I was 12 years old that Christmas eve in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and it was one of the years when Christmas was going to interrupted by church. Christmas was on Sunday, which meant we’d go to church on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning. I knew it was important, and we’d celebrate Jesus’ birth with friends. I wasn’t going to complain. But it just wasn’t fair when there was a pile of gifts under the tree and my three sisters and I were jumping with anticipation.
That afternoon it began to snow, which wasn’t unusual for Pennsylvania in December and the perfect time for snow anywhere. It snowed all afternoon and kept snowing. My sisters and I were out making snow angels when we got word that Christmas Eve services were canceled. Terrific. We could keep playing. It kept snowing, and then Christmas morning services were canceled. There was a God!
I don’t know how much snow we got that Christmas Eve Day, but it seemed like three feet to me. We stayed home and sang carols, and played games and read the stories about Jesus being born. At home on Christmas.
It’s one of my favorite Christmas memories. The year it snowed on Christmas Eve, church was canceled, and we celebrated the birth of Jesus at home as a family . And at the crack of dawn, we opened gifts.