All my life I have sensed a certain hush, quietness and peace as Christmas Eve approaches and takes place.
As a child we were busy before Christmas preparing for school and Sunday school concerts. At home there were furious preparations in the baking department. Gifts were on display and our little attentions were drawn many times in great expectation. So the time leading up to Christmas was busy and terribly exciting for a little boy. It was magic.
In that era and the location we lived in, life was much simpler. We had one small country store that didn't have electricity. No bright lights there. Our transportation was via two ancient farm horses. They may have attained the blinding speed of four or five miles per hour. There wasn't a traffic jamb or great amount of traffic noise.. only the harness squeaking and slapping and the horses hooves crunching in the snow. No clip clop of horse shoes or fancy rig... just a farm type bob sleigh and box. This form of transportation was slow and quiet.
Even though our life was very quiet there was still the hush and quietness of Christmas Eve. It was noticeable even for a little boy.
After high school I've spent most of my life in an urban area. Yes, roads had been improved so that cars could be used for transportation although there wasn't a lot of traffic. Much brighter lighting came with the supply of electricity. Christmas was more commercialized. I would make my way home to the farm and sense the hush of Christmas Eve.
Later I had my own children and experienced their concerts and excitement of Christmas. I relived the same experiences of excited children. I became involved in preparing for Christmas. Stores were still not open in the evenings. Evenings were still quiet. We received our son by adoption three days before Christmas. We were not planning to go home for Christmas and my wife was booked for shifts over the holidays. We decided to surprise Mom and Dad and go home for Christmas with their new grandson. About three hours from our destination we ran out of milk. We thought there'd be no problem to pick up milk as we went through the city. Wrong. Everything was closed for Christmas Eve.. We finally got some milk in a restaurant that was open.
Since I was a teacher the school time up to Christmas holidays was hectic concerts, exams excited kids. Christmas Eve really did seem peaceful.
Now the stores are open evenings seven days a week. We seem to have to have many cars and drive them constantly. There's a constant roar from traffic. Brilliant lights are everywhere.
I still sense the hush of Christmas Eve.
So this Christmas Eve I hope that everyone senses the hush and peace no matter how or if they celebrate Christmas. It would be my hope that we find peace in ourselves , person to person and with all other people on this earth.