I remember as a youngster looking forward to Christmas Eve on the night before Christmas when our family/s would get together to count in Christmas day or sing Christmas carols with the excitement of what might be under the Christmas tree for us.

And I see the same anticipation in our children, especially our youngest, in looking forward to what tomorrow might bring.

These important family traditions and times of making special memories with our children ensure that they know that they are loved, not so much for receiving presents but in being esteemed in our love for them during this special season.

In my formative years, I remember our Samoan Youth group (Mangere PIC Autalavou) would hire a large bus for Christmas Eve, for many years, and start at around about 6-7pm and we’d go Christmas caroling to many of our church families and wish them a Merry Christmas up until midnight.

That tradition has since stopped to make way for new family activities but I remember those special memories of spreading joy and love in our communities as well as having a special time with my church family and enjoying our time together.

Enjoy your Christmas Eve and the real reason for the season in the birth of baby Jesus who gave peace on earth and goodwill toward all people as we join in on celebrating this festive season together with our families…