On Christmas Eve, my family and I do a lot of the usual things. Go to church, eat a big dinner (usually Italian, a nod to our NYC roots). Have a basement dance-off involving Madonna. OK, maybe that's slightly different. It works for us. But of all our traditions, my favorite is that of singing happy birthday to Baby Jesus. Every year, since I was a little girl, we gather around a table with a cake for Jesus. Mom puts out a ceramic nativity scene, we light a candle, and take a minute to sing a very non-Christmas, and non-Rihanna song. People sometimes look at us like we're crazy when we say that we're going to sing happy birthday to Jesus. But isn't that the whole point?
December went by in a whirlwind, and not in a "so many parties-so many cookies to decorate" kind of way. (Minus the Santa Party -- that was an insane holiday thing.) Mostly it was just life, life in full speed.
I didn't go to church once. But I felt welcomed home when I went tonight. Especially during the part where the priest said that God came to teach us we are loved, and challenged us to believe that. "You're loved by God. Start acting like it."
Something about that resonated, and this is what I'm holding close to my heart as I fall asleep this Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas.