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Christmas Eve Ideas

What do you do on Christmas Eve? Here are two things our family has done for years and years.

Christmas Tree French Toast

Every Christmas Eve morning, we have this special, festive breakfast. (On Christmas morning we have an enormous cinnamon roll wreath/candy cane like my mom always made.) It’s easy and fun. And yummy.

Christmas Eve Nativity Pageant

Every Christmas Eve we gather together to dress up, read scriptures, sing, and act out the events of the nativity. Years ago I wrote up a nativity script that makes it easy to incorporate the various scriptures and some hymns to go along with it.

Shepherd’s Feast

When we get to the part in the nativity story about shepherds abiding in their fields,” we all become shepherds and have a simple, festive Christmas Eve dinner — sitting on the floor on blankets.

Crockpot Hot Wassail

We have this as part of our Shepherd’s Feast, but it’s good any time when it’s cold outside. And it makes the house smell wondrous.

Please share your Christmas Eve traditions!

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • ChanJo December 24, 2011, 6:16 am

    We do the nativity dress up thing. I like the feast idea! Maybe I can gather up stuff to do it today.

    Do you ever sleep?

  • CBH December 25, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Since my wife and I are empty nest’rs and this is the year our children are with their spouses’ families, we decided to look at doing something different on Christmas Eve rather than spending it alone. We noticed that a local, non-LDS congregational church was having a 10:00 pm Christmas Eve hymn and candlelight service and decided to attend. We are sure glad we did. The service was wonderful, consisting primarily of choir hymns, scripture readings, several congregational hymns, and a short message by the local pastor. The closing highlight was each person lighting their individual candles and walking out of the church singing Silent Night. Although it was a non-LDS service, all of the musical elements and even the pastor’s message could of equally taken place in an LDS service. We as LDS worshipers do not use candles, but the candles added a inspirational element, making you think back to simpler, pre-industrial times like when the Savior is born. We have decided to attend this Christmas Eve event each year and bring our adult married children and their families with us when they are spending Christmas with us. I think that families with children who can be quiet and reverent could also attend such as service. The fact that it was non-LDS was not in our opinion not an impediment since the hymns, scriptures and message were non-denominational, Christmas themes.

  • Kristen Chevrier December 25, 2011, 9:23 pm

    We usually do the nativity dress up thing. This year the older girls “acted out” the story with some of the pieces from one of my nativity sets, while my youngest played carols on the piano.

    We have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. That makes it so that I don’t have to cook all day on Christmas. 🙂

    This year we had a skype call with my parents and my dad read Luke 2 to us. That was kind of cool.

    The candle-light service sounds nice. I like things like that.

  • Kristen Chevrier December 25, 2011, 9:23 pm

    Oh, and, no, I don’t think Alison sleeps.

  • Angie Gardner December 26, 2011, 7:39 am

    I love Christmas Eve! We also have our formal Christmas dinner that night, which sets a nice tone for the holiday and makes Christmas Day a little less stressful. After dinner, we sit around the tree and read the nativity, and then we get a little silly. The kids dress up like Santa, an elf, and a reindeer and come visit us with gag gifts (dollar store items) and little poems that go with them. Then the kids “come back” and we make a big deal of how they missed Santa (my mom started this tradition and I think all of my siblings still do it.) Finally, we unwrap our new jammies and get in them, and then we open one more gift, which is a new book that we read that night. This year it was “The Mansion”. Following that we make our best attempt to get the kids to bed but sometimes that ends up with a movie – The Sound of Music and It’s a Wonderful Life are favorites.

  • Alison Moore Smith December 26, 2011, 1:18 pm

    CBH, what a wonderful story. So glad you found such an inspirational way to start the celebration.

    I swear before I die, I will attend a midnight mass. (I’ve always wondered why this midnight tradition came about. To get the kids to sleep in? To be able to “check off” the “attended mass today” item? It seems rather impractical. Of course, packing up and going to the obligatory 1-hour sacrament meeting on Christmas is, too.) Has always seemed like it would be a nice segue to the day.

    Kristen, similar story. The comment got too long, so I’ll make a post of it later. 🙂

    Angie, fun stuff. I love hearing the different things people do! 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Candles and the Holiday SpiritMy Profile

  • jennycherie December 26, 2011, 4:40 pm

    Alison – my mom finally made it to midnight mass this year, after wanting to forever. There is a small town that is 99.5% Catholic near where she lives and she went with a friend this year. She said she doesn’t remember much because she was so tired (you wouldn’t have that problem;)), and the kneeling down on the padded benches really hurt her knees. I think her curiosity is satisfied.
    jennycherie recently posted…Joy to the WorldMy Profile

  • Kristen Chevrier December 26, 2011, 4:53 pm

    Alison, choose your midnight mass wisely. I was so excited to go to one about 15 years ago. The officiator was a woman–yes, I guess I am sexist. The ceremony was in English–and I’m ethnocentric. People were there in jeans–and I’m a snob. I was totally disappointed. I was looking for an old-world experience and that it was not.

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