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Ah, Christmas Eve, ya gotta’ love it.

For most of us, it’s a rushed day; last minute shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, reflecting!

But, it’s a great day.  I remember quiet nights at home as a child, getting ready for the big day when my own kids were little, and the expectations of happiness that was to come. 

Yeah, I may have over-hyped it a few years, and I may have been let down, but I really don’t remember a bad Christmas Eve.

There was family time, great parties at Karen and Fred’s, friends dropping in, cards to open, memories to share, and just plain joy.

The Tree was UP!

Christmas isn't Christmas without a tree!

The gifts were wrapped!

Surprise!!

And most of the food was in some state of readiness, if not completely cooked!

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmeeee!

Well, this year,  I’m ready!

I didn’t think I would be.  Nor did I think I’d be in a very Christmassy mood this year.  It’s the first Christmas without my Dad.   And I miss him so.  But, I remembered what really meant a lot to him at Christmastime, and it brought my spirits UP.

He was not a big fan of Christmas.  He thought most people had it wrong.  The trimmings, the tree, the red and green were all reminders to him of the ancient pagan roots from which they came.  He was more focused on the real meaning of a Christian Christmas. 

Jesus.

He read us the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas Day.  He enjoyed the food, loved the wonder and excitement in our eyes as we opened presents, and was always amazed how Mother pulled it all together.  He shopped for her, she did the rest.

But aside from the real meaning of Christmas, Dad always loved the time together, the humor, and the fun.

He loved a good Christmas joke, reminded us that Santa was imaginary, and that the real gift was the birth of Christ in Bethlehem so long ago.

He was always ready for Christmas.

So, even with the fact that he won’t be here this Christmas for the first time in all our lives, I know he’d want us all to be happy, healthy, and remembering just why we have Christmas.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

I’m ready for Christmas, are you?

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