Christmas EVE!! So excited. Tonight I have the privilege of sitting or kneeling in front of the Blessed Sacrament as Christmas morning (midnight) comes to Baton Rouge and the Central time zone.

However, before that I have to clean a little, make dinner for the whole family, go to church to hear people I love sing, celebrate at Mass, and come home to said dinner and the family tradition of opening ONE gift. This year, just those who will be getting socks and underwear will open a gift tonight – the eager anticipated socks and underwear!!

Every year my mother gave us kids socks and underwear for Christmas. The “kids-in-law” were eventually included in this. It may sound a little lame, but believe me, we looked forward to it. By around September/October, you start thinking, “Good thing Christmas is coming. My socks are starting to look a little ragged.”

Last year, after Mom died, her surviving children discussed the matter. As “matriarch” (oldest child), the task apparently seemed to fall to me. Was I up to the duty of buying socks and underwear for my family??

In the end it was decided that I would buy for my immediate family, and my sister-in-law would buy for my brother and herself. It struck all of us as just a little “odd” for me to be buying such “intimate” apparel for my brother and his wife.

In the Brandt household, we have a tradition. We open ONE gift Christmas Eve. This is a compromise that occurred when I joined the family.

In the family of my birth, my father was Danish (born in the US) and according to him, Scandinavian families opened their gifts Christmas Eve. We opened family gifts Christmas Eve and Santa gifts Christmas morning.

When I married into the Brandts, I was stunned to find out that although my mother-in-law is Norwegian, they don’t do this. Her mother, who we called Dina, admitted that in her family, they did open gifts Christmas Eve. So my father-in-law came up with the compromise that we open ONE gift Christmas Eve and save the rest for Christmas morning. That was fine because no one believed in Santa anyway, being all adults. I’m not admitting to my belief in Santa here publicly.

This year, things are little different. My brother and his wife are coming from Ohio and won’t be here until Monday. They’re going to her father’s home for Christmas then coming here. We’re holding the majority of Christmas until they arrive.

Tonight, we will go early to church to hear the contemporary choir (to which three members of my family belong) have a concert then we’ll stay for Mass, during which the choir will sing, too.

Then everyone is coming here for dinner. It will only be mac & cheese as it’s Friday and we’re not doing our Christmas dinner until tomorrow. After dinner, we’ll go into the living room where the tree is and the kids (my kids) will open one gift each. My daughter loves the sock & underwear gifts because she can open one Christmas Eve and not “wreck” all the surprises of the next morning.

I don’t know what the Boy will want to open as he still believes in Santa. But I think she’ll be able to convince him a sock & underwear gift is his best bet.

Some time this afternoon, the Girl is going to drive our Santa gifts over to the grandparents’ house because we’ll go over there in the morning and Santa has been instructed to deliver presents there.

Hope you all have a Blessed, Wonderful, Joyous Christmas and my the true meaning penetrate your heart and fill you will hope. And may you see a Christmas miracle!!!

I love you!!!