  For 25 years now, I have been shifting from praising God on Christmas Eve to thinking only about material things on my Birthday/Christmas.  I'm not sure why today was different.  Maybe I gained some magical wisdom I gained at that moment 25 years after my birth {not very realistic, but just go with it....}.  Most people get cards in the mail from aunts and uncles, phone calls from parents and siblings, or text messages and facebook wall posts from friends.  Not many get the privilege of seeing their faces and receiving hugs from them to celebrate a birthday.  I'm not sure why it took me so long to see this but it was the best gift I've ever gotten.  I am more grateful than ever to share my Birthday with the most gracious human to set foot on earth.

Merry Christmas to all!
Happy Birthday Jesus!!!

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