Christmas Eve Vigil
by Robin Bayne
“Mom-Mom, I hear him,” I whispered, sitting up slightly in bed. With the covers sliding off, I leaned toward the other twin bed where my grandmother slept, or tried to, during my all night vigil watching for Santa. Cool air touched my skin, but my excitement warmed me. “I hear something on the roof.”
I still recall the sweet scent of her beauty-salon hair-do, as she shook her head and whispered for me to go to sleep, or Santa couldn’t come visit our house. Mom-Mom stayed overnight every Christmas Eve, it was a family tradition. I was no more than five at the time, but the memories of that dark night have never faded. I knew Santa was out there, somewhere, nearby, and likely to sweep in close when I wasn’t looking. I had been good all year, and had faith that Santa knew that.
Deeper in the night, I looked over and saw my grandmother, appearing to be sitting upright in a rocking chair. When I woke her to tell her this, she wasn’t pleased.
“Robin, please go to sleep.” She still whispered, but with an edge to her voice now. “You’re trying too hard. You know he’ll be here.”
I tried to comply, I really did. I could then perceive that she was indeed laying down, not sitting in a chair. But as I lay there, staring into blackness, my belief grew stronger that Santa was with me, whether or not I could see or hear him. Most children in our country are lucky, they will have their beliefs confirmed on Christmas morning. As adults, we need to keep our faith as well, our faith that God is always with us, whether we physically see Him or not.
We celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas, the one whom we are really accountable too. Jesus knows who has been naughty and who has been nice. When we stare into long moments of blackness, we need to keep the childlike wonder fresh, and know that He could be on our roof at any time. Even better than Santa, God is with us everyday.