Christmas Eve Ideas
“What are you doing Christmas Eve?” The answer to that question is usually the same: “I‘ll be at home with my family.” Around the world, Christmas Eve traditions are celebrated in different ways but most involve spending time with family.
Do you identify with this tradition? It is Christmas Eve morning and there’s a lot to do! You load everyone into the family van, and begin the search for the perfect tree. Your youngest child gets to choose the tree. It’s tradition. The tree is loaded onto the top of the van. On the way home, the kids “ooh” and “ah” as you drive by houses decorated with Santa Clauses and reindeer, while snowmen glisten on the front lawns.
Once home, all of the decorations are unpacked that have been made or collected over the years – memories of Christmas past. It’s time to prepare the evening meal. Christmas carols are playing on the radio and everyone seems to be singing or humming along. The Christmas spirit is alive and well. What are you having for dinner? Turkey, ham, fish or the traditional goose? Or, perhaps antipasto followed by pasta with crab sauce. How about dessert? Will it be plum pudding, homemade cookies, or Italian pastries? Odds are that you’ve prepared the same dinner for years and look forward to enjoying it again this year.
With the food in the oven, everyone gathers together to trim the tree. The children are adding their favorite ornaments to the bottom half of the tree, while mom and dad trim the top. After the tree is decorated everyone counts to three and then dad plugs it in. The lights sparkle in brilliant colors. The children’s faces light up at the sight of it all.
It’s time for dinner and the family comes to gather around the table, which has been beautifully decorated. Afterwards, dad reads Clement Clark Moore’s Twas the Night Before Christmas, as mom and the kids sit around the fireplace. Sleep-eyed children are put to bed, but not before putting out milk and cookies for Santa – another tradition.
As the kids fall asleep, mom and dad have one more tradition left. The rest of the night is spent wrapping presents and assembling bicycles. It’s about two in the morning, and the last of the presents are put under the tree. It’s time to bid Christmas Eve a good night.
Christmas Eve traditions haven’t changed much over time. Whether you live in an apartment or own a home, treasure the traditions handed down by your parents and grandparents. For one day out of the year we all become children again, taking in the wonder and beauty that is Christmas. More importantly, however, it’s all about family.
Dine Without Whine
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