Wow- It's Christmas Eve!

A big hello to all of you! I know things have been a bit slower than usual here at MBP the past few days, and that's because I have decided to slow down this year, and enjoy Christmas with my family. Usually, I'm blogging up a storm on Christmas Eve, making preparations for my vacation, etc. This year, the tone just feels a little different. 

First off, my sister and her hubby are in town. They were going to join us in Oak Island after Christmas, but actually surprised the pants off of my parents, by showing up at their house on Saturday night. We have not had Christmas with my sister in five years, since befor she and her hubby got married, so this is a very special Christmas for us. I am just so excited to have her home... to know that she and Cory will be with us at church tonight, and that we'll spend Christmas and the days that follow together.

Me, laughing it up with my sister Britt in 2007...

It's Christmas Eve Day, and normally, I would be rushing around like crazy (and I may be, still). My plans for today inclue making spanakopita, and prepping a squash casserole. I promised B that we'd have fresh cookies to leave out for Santa tonight, too. We may have a quick errand or two to run, depending on what our time frame looks like this afternoon. We spend a large chunk of Christmas Eve at church. I'll be there at 4 pm, preparing for the Family Christmas Eve Service, which begins at 5:00. The 3-5 year olds will be singing 'Away in a Manger,' and I can't wait for B to sing with his little friends. The children are such a joy to work with! I am able to share my voice in worship, asking the question, 'Where Are You, Christmas,' and singing portions of the popular song.

After we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and light our candles, holding them high, singing 'Silent Night,' we'll make our way to Sacha's grandparent's house for a quick bite to eat, and scramble to take our annual Christmas family photo. Then, it's back to church for everyone by 8 pm, so we can prepare for the 9 pm Christmas Eve Candlelight service. Sacha will be playing a trombone/organ duet with my dad as part of the prelude music, and I will sing, accompanied by my dad on piano, and best pal Derek on his acoustic guitar.
I love that we not only worship as a family on Christmas Eve, but we all play a part in making the service beautiful, by sharing our gifts. It's the best way I can think of to give back, and to thank God for all that he has done for us.

I purposefully did as much running around as possible beforehand, so that when this day arrived, I could enjoy it. I want my focus to be on the beautiful gift of Christmas... a tiny child, wrapped in cloth, laying in a manger. This child- born to us, a Savior... Savior of the world. Wonderful Counsellor, Light of the world, the Prince of Peace. As love rains down on the world tonight, my hope and prayer is that you are filled with peace, and feel God's presence all around.

God bless, and Merry Christmas!

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