For many years Christmas Eve has been one of my favourite days.
I knew I was growing up when I was allowed to go to the late night church service which finished with a candle-lit procession outside, singing the last carol, to take Christmas to the world.
When the children were small, when they were sound asleep, when the pillow cases had been filled, I revelled in the peace as I was left to make the pavlova and complete other preparations for Christmas Day, uninterrupted, to the quiet accompaniment of carols.
One of the most memorable recent Christmas Eves was spent in Argentina, with our friends and their large extended family. There the major celebration is on the evening of the 24th, culminating with the arrival of Papa Noel, at midnight, carrying a sack with one present for each child.
Christmas Eves there, and here, have provided the opportunity to be grateful that for the gifts that really matter, and not just on Christmas Day – loving family and friends.
Wherever, and however, you’re celebrating, I hope you’re similarly blessed.
May your Christmas be happy and may 2014 be kind to you and yours.