Why do we make such a big to-do over eves? It seems to me that Christmas eve and New Year's eve sometimes get as much attention and generate as much excitement as the days that follow them. You know, the ones that are actually circled in red on our calendars. Why such a stir? Why all the commotion and hype? Well, I think it has a lot to do with the potential and the promise of the days themselves more so than what we actually do on these days. Of course the expectations of what that potential actually amounts to is quite different between the young and the old.
Certainly children have expectations of a windfall coming their way on Christmas morning. They are the center of attention for a few hours and they get what amounts to a pirate's galleon-load of booty just for being them. Adults get a chance to remember back with fondness on Christmases of years gone by and they are given an opportunity to spend some time with their family. I think the time set aside for reflection is quite valuable as we get older. For Christians, of course, Christmas is an important season to strengthen their faith and celebrate the birth of their savior.
For kids, New Year's eve is just a day off from school and a chance to stay up late. Both of these reasons are cause enough for excitement all by themselves. For adults, the big bubbling of anticipation on New Year's eve I think is more than just a day off from their dog-eat-dog existence slaving for a paycheck toiling in the salt mines. It is more than staying out at some overpriced, overcrowded gathering, pouring down far too much alcohol. I think it has more to do with the promise of a fresh start. The slate of everything negative and dark and overburdened and overbearing is somehow wiped clean and they can start again with fresh, clean linens on their beds so to speak.
Eves are just an occasion to be connected to the promise of a better day tomorrow. Let's try to celebrate that promise with an open mind and an open heart.