It’s 68 degrees on Christmas Eve.
I’ve been complaining about the weather nearly every day for the past month or two. Winter is my favorite time of the year. I love cold weather and snow, and this is the first time in my life I’ve experienced a November and December without any snow on the ground.
I’ve ranted and raved about the lack of snow nearly every day, but I won’t today.
Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. I love everything about the holidays – the decorations, the music, the movies, the food, being with my family – the list goes on. I enjoy Christmas Day, but Christmas Eve always seems more special to me.
First and foremost, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. But it’s also about spending time with family and loved ones, and celebrating and spreading the kind of joy and love we should be spreading all year.
It seems like everything I’m hearing and reading today is about the warm temperatures and the lack of snow. “It doesn’t feel like Christmas,” people keep saying. I’m usually the first to complain about the weather, but not today.
As much as Christmas isn’t about gifts and shopping, it also isn’t about how much snow is on the ground. Whether it’s 28 degrees with a foot of snow or 68 degrees with green grass, the weather won’t affect my Christmas.
One of the best moments I’ve ever experienced was two years ago on Christmas Eve (technically, Christmas Day). It had begun to snow during midnight mass, and as I walked out of the church in the early morning hours, still singing “Joy to the World” as the snow fell, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more at peace.
The snow always adds a little extra magic to Christmas, especially for me. But snow or no snow, I imagine I’ll still have that same feeling when I leave the church around 1 a.m. tonight.
When I get out of work this evening, I’ll join my family for a dinner of pierogis, kielbasa and a mixture of other Polish and American dishes. After dinner we’ll all sit around the Christmas tree and talk and exchange gifts. At exactly 8 p.m., just as we do every year, we’ll watch A Christmas Story. These are traditions I’ve experienced every Christmas Eve for 21 years, with or without snow on the ground.
In two more days, I’ll likely go back to complaining about the weather.
But today it’s Christmas Eve, and the temperature doesn’t change that.