Blog 1215 – 12.24.2018
Christmas Eve Traditions
Different families who celebrate Christmas have their own unique traditions like when gifts are to be open. In my boyhood home the children’s gifts could only be opened Christmas morning. There was not just a little debate about what constituted “morning.” Technically, at least for my brother and I, anytime after midnight was morning to us boys. So we usually went to bed early so we could get up earlier and earlier. I do not recall my parents ever getting to see us open our gifts till we were grown. And then we started opening them on Christmas Eve. I suppose the morning thing was so both parents and children could perpetuate the wonderful fantasy that a jolly ole elf had hand-delivered those gifts himself. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I believe in Santa Claus even as I believe in a Higher Power but much of what is attributed to either is a bit suspect.
One of my favorite Christmas Eve traditions is to watch for the ump-tenth time the Christmas classic movie It’s A Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and showcasing the original Bert and Ernie duo with Ward Bond Playing Bert the cop and Dobbie Gillis’s Dad playing Ernie the taxi driver. And, yes, that is where Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie got their names. Look it up if you don’t believe me and that Dobbie Gillis reference too, you youngsters.
There are many other Christmas movies out there that people like to watch on Christmas Eve. TBS used to air the boy wanting a bb-gun story called Christmas Story starting Christmas Eve and through Christmas Day afternoon. Then there is the Chevy Chase Classic, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. What’s that about the sitter being full? Lots of laughs and potty jokes.
And it would not seem like Christmas without one of the many movie versions of Charles Dickens’ Classic, A Christmas Carol, called Scrooge by many. One of my favorites and I love and have seen most all of them is the early nineteen sixties version made for TV and originally sponsored by Timex watches called Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol. I saw it as a boy the first time it ran and for many years thereafter. When Magoo’s Scrooge as a boy sings, “There is a hand for a hand in the world why can’t my fingers reach” my heart and eyes still bubble over for him and all the people who feel lonely at Christmas time.
Someone commented that my little Christmas tree (pictured above) looks lovely but lonely. I assure you it is not nor am I for I am surrounded by a heavenly host of Christmas Angels. My namesake the Psalmist David wrote in one of his more famous Psalms, the twenty-third, that two angels followed him everywhere. Their names were Goodness and Mercy. Two of the many angels that always with me are named Alene and Emily, my beloved dearly but not entirely departed mother and daughter. I have a great big loving family always with me. So alone for Christmas it is to me but an illusion for we are, all of us, one with the Universe. And as Bert and Ernie and George Bailey remind us so well, he or she is never poor nor lonely who has family and friends on Christmas Eve and every day of the year. Merry Christmas, God Bless Us, Every One.
Your friend and fellow traveler,