This year, I'm lucky! I am actually going to get to have 2 Christmas Eve nights....allow me to explain.
My wife's parents divorced (and remarried) about three years ago. Now that they are back together, they are in the process of buildign a house. They have a kinda large family, 3 daugthers and one son and they all have kids (except for me and the wife), so it's pretty busy for everyone....so the weekend before Christmas....we are all going to go down and have Christmas Eve there, at the new house, and then wake up the next day and eat a big family breakfast....Will be a great time!
At my parents house, we don't eat until around 5....but candy and such is laid out all day long! We nibble and visit and set the table and such....then around 3 everyone goes home to get ready or whatever...at 5 we all come back and hangout til around 6 and then we eat...after making ourselves sick...we pick up and get the house back to normal and then gather around and visit...watching the Christmas shows that are on until we play dirty Santa....then around 10 or 11 we all go home and do it again the next day!
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This year will be different somewhat. Our family has grown so much since last year. This year we will start off with Breakfast for everyone around 9 or 10. Right after breakfast we will start our Christmas dinner preparation getting ready for the big day. At the sametime my daughters and Son-in-laws will be making cookies and pastries for later in the day and for Christmas Desert. While they are doing that I will be play Christmas Music and Movies for all of the kids. Once the smoke as cleared than I will start on our Christmas Eve dinner. Which will include Garlic Noodles and Garlic Crab/ Lobster. I will serve this special punch that my aunt who has now past created. We will finish the evening by going out to view the Christmas lights and coming back home and watch more Christmas Movies by the fireplace.
Last edited by Chillywilly; 10-05-2009 at 05:11 AM.
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We spend Christmas Eve at my in-laws house. They always have a Christmas Eve open house with friends and family dropping by through the evening for appetizer type foods (TONS of food!) and my husbands famous triple strength screwdrivers (he learned to make them from my father-in-law who passed a couple of years ago).
Then, after everyone has come and gone, we all gather around the Christmas tree and exchange gifts with one another and have a small dessert in front of the fireplace. It's a fun time with family and friends...what Christmas is all about.
Christmas Eve is always much more hectic for us than Christmas Day. This is because we spend a fun-filled evening with my parents.
It starts off with dinner. For many years my parents wanted to go out, but I finally suggested that since they ALWAYS seem to be eatting out, wouldn't it be nicer to have a quite dinner at home. Although I offered to make the dinner, my mother insisted on doing it. This makes it just a little less hectic (for the kids, hubby, and I at least).
After dinner, we go to the 7:00 p.m. service at church and then back to my parents house to open all the gifts from them to us and our gifts to them. This usually takes about 2 hours. We have the kids open their gifts first, then my husband and I, and then my parents. I like to have my parents open their gifts last, because I try to always have something that they didn't expect and usually makes them cry (scrapbooks, videos, etc.).
After presents comes my favorite part - Plum Pudding and Mincemeat. Currently we are working on a Plum Pudding I made back in 2000 and the mincemeat was from 1995. I will have brought tiny mincemeat tarts that I made earlier in the day and then after steaming the pudding for at least 2-3 hours we remove it from the bowl, pour brandy over it, and light it and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
Last year after Christmas I made two new plum puddings that will probably be ready to eat in 2010, they are much better as they age. This year I'm making mincemeat because I only have three quart jars left. This too gets better with age. I already bought the mixed fruit and peel last weekend at the grocery store. If I don't buy it now, it won't be there come December.
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Christmas Eve morning the kids will find a present under the Christmas tree in the their bedroom. The gift (new PJ's) are from their magical elves. The magical Elves arrive on Dec 1 and go back during the night of Dec 23 to make sure Santa has their presents all ready.
I will make french toast casserole and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfest. If we have any errands to do or people to visit we will do this right after breakfest as we like to be home by 3.
Throughout the day the kids will track Santa on Norad. The closer he gets the more excited they get.
That afternoon I will set out platters of cookies and other goodies that the family and enjoy through out the day. The kids will exchange their gifts with each other and will open 1 gift from their grandmother. The gifts are toys which will help keep them occupied while DH and I are in the kitchen working on the prep for Christmas breakfest and dinner as we host both and I will make the pies for Christmas Dessert.
Christmas movies will be on the living room TV all day while I will have Christmas music on in the kitchen.
For dinner I will either make stuffed shells or we will have an assorted seafood dinner, all depends if we have any company for dinner or not. Right after dinner Santa makes his rounds through the neighborhood on the local fire truck. The kids will greet him and get a candycane. Afterwards the kids get baths and put on their new PJs. The family will then settle into the livingroom with hot beverages and cookies. We usually watch Polar Express and Rudolph. Right before 9 the kids will put out Cookies and Milk for Santa and then it's off to bed.
While waiting for the kids to fall alseep, Tony and I will relax and watch another Christmas movie. By the time the movie is over the kids are sound a sleep so it's time for Santa.
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Every year I tell myself I won't do this but I do it anyway. I spend almost the whole Christmas Eve night wrapping gifts. But its cool because I usually have a good christmas movie on the tv, Christmas carols on the radio and whatever food my mom wants me to taste test on the table. So I guess everything works out for me!
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This year will,hopefully,be a start of a new tradition for us. DD9 has had the "Santa" talk so Christmas Eve this year will be a little different for us. Last year we stayed at home but this year we are going to go to my parents for a Christmas party. They have one every year but I've always felt that it's too much excitement for a child to handle on Christmas Eve and prefered being at home so I could get DD9 to bed at a sensible time after our visitors went away. This year there is no "bed time" as such and I hope we have a wonderful time at my parents. If I'm honest I'm a little worried about how she'll feel at Christmas,so I'm just going to try and make it as good as I can for her. But we'll still stick to our other Christmas Eve traditions as well.
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I try to have relaxing Christmas Eve I usually do a small running buffet from early afternoon as everyone likes to just pick at food, we try not to eat anything to heavy (as we make up for it on Christmas Day) through out the day I have around the last 5-6 Christmas Films/Cartoons that I watch through out the day. I always start with Garfield's Christmas, then move onto Jingle all the Way, The Santa Clause The Snowman/Father Christmas then finish with Polar Express. I try to get the Girls to be around 20:30 I then read them 'Twas the Night before Christmas. We will then wait around an hour or so and start to put presents or assemble those that need to be assembled. After that pack a bag with spare clothes for the Girls for when we to my Family on Christmas day. once that's all done I usually give my Wife her Christmas Stocking which usually has silly fun gifts/joke presents and some sweets (candy) Then for the last half hour or so I will probably put VH1 classics on and listen to some old Christmas songs, maybe have a drink and that will be it. But this year I will also pop in and out of MMC forums to read what everyone else is doing. I try to do very little on Christmas Eve and just relax where possible as Christmas Day can be very long and tiring
__________________ Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
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Since my daughter was married in 2007, we've changed things up to accomodate her getting to the inlaws and keeping it all fair. So we now have brunch on the Eve around 11am and then open gifts from eachother. In the evening, we keep the meal light and if the weather permits, my husband and our two boys ride out a little ways to the countryside and visit my brother who has a large open house. Then back at eleven for Mass at our parish which is so inspiring. Our daughter and son-in-law rejoin us at Mass after their evening with his parents. Then my beautiful 27 yr old daughter pops "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street " in with hubby while the rest of us go off to sleepy land. Santa will visit soon! Love it all!
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