“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart…filled it, too, with melody that would last forever. “

If you ask any kid what the longest day in the year is, they will not name a day in June. They’ll say today, Christmas Eve, is the longest day of the year. Nighttime never comes and going to bed early doesn’t help push the clock. I know firsthand.

Every year we got new pajamas. They were the only gifts we could open on Christmas Eve despite our begging, our cajoling.

I remember walking down the stairs and seeing the filled stockings hanging from the bannister. My first look at the tree was always a look of pure wonder. Sometimes I forgot to breathe. The tree was surrounded by wrapped gifts and toys, never wrapped. The games were in the front leaning on toys in the back. Tall gifts like a doll’s high chair were in the back. Bicycles weren’t under the tree. They were too big. My brother’s was in the kitchen. Mine was at the other end of the living room away from the tree.

Tonight is gingerbread house night. I’ll cover the dining room table and make it ready. I’ll put out the house kits and all the extra decorations I bought. I have food: crackers and a variety of cheeses, a Mexican dip served with corn chips and sausage and penne, but if this year is like all other years, we won’t do much talking or even much eating. The creative process takes all our attention.

Gifts from one sister are piled around the tree. An envelope from my other sister is on the tree stuck between a couple of branches. Tomorrow morning I’ll make myself a mimosa or two and open gifts.

I hope Santa will be good to you.

Merry Christmas and a continued Happy Chanukah.

Explore posts in the same categories: Musings

10 Comments on ““Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart…filled it, too, with melody that would last forever. “”

  1. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Although we didn’t celebrate Christmas, my 1950s parents didn’t want us to feel left out so we hung stockings on the mantel on Christmas Eve. In the morning we would find them filled with candy. We received our presents during Chanukah. This year Christmas occurs during Chanukah and I don’t recall that happening when I was a kid. When my kids were little we let them hang up stockings on Christmas Eve, but stopped when they were older.

    The idea of giving gifts on Chanukah came from its calendar .proximity to Christmas. Traditionally Jewish kids received Chanukah gelt, or money in Yiddish. The coins were chocolate covered with gold or silver foil which we used to gamble with spinning a top called a dredle. The dredle had four Hebrew letters one on each side. American dreidels the letters stand for, “A great miracle happened there”. Israeli dredles have a different letter which reads, “A great miracle happened here”.The Assyrian Greeks prevented the Jews from praying so when the soldiers showed up they would spin a dredle and look like they were gambling. The Chanukah gelt morfed into giving presents in modern times in the U.S.

    Today the sun is shining and we will probably top out in the low 70s. Not very wintry for Christmas Eve.

    Regardless what you celebrate this time of year, I want to wish everyone a happy holidays. I will resume my cynical self tomorrow. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I figure stockings are wonderfully secular. They have always been great fun. My mother found the best stocking stuffers, and I try to do the same.

      My mother always put chocolate coins with menorahs on the front in our stockings. It was a mistake the first time then it became a tradition.

      Smart move, pretending to gamble.

      It was cold today mostly because of the strong wind. I went to pick up a few things and then got ready for my friends. I cleaned in stages and all of it is done now. I’ll read a little bit before I go to bed.

      Thanks for the stop gap from your holiday cynicism.

  2. Idle Mind Says:

    Joy and best wishes to you, Kat, and to all the Coffee Clan. I’ll forgo trying to say it in all the languages represented here and offer a sincere and simple Merry Christmas from here in Texas. Hope Santa is very, very good to everyone!

    • katry Says:

      Thank you, my friend.

      I wish you the best Christmas. May all the joys of the day surround you. Merry Christmas!

  3. Hedley Says:

    It is the night of joy and hope and reflection, our children are grown and left to form their own families, the excitement they generated at the wonderment of the season transfers to a new generation and we celebrate our Prince and a Grand daughter in May

    So we gather ourselves to celebrate our Faith at Mass at St John Fisher Chapel, giving thanks for so many gifts

    To each and everyone at the KTCC family, wherever you are, may your God go with you.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      My friends and I had a wonderful Christmas Eve except my gingerbread house kept collapsing. I put it back together every time until finally I just couldn’t do it any more. A tragedy, a Christmas Eve tragedy.

      Wow, a granddaughter in May. That’s wonderful!!

      Hedley, my dear, I wish for you the most wonderful Christmas Day.

  4. Birgit Says:

    Christmas Eve, our main Christmas day, is over now. We went to church only because my friend sang, again a mass without joy but with billows of incense (torture!), back by bike, rain, Christmas dinner (salmon, spinach), gifts (no pyjamas), Odetta on vinyl and egg liqueur. Done. Two lazy holidays will follow. I hope the weather allows a walk along the river.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and whatever you like to celebrate!

    • katry Says:

      My Christmas Eve is almost over. My friends and I had a wonderful evening. We built our gingerbread houses, ate delicious food and drank spiked egg nog then went into the living room where we just sat and chatted.

      Tomorrow is the bigger day with presents to open and a big dinner in the afternoon. When I was growing up, Christmas Eve was spent at home while on Christmas Day we’d spend the afternoon visiting our grandparents.

      Merry Christmas and enjoy your lazy days!

  5. olof1 Says:

    Happy Christmas!

    Like in Germany our big day is on Christmas eve, the yule gnome has been to thehomes giving the presents and today is the day we visit other relatives. Now days many families prefer that the yule gnomes wife comes because she can, unlike the yule gnome himself, say no to the schnaps they usually offer him at every home he visits. So much nicer to have a sober member of the family visiting 🙂 🙂 🙂

    No white Christmas here and I must say I likeit, growing up in Gothenburg by the sea almost always meant rainy christmases 🙂 🙂

    Good Yule!


    • katry Says:

      I chuckled at the reason the yule gnome’s wife is more welcome. Poor Yule gnome with no schnapps to keep him warm on a cold winter’s day, but I do agree that a sober member of the family is probably more welcomed.

      We have had a warmer than expected winter with only a little bit of snow. I couldn’t be happier!!

      God Jule

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: