Friday, July 24, 2015

Holiday Tradition - Christmas Eve Celebrations

Hi everyone. While I was thinking about what holiday tradition I would write about this month, I started thinking about some of my own family traditions. Growing up, my family would go to midnight mass. After mass, we would come home and open one Christmas present. Usually our parents would pick out which present we could open. I guess they didn't want us choosing the biggest one.

This is probably a tradition held by many families, so I thought I would try to find more information on how or why that started.

Tradition holds that Jesus was actually born at night. Midnight Mass is held on Christmas Eve in commemoration of his birth. Christmas Eve is referred to as Heilige Hacht (Holy Night) in German, Nochebuena (the Good Night) in Spanish and recognized also in such the song "Silent Night."

Some people actually view Christmas Eve as a full or partial holiday in anticipation to Christmas Day. They invite family and friends to share in a Christmas Eve dinner, sing Christmas Carols and visit decorated houses to enjoy all the holiday lights and decorations.

Now, the age old question, should presents be open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Growing up, my parents would wake us up in the middle of the night (after Santa's arrival) and we would open gifts. We have photos of our happy, sleepy faces and I remember it being such a treat. But it certainly made for a long day the next day.  As we got a bit older, we started opening gifts in the morning. I remember that my parents said we could not start until the coffee was made and that seemed to take forever. I don't think there is any right or wrong answer to this question. Each family has their own traditions as to when presents get opened. So I will leave you with this question. When does your family open up gifts? Would love to hear what everyone's traditions are in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!

Unknown. (Unknown). Christmas Eve. Available: Last accessed 07/15/15.
Unknown. (Unknown). Christmas Gift Opening . Available: Last accessed 07/15/15.
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