John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

Christmas Eve memories

For almost as long as I can remember, I've spent Christmas Eve at church. Ever since I joined the Knox Choir back at my old church in Illinois, I've performed in one or more worship service on Christmas Eve.

At my old church, there were always three Christmas Eve services: two early, one late. I usually sang at just the first two. There was never enough time to get home between services -- we lived on the other side of town -- so we would always go have dinner at Yankee Doodle Dandy, a hamburger joint up on the north side of town. It's long since closed, of course, as are so many of the things I remember from my childhood in Wheaton.

The other Christmas Eve tradition I remember from Wheaton is watching the second half of It's a Wonderful Life on channel 11. It always started while we were still at church, but when we got home we would faithfully watch whatever was left of it. I was fairly old before I ever saw the beginning of it.

My only current Christmas Eve tradition is staying up later than I should to pack for my flight back to Chicago the next morning.

ETA: My sister-in-law says that for the past three or four years, I've gone to my brother's house to exchange gifts. I didn't mention it before because I don't remember all of them as having happened on Christmas Eve. But I have no reason to doubt her recollection, so let the worth go forth that my annual Christmas Eve gift exchanges with my brother and his family is one of my cherished traditions.

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