Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

It is Christmas Eve Eve and I am doing my best to stay awake until midnight to hear the first song of an annual event called The Night Before on WXPN which is a member supported station based here in Philadelphia. The host, named Robert Drake stays up  for 24 hours from midnight tonight until midnight tomorrow night. It’s the least I can do, to be of energetic support, since he has been doing this for 23 years. The music is not merely your typical holiday fare, but rather, an eclectic blend of off the wall,  cutting edge, colorful, indie singer songwriter tunes. He goes all out to decorate the studio and the fiesta can be viewed via the jingle cam. His enthusiasm about this shindig to which the world is invited is contagious.

For me, this night offers the opportunity to take a breather before last minute gift wrapping and food prep tomorrow and a snuck in trip to the gym. Tomorrow night, I will attend services at an interfaith community called Pebble Hill, where I am certain that will blend the unique with the familiar. My favorite part closes out the celebration as we sing Silent Night and light each other’s candles one from the other. I love to look up at the skylight and view the flickering flames in its surface.

On Christmas Day, I will visit a young man I mentor in an adolescent residential program. After that, will swoop by my sister in-law and brother in-law’s home. Once upon a time, I was married to her brother who died 17 years ago. We have remained in touch and they remind me that I am always welcome. The final stop will be the home of my son’s future in-laws. I am blessed to have such extensive family of choice with whom to celebrate the gift of love.

Wishing you the present of the presence of those you treasure.