Denoting the end of the Advent Season, Christmas Eve is a time for getting together with families in preparation and anticipation of Christmas, which begins the next day. On Christmas Eve, families traditionally set up and decorate a Christmas Tree (usually a pine tree or a spruce tree, depending on the country and individual taste) in their homes and put up other festive decorations such as wreaths, garlands of evergreen foliage and berries, kissing boughs, mistletoe sprigs and pomanders. However, today many Christians choose to put up their Christmas decorations much earlier in December.
Churches often hold candlelight or Christingle services on Christmas Eve, many involving Christmas carols and a children’s performance of the nativity. Catholic churches hold Midnight Mass for worshippers to welcome in Christmas Day, while in Catholic homes the Christ Candle is lit to replace the Advent Wreath. The Christ Candle is then re-lit every night of the twelve days of Christmas.
Christmas Eve is also a time for families to rejoice, feast, play games and sing songs together. The modern-day Christmas is a particularly exciting time for children, who eagerly anticipate the arrival of Father Christmas and his reindeer-drawn sleigh full of gifts. Well, that’s if they’ve been good of course…
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