A MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS EVE
The count down to Christmas is here at last! This night of Christmas Eve is almost upon us. And whether you are a child or an adult, this truly is the most exciting and magical day of the year. Looking at the advent calendar with all it’s doors nearly open, if you are like me, you can barely contain the excitement that St. Nick will soon be on his way.
Do you remember being a child and the excitement keeping you awake? I always wanted my children to experience that same magical feeling. What makes this night magical are the traditions we create as a family. What our children will remember long after they have outgrown the toys are the traditions we live each and every Christmas Season. I wanted to share some of the traditions I experienced with my children on Christmas Eve, which kept the magic and sparkle of Christmas Eve memorable.
TRADITIONS TO CARRY ON WITH YOUR FAMILY
A Christmas Eve Meal.
Our Christmas Eve dinners have been all about nibbles. Christmas Eve is often a very busy time, with last-minute present wrapping, and even buying in some cases, plus all the preparations for the big day with mounds of potatoes to peel, sprouts to trim and “pigs in blankets” to make. We always had a fresh pot of soup and fresh bread with butter, perhaps a pot of fondue, and a feast of easy finger food and cookies to nibble on while we tended to our festivities.
Creating a Christmas Eve Box.
What is a Christmas Eve Box you ask? It is simply a box of Christmas Eve goodies to keep the magical spirit. I usually filled a hamper: you can use any box that is suitable for what you would like to include.
- Our matching Christmas Eve pajamas
- A new mug with a packet of hot chocolate and marshmallows
- Bubble Bath
- Bed Socks
- Paper for the kids so they could write Santa a thank you letter
- Pen / crayons / glitter (for the letter to Santa)
- Each child had their favorite Christmas book in their hamper NOTE: It is the perfect way to end the night yet keep the excitement of the visit from the man in the big red suit. Get the kids settled in, and as a family read each child’s favorite Christmas book. This will become the perfect tradition that you will want to continue year after year.
- Their rolled-up sleeping bag NOTE: Every year, we let the kids – just this one night, because otherwise we’d never sleep – put their matching pajamas on and sleep in the same room. Usually they pull out their sleeping bags and line up all their stuffed animals on the floor, but they go to bed excited and wake up equally excited for Christmas morning – together.
- An empty Christmas decorated bag. NOTE: On Christmas Eve, they fill this Christmas bag with a few gently used toys that they would like to donate. Leave the bag by the tree. Santa picks up this bag and makes sure the toys find a special place in a new child’s heart. Not only does this encourage your children to think about others, but as a bonus, there is added space for the new toys.
- Their Christmas Stocking: NOTE: I leave the stocking hanging until Christmas Eve. It just helps build the excitement. We hang them just before heading to bed.
Christmas Eve Baking
As a family, we pick one cookie that we will back together on Christmas Eve. Once the baking is finished, we put some away for our family (if they make it through the night), we pack some for our close neighbors and drop them off, and save some for Santa’s plate.
Proof of Santa
This one is for adults only. After the kids are nestled all snug in their beds, get out a pair of boots. Yes, boots. We do need evidence of Santa’s visit. Simply sprinkle flour around the outside edges of the boots to leave several foot prints around the tree, or any where you would like them to think Santa was. They get so excited and the gleam in their eyes is priceless.
Every year online ‘Santa trackers’ are becoming more and more popular. Log on, see where he is and follow him live as he makes his way around the globe. The children will love it. Official NORAD Santa Tracker the Official Santa Tracking site. I still use it every year for myself! It stays on the computer ALL NIGHT!!
Our last tradition is to us, our most important. We can never forget why we celebrate this night.
The church we attended offered 3 services on Christmas Eve. Our favorite service was the 8 o’clock service. When we got home, we were filled with the joy of the season, and started our Christmas Eve Bed rituals. Our favorite part of this service, was raising our candles during the chorus of Silent Night. It was such a beautiful moment and reminder to praise Him for the light he brought into our sometimes-dark world.
May you have the spirit of Christmas which is peace, the gladness of Christmas which is hope, the heart of Christmas which is love. May the warmth of friends and the comfort of home bring you peace this holiday season!
Take a moment and connect with Nancy!