Personally, I do not think Christmas Day is the bests day of the year. For me, the best day is today - December 24. I love this day. It is a day of non-stop anticipation. For the Distler family, the day will include all of the following:
we will begin with a home made sausage gravy and biscuits breakfast (this is usually our Christmas Day breakfast, but since Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year and we will all be on stage for an exciting Christmas morning worship service at Gaylord E-Free, we are moving the annual sausage gravy and biscuits breakfast up to today)!
The majority of the day will then be spent in decorating Christmas cookies. This is when we see the real artistic revelations come out of our son. I will have to sneak away to the basement at some point during this time to wrap some gifts. My shopping is done and they are in boxes - all that is left is the wrapping.
Mid-afternoon our family will head out for our annual Christmas Eve dinner. Typically this takes place at Olive Garden. But since there is no Olive Garden in Gaylord, MI, we will have to experiment with a different Italian restaurant for this family tradition.
After dinner we head to church to get ready for our Christmas Eve services. We will have two identical services - one at 5pm and the other at 7pm. The theme is "MESSY Christmas!" Why? Because the very first Christmas was very MESSY! Jesus was born in a MESSY cave and lain in a MESSY manger. And it was fitting because He came into a MESSY world to follow a MESSY plan that would include a very MESSY cross. Even today, Christmas can get MESSY! That's what makes Christmas as meaningful now as it was way back then. It is going to be a great service. Laura, Joy and Jonathan will all be singing and I will be sharing a message which will include telling my favorite Christmas story of all-time about a boy named Wally. It's called "No Room! Go Away!"
Following our Christmas Eve services we will head home to continue our family Christmas Eve traditions. We open any gifts we have received from non-family. Then we open the stockings from my parents. We call them "Nana's Stockings!" This is always a time of great fun and laughter.
After Nana's stockings are emptied we will give Joy and Jonathan their first gift of Christmas from us. we will then sit down and watch a Christmas movie together.
Finally, it will be bed time but before we turn out the light, Laura gets to go through an extra stocking I do just for her. It's a purple stocking because purple is her favorite color!
After that, the best part of Christmas Eve takes place - SANTA ARRIVES!!!!!!