Christmas Eve Traditions
Traditions are a big part of the holidays and Christmas Eve is
no exception. Every country has their own customs that make this
a special holiday. Children are excited and full of
anticipation. This is their favorite time of the year!
Nothing could be more perfect than a light dusting of snow
falling on Christmas Eve to bring on the holiday spirit. Even if
you're not going to have a white Christmas, there are many
things you can do to set the holiday mood.
Create a Holiday Environment
Enhance a cozy atmosphere with Christmas music and light some
candles to welcome your guests. If you have a scrooge in your
family, bribe him with some good food and shower him with love.
He'll be sure to lighten up. Whatever your traditions are,
embrace them. They are part of your heritage!
Church services are are often attended, particularly Midnight
Mass. A meaningful sermon this quiet time of the night brings
the true meaning of Christmas -- and why we are celebrating it.
Seize this opportunity to take comfort in Jesus and the special
gift he has given to all mankind.
Prepare Christmas Eve Dinner
Many Christmas Eve meals in America traditionally are ham or
fowl. Because of the big meal planned for the holiday, some
families like to keep the meal light and serve soup and
crackers. By and large, most have the good ole sausage and
cheese on hand for tasty snacks and appetizers.
Deck the Halls
With the commercialization of Christmas, this tradition is
probably not near as popular these days because most families
have trimmed their tree and put up decorations long before the
holiday. For those running behind schedule or want to keep the
tradition, this is a perfect time to add the finishing touches.
Deliver Christmas Gifts
Many people use this day to deliver gifts to friends and leave
presents for service providers such as mail carriers and
newspaper delivery personnel. With all of the activities planned
for the holidays, some families choose Christmas Eve night to
exchange their gifts. A visit from Santa
Claus will please the
children and hopefully wear them out so that they sleep well -- with,
of course, visions of sugarplums...
Donate Time to Charities
Many people find that going down to the local homeless shelter
or soup kitchen and helping out brings a warm feeling like no
other. There is a satisfaction to giving to the needy and it
reminds us to be thankful for the life we have and not to take
it for granted.
For those who plan on traveling for the holidays, this is often
the day they begin their trip. Airports and highways are crowded
with people trying to get to their destination so they can spend
Christmas with their family or friends. If you're one of those,
check out our travel tips page to make your trip easier.
Traditions for Children
Besides a visit from Santa, stockings are hung by the fireplace
to collect all of the goodies. It is customary to read children
some Christmas stories to complete their evening. The classic
"The Night Before Christmas" is by far, the most popular short
story of all. Reading stories in front of the fireplace with
some hot chocolate will get the kids settled down and ready for
Make New Traditions
Old family customs are nostalgic but sometimes not practical in
this day and age. Try mixing some old traditions with new ones.
If you want to be out and about on Christmas Eve, going out to
see a holiday movie or play will serve that purpose and add some
holiday cheer. Check in with the personnel at a local nursing
home to get an idea of what residents will not have family in
town. Pay them a visit and give them a small, useful gift, all
in the spirit of Christmas.