Christmas Eve 
It's Christmas Eve, the night before the big day, or in many homes a big day on its own.

In my family growing up Christmas Eve was the night St. Paul's Lutheran School had the children's Christmas service in the school gym.

The gym was the only place large enough to hold the 1,000 or so people who attended each year.

Kindergarten through 9th grade, it was part of our family Christmas.

For many years, our family would stick around after the children's service and attend the church's Song Service at 9.  Then we'd walk around the block and open our presents in front of the fire place.

Bethlehem Lutheran, Sun Prairie is the "mother church"
of Cross Lutheran Church.
My most memorable Christmas gifts were a bright red Stingray bike in 3rd grade and five large pieces of glass several years later.

Justifiably confused when I saw the heavy glass rectangles; my confusion became joy when Dad explained he and I would put the glass together to create another aquarium - which was something I wanted!

Today, we're celebrating a quiet Christmas with our family.

Instead of a large gymnasium of worshipers, however, the candlelight service is in a community center of a new Bishops Bay development north of Middleton.  Capacity is around 70.

Service times are 4:30 and 6:30.  Sunday worship, including Christmas Day is at 9 am - you can learn more here.

I hope this Christmas finds you surrounded by love - the love of family, friends, and especially the abundant and overwhelming love of Jesus.  It's His birthday, yet we receive the presents.

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow's blog is another holiday story, I hope you enjoy it.