HoHoHo! Christmas Eve is a week away. Are you ready?
It’s been a different year. I hope you’re wearing your mask and social distancing. For me, I’ve done most of my shopping online. I prefer to shop locally but stores are closed or limited to 15% occupancy. Hopefully they manage to hang in there.
Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day before Christmas Day, the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus. Christmas Day is observed around the world, and Christmas Eve is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day. Christmas Eve get togethers, festivals and parties are cancelled this year around the world.
Christmas Eve in Canada is the last day of preparations for the Christmas Day and Boxing Day holidays. It is a busy shopping day and some people give gifts to family and friends on this day.
According to Wikipedia many people in Canada have to work on Christmas Eve, but it is also a day of preparation for the approaching holidays. Some people buy last-minute Christmas gifts for family members and friends while others wrap presents that they bought earlier. If a family is going eat a traditional meal on Christmas Day, they may begin preparations on Christmas Eve.
A traditional Christmas Day meal often consists of roast turkey or goose with squash, turnips, potatoes and cranberry sauce as a main course and mince pies or plum pudding for dessert. However, people may eat dishes as diverse as clam chowder, spiced chicken wings or traditional food from the wide range of cultures represented in modern-day Canada.
Many families put up their Christmas tree and other decorations on Christmas Eve. However, some do this earlier in December and just save a few special decorations, perhaps representing the Nativity, to put on display on December 24. In some areas, a large Nativity scene, perhaps with live animals or actors playing the parts of Mary and Joseph, is set up on Christmas Eve.
People who attend church regularly may go to a church service on the evening of December 24, known as midnight mass. Traditionally, this service started at midnight as December 24 became December 25 but now often starts earlier in the evening. In Quebec the traditional meal after this service is a pie of meat, potatoes and onions known as tourtire ( tortiere , tourtier ).
Some families, particularly in Quebec, may exchange gifts in the evening of Christmas Eve. However, many others, particularly those with small children, end the day by hanging up large socks or sock-shaped sacks known as Christmas stockings. Children are told that a mythical figure called Santa comes to fill them with presents during the night. The story of Santa is so important to Christmas in Canada and the United States that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) maintains a website to allegedly ‘track’ Santa’s movements on Christmas Eve. Even with Covid Santa can still be tracked this year.
What about you? Do you have Christmas Eve traditions? What will you be doing this year?