Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Magic of Christmas Eve

This is one of my favorite little snippets to read at Christmastime. It's an essay by Gregg Easterbrook that was published in the NY Times in 1983 called "The Gift Behind the Gift." I'll just share a few of my favorite parts. I love the feelings he captures.

"The most splendid Christmas gift, the most marveled and magic, is the gift that has not yet been opened. Opaque behind wrapping or winking foil, it is a box full of possibilities. An unopened present might be ANYTHING. While the present is unopen, it can rest under the tree to be regarded and speculated upon at length, becoming whatever the recipient wishes.

"Opening the present, by comparison, is often anticlimactic--no matter what the contents. For once opened, the gift passes from the enchanted realm of promise into the constrained reality of material possessions. Then it begins to impose terms on its owner--terms like sizes, warranties, colors, maintenance, accessories, storage space, assembly, extremely thick books with instructions.

"So it is that Christmas Eve is the best part of Christmas. Compared with the clamor and urgency of the day itself, Christmas Eve is serene. It is the moment, still and expectant, when the warmth of the season may be felt for its own sake--the moment to light candles and listen for a sound in the distance. It is the moment when the meaning of the day may be contemplated without distraction from timetables or remote-controlled robots."

Does that ring true for you like it does for me?

I hope amidst the last minute shopping, cooking, wrapping, and stuffing, you're able to find those moments for relaxation and contemplation--when you can focus on the true meaning of Christmas as well as enjoy the anticipation of the excitement to come.

Merry Christmas!


Natalie said...

I love that quote Andrea! Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Destiny said...

What a good thought to send. Have a great holiday season!

Ang said...

The perfect quote, Andi. I was just talking to Forrest about that exact thing last night, after the clamor and hubub of Christmas day itself (not to mention sick kids on top of it--Strep!!!). I love Christmas Eve, too. And I HATE trying to make all the new electronic gagetry work all day long on Christmas. I'll have to copy that quote and save it.

Laurie said...

Yes, this definitely rings true!