I ran across this list of Christmas Eve traditions.
I was shocked to see that one of my family’s was top of the list with a few elements of the other traditions. When I was growing up, there would be a present for each of us that was marked with a star on the gift tag. That was the Christmas Eve present. After arriving home from Christmas Eve church service, we would light the last candle on our Advent wreath and open the starred present. Inside each present was a pair of Christmas pajamas. We would all change into our new PJs and spend some time together as a family before heading off to bed.
On Christmas morning, we woke up in our brand new pajamas and gathered in the living room. Someone (usually dad) would read the Christmas story from the Bible then one of us kids (usually my brother) would pass out the presents. After presents were opened, breakfast would be eaten and we would spend the day playing with our gifts.
I remember one year I received the game Don’t Break the Ice and I played it all day with anyone who would sit on the floor and play it with me.
At a certain point in time, my dad was not allowed to go shopping for my mom alone anymore (for fashion reasons). She instructed him to take either me or my sister shopping with him if he would be buying her any clothing item. It was always fun to go on those shopping trips with my dad and for three or four years in a row my mom received Christmas Eve pajamas with teddy bears on them.
The second Christmas that Brad and I were dating we went to two Christmas Eve services, the 6:00 p.m. at my church and the 11 p.m. service at his. If I associate one memory with being in the “Christmas spirit,” it would be driving home that beautiful, clear winter night and listening the Christmas music.
As a family of our own, Brad and I have decided to spend Christmas morning in our own home. These new traditions are forming, our families are changing and patterns are being set for the future. But the memories (and in some cases video tapes) are still there, reminding us of Christmases past.
Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition or memory to share?