It’s the most wonderful day of the year

For some, Christmas Eve is the busiest day of the year. Right now, thousands of people in the Tri-State Area are running out to do some last-minute shopping. Even more people are wrapping those last-minute gifts.

Maybe, this newspaper will serve as last-minute wrapping paper.

There is so much to do in such little time.

That’s why I’ve been preparing for this moment since October. I listened to my first Christmas carol three months ago, around the same time I watched my first Christmas movie.

And I haven’t stopped since.

Like any football player with a set of Beats by Dre headphones, I come equipped with CDs and radio stations playing holiday favorites to prepare me for the most wonderful day of the year. The right kind of music can get you pumped up to tackle somebody, just like Bing Crosby can put you in the mood for sleigh bells and pumpkin pie.

It’s because of this extended preparation that today is one of the most peaceful days of the year for my family. I come from a long line of passionate Christmas revelers as my mother and grandmother have taught me how to make the holidays meaningful each year.

My wife is also dedicated to the art of Christmas celebrations, though I have taught her a thing or two about making a gingerbread house.

She is still better at wrapping presents, though. Probably because she avoids using the comics section and opts for shiny paper and bows.

That’s what makes Christmas so great; there are no rules.

This Christmas Eve could be busy or quiet, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is what brings you peace. Whether the day is made up of baking cookies, hanging decorations, visiting out-of-state family and friends, attending church services or waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus, it should be celebrated with a warm heart. Christmas is about remembering the memories of the past and creating new memories with the people you love.

For any high school athlete, Christmas could be another day to grind toward meeting specific goals. I’m sure a lot of basketball players are shooting free throws this weekend, while their peers will be opening presents. Out-of-season track athletes may wake up early, like any other Saturday or Sunday, and go for a three-mile jog.

Football players may already be lifting weights to make sure next year’s schedule ends with a victory.

They could use this weekend as a vacation from any athletic activity, but if they’re not out there, their competition will be.

There’s just so much to do in such little time.

Whether you’re checking the temperature of the turkey, watching Elf for the hundredth time or reading this column, I hope this Christmas Eve will forever be memorable. So much time and effort went into making this day special, so make it count.

If decking the halls and hanging shining stars upon the highest bow isn’t your thing, this weekend is filled with great sports action from college bowls to NBA games and NFL contests with postseason implications.

Christmas means family to most, and it means sports to some.

The best part about this time of year, again, is that there are no rules. You won’t get a 15-yard penalty for failure to spread Christmas cheer and you won’t get ejected from the dinner table if you’re not singing loud for all to hear.

Do Christmas the way you want to do it. If you’re fortunate enough to be among family and friends, cherish the moments and create the memories.

If you feel that time as flown by and you didn’t get every holiday task completed, be like me, and start even earlier next year.

Because there will always be so much to do in such little time.

(Peaslee is a sports writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. He can be contacted at mpeaslee@heraldstaronline.com and followed on Twitter at @HSDTsports)

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