I always enjoy my time after midnight Christmas Eve - a quiet house, the midnight clear, and occasionally a light skift of snow on the ground with floating snowflakes in the air (not this year though). My routine is to begin wrapping all presents after everyone has gone to bed. This year, I varied the rountine and got an early start - beginning at 10:45 pm after the service at Armstrong Methodist Church.
Jenna and Ellen saw me hiding the presents under the tree this year - "busted' they exclaimed - as they headed out the door at midnight to house sit/pet sit for the neighbors. No longer can I be sure they will be in bed before midnight. In fact this Christmas morning (or with teenagers it will be the afternoon) they won't even be available for me to wake them up (must be how empty nesters feel).
So after the quiet completely settled in at our house, I poured a glass of egg nog and rummaged up some cookies - no longer do I have the Santa snacks already neatly arranged under the hung stockings. The Cuckoo clock ticking in the background punctuates the passing of another Christmas and it's cadence methodically draws me back to memories of Christmas Eve pasts. Each a comfortably copy - yet different in details.
Merry Christmas to all - and to all a good night.