Christmas Around the World
Christmas Eve traditions vary across countries.
In France, Christmas is a time to connect with family, exchange gifts with loved ones, and attend the Midnight Mass. Kids put shoes near the fireplace so that Papa Noël leaves gifts behind. In Russia, Christmas is celebrated on January 7, as per the Orthodox calendar. Russians celebrate Christmas by having a family dinner, and meeting up with friends and family. Christmas in Italy is one long celebration, starting from December 24, that is Christmas Eve, going right up to January 6, the Epiphany. Nativity scenes, Christmas lights and decorations, traditional costumes, and feasting dominate the scene.
Most families have their own special Christmas Eve traditions. While each family prides itself in creating its own traditions, many of the observances are common among families.
Traditions on Christmas Eve
The Midnight Mass is a common tradition in most Catholic families. People head to their church for a special prayer service. There are many traditions surrounding the Christmas tree, Christmas decorations, the Yule log, the Mistletoe, carol singing, and of course, Christmas stockings.
Let us not forget Santa Claus, who adds his own charm to the spirit of Christmas. Abundant stories and legends about Santa Claus have kept the myth alive, creating a world of magic in the eyes of little children. Santa Claus is not just a giver of gifts, he epitomizes hope and joy that is so integral to Christmas celebration.
Christmas traditions have seen a lot of adaptations and inclusions. I suspect the Christmas tradition of shopping does not date back to the Biblical period. Clearly, it crept into our lives through the persistent advertising and marketing wizardry of a few shrewd businesspeople.
Gifting Makes Christmas Special
But what is Christmas without the tradition of gifting? Whether you are a grownup or a kid, you can't help waiting eagerly to open Christmas presents on Christmas morning to find out what you have been gifted this year.
Over the years, the tradition of gifting has evolved to suit the needs of a changing world. Now, you can buy Christmas gifts through many ecommerce websites. Some companies specialize in personalizing your gifts. You can buy customized T shirts, mugs, what have you. You can even have a special delivery service with a bouquet and chocolates added for good measure.
How to Celebrate Christmas Eve
The best part about Christmas Eve is spending a special evening in the company of family and friends. Sitting around the Christmas tree or the fireplace, sharing a delicious Christmas Eve meal, sharing stories about Christmas, or simply listening to Christmas carols – these are some beautiful ways to celebrate Christmas Eve. Watch your favorite Christmas movies -- be it Elf, or Home Alone -- and relive the magic of Christmas on the silver screen.
Share these Christmas Eve quotes with your loved ones. Touch many hearts with your beautiful Christmas greetings. Teach kids values about sharing and caring, or any other values that you hold dear. Send Christmas cards to loved ones with beautiful sayings on them. Open your heart to welcome the bright Christmas morning, with a feeling of generosity and kindness.
Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!
There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions.
Norman Vincent Peale
I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.
Sir Walter Scott
'Twas Christmas broach'd the mightiest ale;
'Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man's heart through half the year.
Christmas is the day that holds all time together.
Helen Steiner Rice
Bless us Lord, this Christmas with quietness of mind. Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.
Hamilton Wright Mabi
Blessed is the season, which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
Clement C. Moore, The Night Before Christmas
Now, 'Dasher!' now, 'Dancer!' now, 'Prancer' and 'Vixen!'
On, 'Comet!' on, 'Cupid!' on, 'Donner' and 'Blitzen!'
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please to put a penny in an old man's hat;
If you haven't got a penny a ha'penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha'penny, God bless you.
Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever.
Ray Evans, Silver Bells
Silver bells, silver bells,
It's Christmas time in the city.
Now I'm an old Christmas tree, the roots of which have died. They just come along and while the little needles fall off me replace them with medallions.
W. T. Ellis
It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam
The time draws near the birth of Christ;
The moon is hid; the night is still;
The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.
Ada V. Hendricks
May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.