Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve is a wonderful time in England. The true Christmas celebration gets started early in the day with baking and continuing preparations for the big day. There are church services and family gatherings. Last minute wrapping is done and all the presents are placed under the tree. In my home, the evening was spent in front of our fireplace as we listened to my father read stories about Jesus’ birth and the three wise men. We also listened to stories about Father Christmas and we would listen to stories about the times when my parents were little children. I think my love of English traditions stem from many of those stories because I learned how they were passed down to each generation.
With all the gifts and the cooking and the shopping and the decorating, it is sometimes very difficult to remember what Christmas is all about. The main church in England is called “The Church of England.” The church of England resembles most Christian churches in America but it most closely resembles the Episcopal church. During the Christmas morning ceremonies especially, the services are very formal yet very joyous indeed. The celebration of Jesus’ birth is truly evident with incense and loads of candles and hymns being sung for much of the service. Whatever your faith is, these services are truly beautiful.
On Christmas eve, children around the country are allowed to open one present before they go to bed. This is always so exciting. Although we always knew what that one present will be it is still so much fun to begin the gift opening fun. The one present that children are allowed to open on Christmas eve is always a brand new pair of pajamas to sleep in that night. Often they are winter flannel pajamas and sometimes they have Christmassy designs on them.
Next, Bedtime and Stockings.
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