Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve!!

The most exciting night of the year for me is here!! I wonder why Christmas Eve beats the night before my birthday (and for that matter, even Amy's - sorry darling!!), New Year's Eve and every other night of the year hands down for anticipation.... I guess in some part it is because of the presents we used to receive as children on Christmas, for some years in proper Christmas stockings.... But then, I get presents on my birthday as well and the excitement on that night in no way matches this. Perhaps it is the fact that the whole world is celebrating... Here in the hospital it is carol rounds, when all the staff take a walk through the locality (in the freezing cold!!) and then through the wards, singing carols, reading the Bible and praying. But then, the whole world celebrates New Year's Eve even more. Perhaps it is an acquired emotion programmed by many years of Christmas celebrations in church and at home. But then, other days are celebrated more or less similarly, like Easter or the New Year and they don't seem to strike as much of a thrill into my heart as Christmas Eve does....

So what makes Christmas Eve so special. Why is it that every year for as long as I can remember, this is the night of the year when I go to sleep with maximum expectancy? Even tonight, with the ward full of sick patients including a 7 day old neonate in the ICU after surgery last night (hopefully more on him later!!), the usual tension and gloom that would accompany such a situation are absent.. Why is it that so many Christmas Eve's are so memorable - the initial ones spent with grandparents in Kerala - where my grandfather would light a bonfire and we would sing carols round the fire, the one spent in the UK at the home of dear friends who gave us the experience of a typical English Christmas, the ones after we came back, when we replicated some of those traditions, last year when Amy and I shared our first Christmas together with dear friends Koshy, Lydia, Joel and Aunty, even the ones I have spent working, especially the one during my internship, when my registrar, for some reason started his night rounds at 11:45pm and went on till 3 am - spending most of that time laughing and chatting with all his contemporaries who were also awake and not realising that the Christmas joy of his eager-to-please intern was somewhat dampened. Why is it that there are more traditions associated with Christmas Eve in my mind than any other day - the quiet reading of the Christmas story by my father from both the gospels, my mothers attempts to hide the presents till the next morning (which often failed!!), the joyful feelings and thoughts that are the last remembrances before my eyes close in sleep.

What is so special about Christmas Eve that brings this heightened sense of anticipation and excitement. Surely it must be the subconscious realisation that that whole of my existence is somewhat meaningless without the event that occurred that Christmas day 2000 years ago. The understanding that the incarnation of the Almighty God is the defining event that has shaped this world and has changed my life. And the excitement that tomorrow I may be given a new understanding of this mystery - that will be different from all I have thought or understood before. And that will be new again the next year and the next. What a wonderful joy to experience the excitement of Christmas Eve in the knowledge that the birth of the Christ Child in the darkness of my heart is the renewing and life-giving event that makes each Christmas more meaningful and special than the year before. I guess that's why Christmas Eve is the best night of the year for me....


  1. Hi Arpit,

    Greeting from Sheffield.Just discovered your blog! Pretty thought provoking stuff. My wife and I will be signing up as followers.Wish you and your family best wishes for the new year. Please keep us in your prayers.

  2. Got to your blog on the Berlin HIV patient. As a haematologist obviously got me very interested. Last week we discussed the report at our weekly meeting at work. Fascinating stuff. A long way to go yet but at least we have taken the first steps.

  3. Thanks Alfie - and glad to know my limited knowledge passed muster with a true-blue hematologist!! Looking forward to hearing from you regularly! Possibly of the next step in the race to the cure.....:-) God bless and have a blessed New Year!