Edith here, pondering Christmas Eves and other kinds, too.
For those of us who celebrate Christmas, today and tonight is a special anticipatory day. Every family and culture follows different customs. When I was growing up, we got to open one present on Christmas Eve, and somehow it was always the one from our grandmother who lived far away. She was a master seamstress, so every year the package contained new nightgowns or pajamas. For years I made or gave my sons new PJs to be opened on Christmas Eve, too.
Another custom was for John David and Allan to read “The Night Before Christmas” aloud.
Many people all over the world go to a midnight or candlelight church service to celebrate Christ’s birth. In some countries the tree doesn’t go up until Christmas Eve. When I was an exchange student in Brazil many decades ago, we sat outside on a warm Southern Hemisphere night singing Christmas carols with the family’s uncle until midnight while the parents decorated the tree inside.
Some also believe that animals can talk at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve. I’m not sure what Preston and Cristabel would say, but they do like sitting under the tree!
Other nights-before provide that tingly feeling of expectation, too. Think of the night before Halloween (which itself is a shortening of Allhallow-even, “Eve of All Saints”). Houses are decorated, it’s dark, kids are excited about their costumes (and the prospect of tons of candy).
For authors, we experience the nail-biting eve of a book release day – will readers like it? Will it zoom to the single digits on Amazon because of all those great pre-orders? Barb and I both had a Release Day Eve last Monday!
In recent years Hugh and I spend Christmas Eve with dear friends an hour away. I’ll bring a platter of decorated cookies. They’ll have out drinks and noshing delicacies. If my sons are home, they come along, of course. This year there’s a darling one-year old girl in our friends’ family, so the mood will be less adults sitting quietly and more about her. What would Christmas be without kids?
What about you? What are your plans for today? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, how is it dealing with all the hype from everybody else? For all of you, our dear readers and fans, the other Wickeds and Accomplices, I wish you a safe, cozy, and delicious Christmas and holiday season.
I want all of you to know how much I appreciate your books and all it takes to put them out in the world! You work endlessly, yet have the time for your families and fans. I hope that I will one day be able to attend a conference and have the chance to meet all of you!
My wish for each of you is to have happiness, health and a thousand new ideas for your writing this holiday season and the new year to come!
Thanks, Deb! I hope we can meet, too.
Deb, thank you so much for expressing something we should all have been saying, specifically giving our thanks to all of the Wickeds for all the joy and pleasure we get from their books along with appreciation for all the EXTREMELY hard work that goes into bringing them to us. For me, the output of all the writers I love is the best Christmas present it’s possible to receive.
So, Jessica, Julia, Barb, Liz, and Sherry a huge thank-you and my fond and sincere wishes for a very merry Christmas AND Christmas eve.
For a number of years, my parents left a small tree for my younger sister and me, upstairs near out bedrooms (the official tree was in the living room downstairs). We even had our own mini-decorations for that tree. This tradition went on for several years, but what was most interesting was that I figured out Santa Claus looked suspiciously like my parents when he left presents under “our” little tree. It was years before my sister learned the truth, and in all that time I never spoiled her fantasy–probably one of the nicer things I ever did for her.
She’s still very much invested in Christmas (especially now that she has grandkids)–she’s been known to start shopping in August.
You remind me that we had a small tree upstairs, too, in a big square hall near the kids’ rooms. Fun memory!
August? August??? Who waits that long?
Merry Christmas Eve to all the Wickeds who bring us all so much joy year ’round. Most years our daughter comes to visit from across the country and we spend the day just being together. She and I are good about getting everything done by the eve, but darling hubby does his wrapping on today. This year our daughter and I will be making cookies to take to my AA meeting tonight. We are looking forward to that because they love her cookies and love seeing her each year. Then, at bedtime, hubby and I will go into her room and read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in our own silly way. Please understand our daughter is 48. Some traditions should never die no matter the age of the participants.
I agree, Ginny! What a gift you can all be together.
Being in retail, means I am working today… at least until 4. Then I’ll go with my husband to his family’s Polish Christmas eve. At least my business is closed tomorrow.+
Glad you get a day off tomorrow, Margo!
Because we had a big extended family, we usually had our big (about 60 people) gathering on Christmas Eve, allowing each of the individual families to have their own individual celebrations on Christmas Day. So the whole crowd would gather at our house since that’s where my grandmother (the matriarch) lived. We’d have a big traditional holiday dinner, with everyone bringing something to contribute to the feast. Carols would be sung, presents would be opened, and a generally good time would be had by all (allowing for the meltdown of at least one or two of the younger celebrants). Although the family members did all pitch in to wash the dishes and clean the kitchen, the rest of the house looked like the aftermath of a tornado with crumpled wrapping paper covering every surface in the house..
After my grandmother died in 1963, that tradition came to an end and the whole family never again gathered for Christmas (largely because there was always a fight about where it should be held). I think my mother was relieved (since most of the work of the dinner and party fell on her shoulders, but I really missed the one night each year when all the intra-familial feuds were put aside and (at least from my kid-perspective) joy and goodwill were shared by all.
So today, my traditional Christmas Eve activity is to spend the day in the car, driving to every relative’s house to leave presents and good wishes (even if they’re occasionally delivered through clenched teeth). That’s fifteen different stops, just counting family. Probably the only one who really takes joy in my current Christmas Eve tradition is OPEC!
My warmest holiday wishes to EVERYONE who participates here on the Wickeds. You all make my life so much richer.
Merry Christmas, Lee! Thank you for being here and sharing your stories
Aww, thanks, Lee. You continue to give – that’s what’s important.
Merry Christmas. I love the photos! Thanks to all of our readers for being here with us!
Thanks, Sherry. Our readers are the best!
We’ve been going to the Christmas Eve service at my brother’s church for the past few years. I really look forward to it each year. Other then that, my sister-in-law will be over at my parent’s house with my niece and nephew for some time this afternoon while my brother works. We’ll probably get some things ready for tomorrow since my parents are hosting Christmas dinner, but that won’t happen until tonight after the service.
So glad you can be with family, Mark.
With just hubby and I, it was going to be a very quiet Christmas. However, at the last minute with the weather cooperating, we made the decision to do a bit of traveling. We went north to visit with hubby’s 89 year Mom and his sister. Literally on the 23rd it was like – hey weather is nice let’s do this. After talking to his sister to make sure they had no other plans or no one else was going to pop in on them, we grabbed the essentials and drove the almost 6 hours to get here on Christmas Eve. Totally surprised Mom making us so glad we came. Had a nice day including taking them out to eat. Spending some time today with them and then heading back home. Weather is suppose to change drastically tomorrow and have doctor’s appointments so it’s a very short stay. Just glad we did it!
May every have the merriest of Christmas’ and the happiest of new years!
2clowns at arkansas dot net
What a wonderful, thoughtful surprise!! I love spontaneity. Such great things can happen.
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