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Christmas Eve Traditions

Christmas Eve. Just the words evoke excitement and energy in the heart of a child. I remember how hard it was to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I get to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Different families tackle the Night Before Christmas differently. I like to make a special meal. My mom always did that on Christmas Eve when I was a kid. And since she included me in the planning, it’s just part of my Christmas to do the same.

One year (pictured) my dinner plans didn’t thaw in time. So we splurged with some Christmas money from the grandparents and headed out for a Panda Feast. It was about 10 degrees in Kansas City. I was pregnant with FishChick2. Somehow the baby (now FishChick4) made it out the door barefoot!

But our kids loved it!

While we haven’t repeated the adventure, it did fall under the category of a traditional special dinner for our family.

This year the grandparents are joining us for Tamales and a Mexican food feast. Again, different from other years, but still a traditional and special meal.

Other traditions for our kids include:

  • opening one present before bedtime
  • camping out in one bedroom (just the boys do this so far)
  • parents trying to get to bed before midnight

What Christmas Eve traditions do YOU have?

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Comments

  1. A tradition my parents did with me that I’ve passed on to my kids it Christmas pajamas. On Christmas Eve, each child gets to open one present, and its always new pj’s. The kids love it. My mom still does this for me and my sister and now our husbands, and its the gift I look forward to the most :)

  2. Merry Christmas!

  3. Our Christmas Eve tradition is to get take-out Chinese. I am usually so busy with cooking prep for Christmas Day, and now decorating a birthday cake, and getting ready for the Christmas Eve service – well, cooking a special meal on Christmas Eve just isn’t in the time table. So we get take-out Chinese (2 entrees feeds our whole family of 4 with leftovers). It allows us (or at least me) to concentrate more on the birth of Jesus instead of stressing over another meal.

  4. As kids we always opened up a single present before bed. I’m now convinced our parents just wanted to keep us up late to prevent a 5 a.m. wake-up call.

  5. We open PJs too, and a new Christmas book. The books this year are from our Mimi who passed away before this Christmas, which made them so bittersweet.

  6. Our tradition thus far has been always break tradition :) Christmas day we are always headed out to see family, so we do our family christmas a weird times. Yesterday we had a “Christmas party” after nap and then went to play with some aunts and uncles for dinner. This morning we’ll head out for a big family Christmas with all the extended family, and then monday we’ll do it all over again with the other side of the family. Nothing like celebrating for a week :)

  7. When I was younger my extended family, aunts, uncles & cousins, would always gather at someone house for a special dinner and at midnight exchange gifts leaving Christmas day for you to spend with your immediate family. This year my sister and decided to start that tradtion again and had a wonderful Christmas Eve except we didn’t wait til midnight to exchange gifts with 5 kids total under the age of 5 with 7 pm would be good.

  8. We open our gifts on Christmas eve. We also, host our family-friend Christmas dinner on Christmas eve. Christmas day is just us and our thoughts, reflections and hopes for the next year. And yeah, the cleaning up :-)

  9. Christmas Eve Taco’s, Church, opening gifts at Grandma and Grandpa ( my parents) house. Oh and my dad reads the Christmas Story from the Bible brfore we open gifts.

  10. We love our family Christmas Eve traditions, which include a supper of party foods, the great sibling gift exchange, reading Advent, driving aroound to see the lights, and watching a classic Christmas movie, such as White Christmas, Holiday Inn or It’s a Wonderful Life. It is always a special family time!

  11. We pass out funnies wrapped in newspaper on Christmas Eve. It started when my Father in Law was a teenager. He wanted seat covers for his car. Great Grandma gave him seat covers alright….BOXER SHORTS! All year we watch each other for funny life events that can be recounted on Christmas Eve. We laugh and laugh at and with each other.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

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