It's Christmas Eve, and I'm wide awake. I spent the evening listening to Mom tell the Book of Mormon perspective of the nativity and unwrapping ridiculous white elephant gifts and curling up on the floor to watch Kevin McCallister get left behind twice.
It's crazy how fast these things happen, how Christmases fly by when you grow up. More crazy, to me, is that in spite of me being frustrated and angry and incredibly disappointed with the world I live in and the way people choose to use their agency, the true peace and joy of Christmas managed to find me.
This is the first year that I can say I've noticeably been changed by it.
I've felt it at work when I've watched employees flicker from place to place to help those in need. I felt it when I tried breaking it to a woman that we didn't have cakes on sale and out of the blue, someone gave her $20 to buy one. She was shopping for a friend in need and only had $40 to get everything. Her eyes got so bright and she was stunned that someone would do something for her. I felt it when we got a knock on our door at 8:40 pm and there was a plate of cookies sitting there and our neighbor pulled out of our driveway after shouting, "Sorry. That wasn't so secret. Merry Christmas!"
When I drove home from work tonight, I passed a Catholic church and watched as men and women and their families streamed inside. Midnight mass, I think it's called. A blue Christmas tree sat in the front window and twinkled as believers gathered together to celebrate Christ. It was beautiful. I wanted to stop and celebrate with them.
Windows passed with trees inside as I drove. Cars drove home ahead of me. The night sky opened up and is completely clear of clouds and smog to reveal beautiful, twinkling stars.
I've never felt so at home.
Christmas is completely about giving. And it's magical and wonderful. I hope you've felt that, too.
Merry Christmas, everybody.