When all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
My dad’s mom, my grandmother, always said “Christmas Eve Gift” when we got there. Sometimes it was in the middle of the night but if it was Christmas Eve, that’s what she said in greeting, as soon as we walked through the door.
I never knew what it meant. I thought it was just one of those weird Grandmother things that she did and said. Later, when Grandmother and Granddaddy were no longer around to celebrate Christmas with, we still said it. It didn’t matter if we were at my house, my mom’s or my brother’s, that was the first thing said when someone arrived. It was kind of a joke to Grandmother I guess.
One year, on a knitting list I’m a part of, one of the ladies posted about Christmas Eve Gift. I was surprised! All this time I thought it was just something in our family, so I checked it out on the Internet. (I really don’t know what people did before the Internet. That’s my main source of information!) Anyway, I found out there is a custom, more often than not dealing with gifts, centered on the saying, “Christmas Eve Gift.”
I still remember Grandmother, happy to see us, saying Christmas Eve Gift. I remember walking through the garage, to the back door, and the smell of her house as we came in from the long trip. I remember her having the beds ready, pallets on the floor for us kids, and the warmth and comfort that was offered.
We don’t give or get an extra gift for being the first to say Christmas Eve Gift in our family. I know now what the gift was, as we came through the door and she called out, “Christmas Eve Gift” and we said it back. It’s the gift of being with those you love. It’s the gift of family, together at Christmas.
Remember, the things you get and give this year, the material things, are just that; things. And they will soon be forgotten. The best gift of Christmas is the gift of yourself, spending time with those who mean the most. That’s the gift that will be cherished and remembered, for the rest of time.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there...
I found this poem, written by Howard Epstein. I adapted it...just a little, just for fun. Enjoy!
A Knitter’s Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
Knitting needles were clicking, by way of my spouse,
Knit one, purl one, and yarn over too,
Her fingers were flying, so much left to do,
A ski hat for Ty, a warm scarf for Jen,
A sweater for Bryce, He’ll start a new trend!
A silk shawl for Judi, some argyles for Dad,
A knit toy for Caleb, that loquacious lad,
I watch her with wonder, as objects appear,
Some flowers, a castle, a river, a deer,
An edging, a ruffle, are done in a whiz,
She’s painting with yarn, like the artist she is,
Her patterns are perfect, there’s never a glitch,
And I know she is knitting, a kiss in each stitch,
I think that all knitters, who labor away,
Giving joy unto others, must feel good every day,
Her needles stop clicking, nothing more left to do,
So I sit down and say, “Merry Christmas to you”
And to all who are knitters, may I say with delight,
“Merry Christmas To All, And To All A Good Night!”
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"