|Christmas Eve Traditions|
By Tracey Brewer
Is there any night of the year more magical than Christmas Eve? Surely not in the eyes of a child! To ensure that night remains one of the most treasured in our children’s memories, we have created several family traditions for Christmas Eve.
- Have a candlelit dinner at home. My girls love eating by candlelight. We don’t necessarily have an elegant meal, especially if we are planning a large Christmas dinner the following day. Just decorating the table with a Christmas tablecloth and ornaments and using special china or Christmas plates can add another layer of festivity to the occasion.
- Go out for dessert. My husband and I began this tradition years before we even had children. We are blessed to live just outside of a city that has a lovely and historic downtown section. Our favorite dessert restaurant usually stays open late on Christmas Eve, so after eating our special dinner a bit early, we load the family in the car and drive downtown. We all order our dessert of choice and indulge in this special treat. It’s a neat time of quiet and togetherness that lets us know all the Christmas hustle and bustle is over and it’s time to really focus on family and the true meaning of Christmas.
- Look at Christmas lights. Since we’re downtown anyway, we take advantage of the opportunity to burn a few calories by walking around and looking at the Christmas lights and displays in the storefronts. Yes, we’re bundled up in the cold, but the streets and sidewalks are nearly empty and we get to enjoy the views. Another twist on this idea would be to walk around your own neighborhood and look at lights. Or, once the kids have on their pajamas and are ready for bed, make hot chocolate, put it in portable mugs and take a drive through some of the nicely decorated neighborhoods.
- Read the Christmas story. Once we get home and our children are all ready for bed, we gather on the couch in the living room for a special family reading time. My husband reads aloud the Christmas story from Luke Chapter 2, and, when he’s done, I read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Our girls don’t believe in Santa Claus anymore, but we still enjoy reading the story together with the Christmas tree lights sparkling and the stockings hung from the mantel.
However your family chooses to celebrate Christmas, I hope you take the opportunity each year to fill the season with special traditions and lasting memories for you and your children.