Our Christmas Eve Tradition

Christmas is not even two weeks away. It’s mad how fast December has flown in the end. Yesterday evening I finally got time to wrap all the Christmas presents and put them away into each children’s sack. I am just waiting on a few presents for hubby and that’s me done then.

In our family we do two traditions each year. I had a conversation with someone yesterday about traditions. It seems that the UK and Ireland are the only countries that unwrap Christmas presents on Christmas morning. All other countries do it Christmas Eve.

Since day one we have been unwrapping presents on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning. Even more so since having children. The presents they receive on Christmas Eve are from us and the ones on Christmas morning are the ones Santa left behind when they were asleep.

The morning of the 24th December is generally very chilled. We all get dressed and have breakfast downstairs. I am that kind of person who doesn’t feel ready for the day if I would go downstairs in my PJ’s. I need to be all fresh, dressed and washed. Then we have a bit of play time. If the weather allows it, we go outside for a walk. Fresh air is always good. Both kids get cabin fever if they don’t go outside even for a few minutes. We normally walk around the estate for a bit. We haven’t figured out where the nearest playground is.

It’s lunch time. Of course we have Christmas music playing in the background. While the kids are having their lunch, I am preparing the dinner in the background. Our typical Christmas Eve dinner is homemade potato salad with sausages… German sausages these are. I call them Wiener. Nice with some English mustard or for people who don’t like mustard, also nice with tomato ketchup.

Around 3pm/3.30pm we generally have some cake and tea/coffee. The most famous German cake we have at Christmas time is probably Stollen. You can have it with Marzipan or just a butter one. I like both. Another cake I really love is “Baumkuchen”. I normally have this sent over by friends because I have never seen it in Ireland before.  It’s so nice that I could eat the whole cake.

Once we have cleaned up the dishes, it’s onto the presents before dinner. Depending what the kids get for Christmas, I only allow them to open up two or three and do the rest the next morning, just so we don’t get them too excited before bedtime. I don’t want them being too hyper.

With unwrapping presents, we can get delayed a bit for dinner but that’s ok because the potato salad is already made and the sausages only have to be boiled in water a bit. That’s why it’s so handy to have a meal made already and not spend hours in the kitchen.

Around 7pm we are going upstairs to have a bath and be squeaky clean for the morning for when Santa has been. Of course we can’t go to bed without wearing all our Christmas PJ’s. We all have been wearing them already the last two weeks. Matthew’s ones have Santa on it and his beard is all fluffy. He loves them.

What do you do on Christmas Eve? Do you have a tradition or do you do everything Christmas Day?

14 thoughts on “Our Christmas Eve Tradition

  1. Pretty cool. I love party food. I think I might get some frozen party food this year. Easier on me with two kids running riot lol x

  2. That’s nice. I read a lot about these baskets. Because the kids get a present on the 6th December, we dont do the baskets. It replaces those basically with that. xx

  3. This is really interesting to read, I love to find out how other cultures spend Christmas.

    On Christmas Eve we have a family day together and then in the evening we go over to my husband’s Parents for a Christmas Eve Party. All the family come round and swap presents and it’s such a lovely night spending time with each other. My Mother in law puts on the best buffet so it’s party food for us and plenty to drink (I’m usually the designated driver on Christmas Eve but that means I can enjoy an Irish coffee on Christmas Day!)
    Emma – Life According to MrsShilts recently posted…Have a merry fish-mas at National Sea Life Centre BirminghamMy Profile

  4. We do a Christmas Eve basket for the boys every year that’s full of festive goodies like Christmas Pyjamas and activities for us to do before the big man arrives like sprinkling reindeer food out on the lawn, hanging up the stockings before bed, putting out some milk and cookies etc. We also let them choose one present to open on Christmas Eve, the rest get opened on Christmas Day xx
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  5. That sounds nice too. I love a good hot chocolate and just sit down and do nothing. xx

  6. For the last couple of years we’ve ignored Christmas, opting to head off to sunnier parts of the world, which has made for a lovely change. It’s also made us rethink tradition. What I’ve noticed is in the vast majority of places we’ve visited, Christmas Eve is when folks really emphasize the notion of celebration, typically having the big dinner and exchange of gifts. We’ve adopted this somewhat and tend to do our big dinner on Christmas Eve with whatever the local fare tends to be plus lots of bubbles. Christmas day is then spent lying in the sun in a coma of food and drink ; )

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