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Christmas Eve was always a much bigger deal in our family than Christmas Day.

After dinner, we’d get dressed in our nicest clothes and go to church. I loved the candles they’d hand out, and being the kid I was, I always used them to draw wax designs on the cover of my choir folder. I remember lighting the candles, passing the flame from candle to candle, down the church pew. My mom crying as we’d sing “Silent Night.” I would sing too, while staring at the flame, entranced. I would always hold off blowing out the flame as long as I could. I was terrified of fire, but I loved it all the same. I was always the last one to let the light go out. I remember the Christmas after my dad died, sitting in that church pew, with my mom on one side, and my brother on the other, singing "Silent Night," our candles outstretched, crying so hard we couldn’t make the words come out of our mouths.

Then we’d go home, singing Christmas carols in the car as we drove. When we got home, we’d change into our pajamas as my dad put on Christmas music and started cooking. Pizza Rolls and eggnog were the tradition. When they were done, we’d gather around the tree and open our presents. 

This year is the first Christmas Eve that I've spent alone, and, I'll admit, I was a little down about it. I'm no longer religious-and actually I consider myself an Atheist-but this is a tradition I wanted to carry on, and I wanted to share it with you, dear hitRECorders. So tonight I lit a candle, listened to "Silent Night," and RECorded it. I've grown so close to so many of you in the past 8 months that I've been on the site-I love you, and I consider you to be part of my family. 

Happy holidays dear friends. <3

(Note: "Silent Night" is in the public domain, as well as this particular recording of it:

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