Our family tradition is to have Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve and, if we are feeling adventurous, by candlelight. This year was an adventurous year, although it proved difficult to read the cracker jokes by the light of three candles. Some of us had to wait for the lights to come back on before they could read theirs.
I was thinking about how we all got to be there. My thoughts were a combo of family tree research and remembering all the good things God has done for us (if you can't think about that at Christmas, when can you?). What really made me marvel was how God plans everything out from before time. So in our family, I'm fairly sure that when an illegitimate child was born in 1865 his single mum had no idea that his decendants would have a happy family meal nearly 200 years later. But God knew and had planned it all.
Which is why Christmas is so brilliant because it is God putting into action part of His plan (a very big part) that He had in mind before the creation of the world. And it was a plan for our good.