Christmas Eve - The twenty-fourth door

As you might know, in Germany presents are exchanged on Christmas Eve.
When I was a child, we spent most of the day at my Grandma's house waiting for the call telling us to come home. My Grandma would watch TV with us, we would play board games and get more nervous and excited from second to second. Actually the afternoon was filled with a TV program called "Waiting for the Christ Child", it showed Christmas movies and shows for children. I'm not sure it really helped and I still feel sorry for my Grandma who had to put up with us.

Now I'm all grown up of course, well, or maybe grown sideways - I'm sure the Christmas feast won't help with that - and much cooler about that.
My tradition now is to watch two funny Christmas specials about how Christmas Eve is in two families. They are on my German blog if you want to have a look.

What country do you come from and do you have your own Christmas Eve traditions? Why not tell us about it?


Carole said...

I am married to an American who hails from New England. His tradition, which we have followed all our married life, is to have oysters for dinner on Christmas Eve. He deep-fries some and makes the rest into a stew. My family tradition is to go to church on Christmas Eve (usually the late service), and between us, it has made fro some crazy dinner times, because the oysters are kind of a last-minute preparation. So we've had dinner any time from 6 to 10, depending on which service we manage to get to. After church and dinner, we hustle the kids off to bed so we can fill their stockings and put out the presents from Santa.

JewelryArtByDawn said...

I had a friend who made oyster stew every Christmas Eve. The trouble was no one in her family (including her) liked oyster stew. One time I asked her why she kept making it if no one would eat it. "Because it's a tradition!" she exclaimed. Alrighty then.

In my family, we were allowed to choose one present from under the tree to open on Christmas Eve. The rest of the gifts had to wait until Christmas morning. The anticipation made it difficult to get to sleep and we were up at first light on Christmas Day. My dad used to drag out getting up, making coffee and getting his newspaper. Then he'd go in the bathroom for what seemed an eternity - all to torture us kids. He liked to tease us all year long, but he really played it up at Christmas time.

JewelryArtByDawn said...

I should have included in my comment above that the reason he did all that was because we weren't allowed to open presents until everyone, including him, was sitting around the tree.

I remember much whining of "Daaaaaaaaaad" from me, my sister and brother.

Cat said...

It's nice you make both traditions work even if it gets a little crazy sometimes!

Cat said...

What a tease your Dad was! ;-) Sounds like a tradition in itself and a memory you won't forget!

mcstoneworks said...

We always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve. My parents had someone dress as Santa and bring the gifts. We had a family friend who was a professional photographer. He always managed to be there when Santa arrived. :)

Cat said...

You must have liked not having to wait for Christmas Day! ;-)