Christmas Eve traditions

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by teresab, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. teresab

    teresab Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Near Erie,Pa
    While at church yesterday there were several talking about their traditions for Christmas eve. I found it facinating the different things families do. What are your traditions?
  2. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    NO VA
    While in the Army, we would have a single Soldier over for Xmas eve dinner (we do our big fancy meal then), have some good music, and visit. Open one gift per person (including our guest/s), kids off to bed by 8. Company, dh and I play a game until we are sure children are asleep and then dh and I place gifts under tree. If guest is spending the night (usually the case), we stay up late and toast in Xmas day and then off to bed we all go. I'm not sure what we are doing this year. We are no longer in the Army and all our invited guests are going home to families this year. We'll still do all the other things I'm sure, just w/o a guest like we did before the Army.

    Traditionally our meal is Ham, beans, sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, cranberry salad, and pumpkin pie for dessert.

    It's not a caotic or noisy (realitivly speaking) day, that's left for Xmas morning.


  3. kars1995

    kars1995 Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2005
    Eastern NC
    Get all dressed up and go the the candlelight service at church. Come home, eat dinner, and let the kids open one gift.
  4. TnMtngirl

    TnMtngirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 30, 2002
    upper east tn
    We all go to my moms house for snacks and open presents,after candlelight service.
  5. nduetime

    nduetime I am a Christian American Supporter

    Dec 15, 2005
    We always let the kids open one gift on Christmas Eve and it was always their new Christmas pj's and/or robe. That way they always had nice pj's for pictures on Christmas morning. I always loved the rumpled bedhead pictures first thing in the am. When the kids were little we always had cookies and hot cocoa with a christmas movie with just the lights of the tree. It was warm, cozy and peaceful.
  6. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 6, 2003
    DH and I particpate in at least one Christmas Eve service (he runs sound board, I lector), then we come home and have the kids over (they won't go to church with us... It's one Christmas gift I no longer ask for, but would love to receive from them!)

    We eat Italian beef sandwiches from a local fast food joint (they are the BEST!) and then put on der Bingle followed by Vince Guaraldi and open presents. Stay up late, maybe watch a movie (Christmas Story or Santa Claus or It's a Wonderful Life), talk and visit and then hit the rack.

    Christmas Day they do their thing, we do ours.

    It works for us.

  7. AR Cattails

    AR Cattails Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 22, 2005
    NE Arkansas
    We open our gifts on Christmas Eve, while enjoying a buffet of sliced ham or turkey on onion rolls, chips, cookies, candies, etc., with egg nog and sodas. Then some will stay up and play with gifts (usually children) and some will take a nap (usually mom & dad) :) and then we go to midnight mass.

    Simple and very pleasant. This year, though, I don't know if my husband will be able to make it home for Christmas and if he doesn't, it will be the first in our 21 years of marriage that he wasn't able to make it home. I'm still praying he will be able to make it.
  8. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Our church/school puts on a children's Christmas Eve program in which all the school children participate-from preschool to 8th grade. It's wonderful watching the wee ones get up there and discover that a whole church is looking at them. (You know, the classic deer-eyes-in-the headlights-look). Seriously, they and the teachers work very hard.

    We've attended since DGD, now 17, was going there. Now, DGS9 is going to a public school so we no longer are going this year. In order to get a place to sit, one has to get there a good 90 minutes ahead. We'll let the participants parents and Gparents have our seats.

    I think DD and family are coming over this year and we'll celebrate roger's BD at the same time.
  9. A'sta at Hofstead

    A'sta at Hofstead Turkey Wrangler

    Sep 20, 2006
    New Hampshire USA
    Growing up my family did it the Icelandic way on Christmas Eve, having a BIG glorious meal (Usually stuffed shrimp and beef roast) Dinner was always followed by the traditional rice pudding with cinnamon and cream, a blanched almond would be secreted in one of the bowls, with the getter of the almond getting a special treat (Usually a nice tin of Chocolate) There was always a lot of faking getting the almond by putting tongue in cheek, etc. Very fun. My mom did cheat and give the almond to the youngest child who never got it or to the new member of the family ie, BIL. After dinner we would open all of our presents, we got our stocking and big gift (ie, bike, barbie airplane, skis) in the morning from Santa.
    Now-a-days, we have a bunch of fancy hor dourves, the kids get to open one gift and we continue the tradition of the rice pudding. The kids love it! Oh, and of course, we leave the letters thanking Santa, cookies, milk and carrots for Santa and his reindeer.
  10. ToraAnne

    ToraAnne Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    well in our family, Christmas Eve is about the same as Christmas day.

    The day starts with a pause as I remember my first son who was killed at almost 6mths of age (in a car wreck) on that day. This Christmas Eve will make 15yrs ago.

    I no longer cry or dwell too long on my son's death. It is simply just a quiet reflection which no one knows is going on.....

    Then I am busy finishing up last minute things. The children and I bake sometimes etc...

    Then that evening we head to my parents house. We generally have something such as lasgnana for supper. Then after reading the Christmas story we open presents. I am an only child, so it is just my mom and dad and my family (hubby plus 4 children) there. It is nice and small.

    The children spend the night and hubby and I sleep at home usually. Some years we just stay there. Now we live just 2miles away so we will probably go home.

    Then Santa comes to my parents house and then later hubby and I go over there.
  11. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Christmas Eve, everyone heads to my Grandma's house for corn chowder, tamales, and whatever other food happens to come along (everyone is my parents, my siblings and their families, my Dad's 3 sisters, and their attendant children and children's families). We eat, visit, play games, listen to Christmas music and visit other families in the area until it's time to bundle into the cars and go to Midnight Mass to usher in Christmas.

    Christmas morning separate families open their gifts and have breakfast. Then in the early afternoon everyone gets together at one of my Aunts houses (or my parent's house) for Christmas dinner.
  12. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

    Oct 28, 2006
    Susquehanna, PA
    Christmas Eve used to be a big open house at my mother's home. Since she became an ordained minister, she is now working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so that has somewhat gone by the wayside. Our new tradition is a progressive party-we start at my BIL's home for coffee and snacks, leaving gifts for his household to open the next day. Then everyone comes over to our house for egg nog punch and dinner-usually lasgana. We finish up at DD's home for desert, giving the grandkids their new pj's to open from Ninn and Boppy. We help her get them off to bed, then put gifts under their tree for the next day. After which, we go home and collapse. We put in It's A Wonderful Life and wait for the kids to go to bed. Then we exchange our own gifts before we go to bed. All in all, it's a pretty good day.
  13. Speciallady

    Speciallady Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    We've been going to my sisters every Christmas since we've been married, but have decided we want to stay home this year. I want us to start new traditions this year. We will go to candle light service then come home eat a snack table buffet open a present then snuggle up in our jammies and watch movies.
  14. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2004
    Zone 9b
    We spend it with the younger DD's godmother's family. We also spend Thanksgiving with them. I have to alternate years with the children's father. Even years he gets them the week before Christmas and I get them the week after, with Christmas Day split at 1 p.m. The kids would rather stay home for Christmas Eve and Christmas as they are strict traditionalists and like everything done the same way every year. Their dad is not big on holidays, so they would rather be home, but we make the best of it by letting them choose how things will go when they get home at 1 p.m. on Christmas Day this year. They will help prepare the pork roast, sweet potato cassarole, creamed spinach, fruit salad and pie and set and decorate the table. Then we will open gifts after dinner and watch a holiday DVD with no lights on except the Christmas lights and candles.
  15. PineRidge

    PineRidge Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2006
    Our Christmas Eve starts with everyone helping decorate the gifts with bows and ribbons (I can't let them help wrap, none of them can keep a secret!) and we put them under the tree. Then we have hot chocolate and watch whatever Christmas movie is on.

    Dh and I have a plan this year that we will go for a very long walk before dinner to wear off the kids energy for bedtime.
  16. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    We will go to a Christmas Eve service this year. Usually, we take the kids to look at Christmas lights, with Christmas music on the stereo - and we sing along! DH has quite the stereo system, people can hear us coming to 'Rudolph the Red Nose Raindeer' - one time we had someone storm out of their home (not on Xmas eve), only to crack up laughing, raise his drink, and wish us a 'Merry Christmas', lol. It's a lot of fun and a cherished tradition.

    We allow the kids to open up the gifts they give to each other on Christmas Eve. This year is the first year our youngest son (6) has his own $$ to purchase gifts, so he is very excited about giving to his brothers. We open the gifts the kids bought us also. It makes it separate and special for the kids this way.

    We also usually have a nice Christmas Eve meal, with friends and family invited over. We break out the 'good' (ie only, lol) crystal, silver, and china.

  17. Ford8N

    Ford8N Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    Sauk County, WI
    It just wont seem like Christmas at all without snow. This warm winter has me bummed out.
  18. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2003
    Wow! I want to spend Christmas with you guys! I don't do a darn thing except work myself to the bone while wondering who will or won't show up for Christmas dinner the next day. No traditions, no family gathering, no nothing. I didn't know other families did all those fun things on Christmas Eve? Now I feel cheated... :Bawling:

    My Christmas Eve is usually spent running around being sure I have everything for Christmas dinner. Also making sure everyone has a gift or 2 or 3 under the tree, run out and get extra gifts if it's to far lopsided for the grandkids. Bake pies, candies, cakes, cookies, etc. for Christmas day. Stay up late (alone) wrapping gifts from Santa, and getting them under the tree for morning.

    This year I'm in the scrouge mood. I bought a little "Charlie Brown" tree and set it one the cedar chest in front of the window. I put a dozen balls on it and a bear for the tree topper. :rolleyes: I didn't put up any other decorations, and I have boxes and boxes full. I did put a few Christmas designed metal boxes and put them under the tree to look "Christmasy". That's it. Nothing else. I didn't even get out the tree skirt this year. I didnt' get out my Christmas dishes either. I just bought red paper plates and cups.

    This year I wish I could sleep thru the holiday season. I want to wake up in Jan. and it all be over. :shrug:
  19. LvDemWings

    LvDemWings Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    My parents started a tradition of having a late night steak dinner. When the kids were young it was done after they had gone to bed. When us kids got older we were invited to join them. When I had my own family I kept up the tradition. This year my sister is doing a 4pm Christmas eve dinner at her house and its not a steak so I'm going to suprise my parents and bring steak and shrimp so we can have their/our traditional dinner even if we have to eat at midnight.
  20. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    S.E. Ks.
    Christmas eve we go to a candle liting service at the methodist church go home have a late dinner visit with family on both sides . Then we go to Midnight mass
    come home the kids get to open presents and we have a champain breakfast with sweetrolls sausage eggs ,basicly any thing you can think of then its home to bed . Wouldnt be Christmas without midnight mass