My friend and I were talking at work the last day before our Christmas break about how that day seemed to be the longest day of our lives!  We were just ready to get home and be with our family and have a few days away from the office.

I remember as a kid waiting all day on Christmas Eve, being so excited with the magic of the day.  We would always be baking and cleaning the house and preparing for Christmas Eve where we would eat lots of junk food and get to open one or two gifts while waiting for the arrival of Santa (and other parent gifts) on Christmas morning.  Christmas Eve night just couldn’t get here fast enough.  It seemed to the be longest day of my life.

I think about those who have to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  A lot of businesses are still open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day including retail stores, restaurants, gas stations and of course health care facilities and emergency responders.  We go to retail stores and grocery stores and purchase last-minute items almost expecting it to run smoothly and quickly right before we run through a drive-thru for a sandwich as we head home to finish preparations.

I know sometimes I overlook those who have to work on these days to make my life a little smoother.  Yesterday, the lady in front of me at Kroger thanked the cashier for working.  It really made a difference to that cashier and, in turn, made me think about how I take those people for granted.

As you finish shopping or go out for dinner or visit loved ones in a health care facility, remember to thank those who have to work during the Christmas holiday.  I’m sure it can be the longest day of their lives.

Then think about Mary who was nine months pregnant, riding on a donkey for miles in who knows what kind of weather while in labor and having to deliver a baby in a smelly barn.  Talk about the longest day of your life!

Maybe as we think about that, our long day will turn into a wonderful day now filled with joyous anticipation.  Merry Christmas Eve.  May the longest day of your life – no matter when it is – bring peace from the One who knows no time.