Christmas Eve was always my favorite part of celebrating Christmas. That’s when my big Italian family would get together, eat cappelletti soup and open lots of presents.
It seemed like Christmas morning, while exciting in its own right for me and my little sister, was more for relaxing and recovering from everything that led up to the holiday.
Now that me and my cousins are older with families of our own, and most of the older generation isn’t with us anymore, things have changed. I no longer live in the same state as my family (or my husband’s for that matter).
Now, we have new Christmas traditions. Like spending Christmas Eve with our close friends, who could also be considered family.
This year, we’re having a southern-themed dinner with smoked pork, coleslaw, cornbread and such. The meal, unfortunately for me, also involves pie. But, as my husband so enthusiastically pointed out, you can’t really have a southern meal without some sort of pie involved.
Pie aside, it’s going to be a fun-filled evening. We are hosting this year, so we’ll have 4 kids between the ages of 3 and 6 running around the house. (There will also be some really good wine.)
My most favorite part of Christmas Eve these past few years has been reading The Night Before Christmas before the kids go to bed. We have the version that is beautifully illustrated by Mary Engelbreit. It is my absolutely favorite thing to do during the holidays. The kids are so excited, and the story so filled with Christmas spirit. Love it!
Forget the presents. (I’m pretty much over presents at this point in my life.) I love the look of excitement on the kids’ faces when their little heads are filled with big thoughts of Santa Claus and his reindeer. It only happens once a year, and I cherish the night and the fun times with friends/family.
How are you celebrating Christmas Eve? What are your traditions?