Christmas Eve! There is something almost magical about this day! For Mary and I, it is amplified by the fact that this is our son’s birthday. He is 26 years old today. I don’t know how that is possible since I am only 39 myself. Oh well, another of life’s miracles!
Honestly, Christmas Eve is probably more special to me than Christmas day itself. I think it has to do with the anticipation. It is all the preparation that goes into it that adds to the mystery of this time of year. I remember all the preparations we made for the birth of Josh. It was amazing all the baby stuff we bought or were given as new parents. We got a room ready for the new life that was coming into our world. We were giddy in our anticipation!
We also went through a bunch of classes to prepare for the birth of our child. I became an expert at helping Mary breathe (he, he, ho, he, he, ho). Of course when it came to the actual event, breathing exercises went out the window as my wife turned into a creature I did not know! I still get chills as I recall her exact words at one point, “Don’t move! The pimple on your forehead is my focal point.”
Birth itself is tough work. There is tremendous pain in getting to the outcome. But, when the baby finally peeks out into the world, all the pain and agony seem to fade. I am sure my wife would say at this juncture, that the pain actually didn’t go away but it was simply superseded by an unexplainable joy!
So, are we prepared for Christmas? When we hear that question, I am sure we think about having the decorations up, presents purchased, food prepared, and so on. There is work to be done to have a good Christmas!
But, the real prep work involves pain. If we are going to allow Christ to be born into our lives in new ways this Christmas, we have to be willing to endure some pain. We have to allow him to look deep into the crevices of our hearts and “clean house.” We have to allow Him to have access to the past and deal with any lingering hang ups. I love the anticipation of Christmas and the wonder of it all. But, I got to do the prep work if I want to experience the joy of the day!