Merry Christmas Eve! As a child I always remember being so excited on Christmas Eve because that meant that soon I would be getting presents! I thrilled as the wrapped gifts mounted under the tree and I would find myself nearly beside myself with anticipation over what I would soon receive. I am sure that most of you can remember how hard it was going to sleep on Christmas Eve because you just couldn't wait to wake up and have it be Christmas.
I remember when my children were young the many Christmases that my husband and I would stay up into the wee hours of the morning wrapping presents for our children. It became a tradition that after the children went to bed we would watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and wrap gifts. It seemed that we no sooner pillowed our heads when our children would be knocking on our door asking if it was time to get up yet. Those are precious memories to me - what a joy it was to see their huge smiles as they opened their gifts.
My favorite present at Christmas time is being able to be in the presence of my family. When it is my birthday while it is nice to get gifts - my favorite gift is to have my children and grandchildren all around me. At Christmas we are celebrating Jesus' birthday - I believe that perhaps for Him a great gift would be to have us, those He came here to seek and to save, "come before His presence with singing." Today if you want to experience the real joy of Christmas be sure to spend time in His presence. I promise you there is no sweeter time than the time spent in the presence of God. "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11
While children have such joy because of the presents - the real gift of Christmas is His presence. It is the fact that we are celebrating the birth of Christ that makes Christmas the special Holyday (I know how I spelled it - it should be a Holy day, not just a holiday). It was His presence that made that night so special so long ago.
As you enjoy the time opening presents and watching those you love open the gifts that you lovingly purchased for them, remember the gift that God gave us on Christmas - His Son; remember that the real joy of Christmas is not the presents, it's His Presence!
"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." Psalm 100
Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful day