Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Today is Christmas Eve; it is my favorite day of the year. I love the anticipation, the excitement, the happiness in the air. Our family tradition is to have a lovely meal over candlelight, then go to the family service at church and celebrate the true meaning of the season. After church, we come home and have dessert in front of the tree, then the children get to pick out one gift to open. It is such a peaceful, wonderful evening.

This image is from my favorite Christmas card this year. The friend who sends this card always purchases cards that support a charity, and this year's card supports a hospice in her town.

To me, peace and hope are really the heart of the matter, the true spirit of Christmas. It is a theme that is central to so many of the traditional Christmas hymns, many of which were written in times of war and strife:

Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven's all gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear


I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

All glory be to God on high.
and to the earth be peace.
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

O morning stars together,
Proclaim the holy birth.
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to all on earth!
O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Come, Desire of Nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid every strife and quarrel cease,
And fill the world with heaven's peace.

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Let there be Peace on Earth,
and let it begin with me.
Let There Be Peace on Earth


I hope everyone has a peaceful and joyous Christmas! I would particularly like to extend special thoughts and prayers to all of the military personnel serving our country, including my brother who has spent the majority of the past four years in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  1. Hi Sarah, have a very Merry Christmas also! Your Christmas eve day sounds lovely. Ours is similar, with family arriving at 6pm for a seafood supper (not a tradition, just a fun idea).
    We live right across the street from our church, so that will be easy tomorrow...
    Merry Christmas!!

  2. Sarah, what a lovely, poignant Christmas card! I agree...Christmas Eve is the best part of the season. I love the traditional hymns by candlelight. O Holy Night is my favorite...I get teary whenever we get to "Fall on your knees..." The depth and meaning of the season just really comes through. We have made some major spiritual shifts in the last couple years and I am not sure if of where we'll spend services tonight...it might even just be right here at home, but we'll be feeling the communion of millions of people around the world. My thoughts and gratitude go to you and your family...your blog is a constant source of inspiration--a gift! And your brother's sacrifices exemplify serving something greater than yourself. Have a very merry Christmas!

  3. Thank you, Amber and Terri!

    Amber, out of all of my readers, I knew that you would appreciate my brother's service more than anyone! Hope you have a wonderful evening, wherever you are.

  4. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2008!!

  5. Dear Things, what a lovely post & what a lovely Chirstmas tradition. My thoughts are with your brother. May God continue to keep him safe this year.

  6. I love your tradition. I am a fan of Christmas Eve as opposed to the celebrations of Christmas Day something about the build up...anyhow regarding your brother, mine lives in Australia and being away from him is just horrible so I can only begin to imagine what it must be like for you. You family are in my thoughts & prayers as is "Peace on Earth'. Merry Christmas Sarah! Sending you as a friend of mine says "love & light"

  7. Just a merry hello on the day after Christmas!

    kari & kijsa

  8. I hope you had a great one....Happy New Year. Your card is lovely.

  9. Just catching up with everyone's posts from the past 10 days! Whew, you've done a lot.

    I love the song O Come, O Come Emmanuel. It's the first hymn I remember learning.

    And I have a lot of King's College Cambridge CDs, too!


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