As I type this, it is about 12 hours and 40 minutes more until Christmas Day begins.
(by the way, why do we call the day before a major event the “eve” of the event? If Eve was created after Adam, shouldn’t the eve of the event be the day after an event? Well – unless the eve of the eve is called the “adam” of the event. “Christmas Adam Day”. Hmm)
The air is chilly and humid, thanks to a downpour that lasted through most of the night, and had only let up sometime mid-morning. I have been awake until 4A.M. the night before, and I have woken up on a couch above the office at 10.30A.M., feeling like my spine has lost its alignment. The video project is nearing its completion, and I’m expected back at about noon to fill in the finishing touches for a review at 4P.M., and following that, we the team may go on our merry ways to our Christmas Eve celebrations.
(just found out that the day before Christmas Eve is, in fact, not “Christmas Adam”. It’s called “Little Eve”)
In a way, I think that Christmas Eve represents more than the beginning of Christmas – it also signals for the beginning of the end of the year. On the 24th of December, there is exactly 1 week left until New Year’s Eve – and right after comes the new year. It’s a time to start packing up the old things, both literally and figuratively – and God knows that we have a lot of those things to pack up. It’s a time to wind down the activities, and in that space and silence reflect upon the year that was. A time to set priorities in order; a time to prepare for the new.
(so this is how it works: in Jewish tradition, the day starts at sunset; and when Christianity came about, it kept most of these traditions, and the Christians continued to celebrate major events on the evening before. “Eve” being an archaic word for “evening”, “Christmas Eve” just means “Christmas Evening”, which for the Christians back in the days, was the beginning of Christmas. When everyone agreed to make 12A.M. the start of a new day, however, the idea of an extra holiday was just too good to give up; and hence we have both Christmas Day and Christmas Eve)
It’s a good thing to do. Reflect. In the midst of our business, it can be difficult to even find time to think about what we are doing, much less why we do the things we do. Christmas, you see, teaches us once a year the lessons we have have forgotten along the way:
- Nothing beats the combination of good company and good food
- No one deserves to be moody or sad in the middle of a celebration
- No matter how bad things are, there is always something to be thankful for
- The only thing better than receiving a good gift is giving a good gift
- There should always be time for family
The best part about Christmas is this: it knows that you know these things; and it knows that you’ll forget these things in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s a patient teacher, there to help you learn it again and again, until you get it right.
As I type this, it is 12 hours and 15 minutes more until Christmas Day begins.
This Christmas, I hope that we all get it right.