Christmas Eve 2013


It has become my family’s custom to open our gifts on Christmas Eve, which I think takes some of the joy and wonder out of the holiday for the kids, but I’m not the one raising them so we’ll leave it at that. We started this when my brother and I were at college, and no longer so excited about waking at the crack of dawn to open presents. In the space between dinner and going out for the evening, we’d sit and open gifts in the hushed living room. Lit with candles and a Christmas tree and a mantle-mounted garland of evergreens, the space took on the holiday magic that only Christmas Eve could create.

It was a break in whatever family drama was unfolding at the moment, a time when differences were put aside, just for the night, and smiles and laughter returned to the house like they did when we were kids. The excitement of unopened gifts still elicits a thrill, and the joy in watching my family open theirs is even better.

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