Christmas Eve conjures up stories of unique experiences whether warm and fuzzy family traditions or hollow disappointments. I’ll share a childhood story that encompasses both.

I must have been about five years old because we were still living in the city of Beirut on the Beirut Baptist School Compound and had not yet moved up into the foothills to the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary campus. I remember distinct aspects of the city apartment which played a role in my story.

I’m the youngest of five siblings: four girls within five years of each other, and a much older brother. One of my sisters has habitually been the ring leader of mischief! So, on this particular Christmas Eve, the stage was set! For Christmas, we always received three gifts: a book, a toy, and an article of clothing. Santa gave one gift, usually the toy, and the rest were from my parents. However, this year, Santa did a switch-a-roo. I found this out in a spectacular fashion.

My instigator sister woke us from a sound sleep in our matching twin beds all lined up in our veranda facing bedroom. She signalled mandatory silence with her warning of a shushing finger pressed to her pursed lips and a pair of intensely focused “you better be quiet or else” eyes. We were to follow her down the long, cold, tiled hallway to the end of the passage where we could vaguely hear rustlings and whisperings behind the living room double doors. The doors were panelled in opaque etched glass. Our vision of the scene unfolding behind the doors was blurred. My sister stealthily and gingerly pushed down on the door handle, slightly easing a crack through which we could see.

Mother and Daddy had their backs to us while crouching down in front of the tree whispering and giggling. In awe, I soaked up the presenting vignette. They were meticulously lining up four bouffant petticoats, each a different pastel color: blue, yellow, pink, and green. Just that site in itself was startling enough to my five-year-old self! In that split second, reality collided with child-like fantasies. My parents were Santa!

We, all four sisters, silently crept back to our beds, wide-eyed with anticipatory joy and dawning wonderment mixed with niggling disappointment. 

Sometimes, just on the eve of a major life event, we are faced with emerging dawning wisdom that can be both joyous enlightenment as well as sobering reality. One “aha” moment does not need to negate the other, but can beneficially live in the same space.

Allow yourself to open up this Christmas Eve to the dawning of a new day, a new year, whatever the uncovered revelations might be.


What “aha” revelation is dawning upon you this Christmas Eve?

This is a night to remember,

A sweet celebration of love.

It’s a holiday of dreams, in warm reds and greens.

And a star keeps shining above Christmas Eve.

A Song by Engelbert Humperdinck

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