Christmas Eve Traditions

Christmas Eve traditions have changed through the years, but the coming of Christmas morning keeps us in joyful hopeChristmas Eve Tradition–Episode 317

Christmas Eve traditions have changed through the years, but the coming of Christmas morning keeps us in joyful hope and expectation each day! In this episode Felice shares some of her most treasured family traditions.

When you watch movies they always show Christmas eve traditions which typically center around reading the book or celebrating a memory year after year with your family that is something they look forward to or something they remember with fondness.

In our home, we celebrate two Christmas Eve birthdays. My babies are now adults but we still have a special birthday morning celebration. We have breakfast with the family and open birthday presents. Then everyone goes their own way until evening.

Now that my parents have both passed we add a trip to the cemetery before church. While sad, this puts into perspective the importance of a life led with faith in mind and a relationship with Jesus!

We celebrate Christmas with an evening Church service. Our church has services in the late afternoon – the Children’s procession of the live Nativity begins at 3:30 with service following from 4-5. When my children were little they participated in this service and so we had to go, and I was happy when we decided to go at a later time as the kids aged. We now attend an 8:00 service which is beautiful and gives us time for dinner beforehand.

Since I want to serve a nice dinner but not deal with a big mess I will serve something like Chicken Cordon Bleu or Chicken Enchiladas. Something I can make ahead and warm up with a salad and rice. This year we may grill steaks if the weather permits! Even easier with a baked potato and salad!

Whatever you do for your meal make it special. Light candles, or have fresh flowers (or even some pine branches from your tree!) Homemade decorations are best. After dinner, we clean up and get dressed for Church. If you can take a picture! The kids dislike posing for pictures so I try to take them the Sunday beforehand. In that way, you know for sure that everyone has their clothes for Christmas ready!

After church, we drive a few streets past our home where there are homes lit up for Christmas. During the years the number of decorated homes on this block has dwindled. The largest of homes on five acres had lights on almost every spare space. The families story is how they turned tragedy into a blessing for others. Their daughter had died around Christmas time and she loved Christmas lights – so they turned their home into a wonderland of lights with a prominent Nativity Scene in the front. It had a rotating carousel, animation, and even a high wire teddy bear on an hot air balloon that went from one area of the home to another. It was amazing and they allowed people to park their cars and walk throughout their yard. Often the owners walked around with their son and chatted with those visiting from all over town.

Once we get back from church I allow the children to look at their stockings. Even now that my youngest is 18! The stockings contain some little things such as a mind-puzzle, or some fun gift. There is some candy and this year I have some fluffy socks and pretend fluffy snowballs which I am sure they will throw at each other. This year they will get a handwritten letter from me. I talked about Best Kid Gifts Ever – these gifts that last the test of time. It was in podcast episode 313.

As I said things change depending on the time of the year – when we get home we read from our Advent book and light our fourth candle on our Advent wreath. The next day all the candles, the three purple and one pink will be replaced by a white candle. The white symbolizes the Christ Child.

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