"Twas the Night Before Christmas..."
Instead of a Santa Claus and Christmas tree image, I thought this was more appropriate for the evening. No doubt Mary had her baby sometime in the night. And the stable was most likely in a cave as depicted in this painting. Of course no one knows the exact day or time of Jesus birth, but since the area where he was born was similar to Southern California, winter could indeed be a time without snow and when shepherds would have been tending to their flocks.
Of course my family and I have celebrated Christmas in the traditional ways with decorated trees and homes, Christmas caroling in neighborhoods and at church, the buying and opening of gifts on Christmas morning, but we've always kept the true meaning of Christmas--celebrating God's gift to us of his only Son, Jesus Christ.
Over the years as our family has grown bigger some of our traditions have changed. I'll write more about that for tomorrow.
Have a joyous Christmas Eve.