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Christmas Eve Traditions

It's not the games or sweets or even the gifts, it's all about family being together.

Family on Christmas Eve. Photo courtesy Michelle Medlock Adams.

“You will be able to tell wonderful stories to your children and grandchildren about the marvelous things I am doing. (Exodus 10:2, NLT)

It’s all about family this time of year, isn’t it? I have such amazing memories of past Christmas Eves.

Every December 24, we used head to my parents’ house and spend the night, along with my brother and his family, and my sister and her family.

We’d eat lots of fattening foods such as fudge, buckeyes, my mom’s famous chocolate oatmeal cookies, Reindeer Mix, and more.

Family on Christmas Eve. Photo courtesy Michelle Medlock Adams.And, we’d play Euchre (a card game popular in the Midwest) for hours until one team proved victorious over all other duos.

Usually, my sister Martie and I won, and when we had beaten every other team, we’d break into the “Sisters” song from the movie, White Christmas.

Of course, no one else found this nearly as funny as the two of us, but we continued singing just the same. Sometimes, we’d even perform the accompanying choreography…yes, we were obnoxious.

The kiddos always put out cookies and milk for Santa, and my Dad would sit down and color a picture with his grandchildren to leave for good old Saint Nick.

While coloring, I’d overhear Dad telling them all about the night he almost caught Rudolph on the sundeck. Though my girls had heard the story several years in a row, they never tired of it.

Neither did I.

And then we’d allow every person in the family to open just one gift. (Okay, sometimes we would talk my mom into letting us open two gifts on Christmas Eve, but usually she was a real stickler on the “one gift rule.”)

Then, after everything settled down, and if the kids were not too sugared up, my father would read the Christmas story, reminding us all of the true meaning of Christmas. And, sometimes, we’d have a spontaneous testimony service where every person would share something he or she was most thankful for that year.

It was very special.

Our Christmas Eves are a little different now that my parents have moved to heaven and my girls are in college, but December 24 is still wonderful. Now, we go to Candlelight Service with Jeff’s mom, Nana, and then we all go to my sister’s house and spend the night. 

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Fudge, buckeyes, Reindeer Mix, and my mom’s famous chocolate oatmeal cookies (which my niece Autumn has mastered) are still part of our food extravaganza.

Martie and I still dominate in Euchre but Ally and her boyfriend, Wesley, actually beat us occasionally. We still open one gift that night, unless we can talk my sister into two gifts–she is the matriarch now.

And, Martie’s husband, Pastor Jan, has taken over the reading of the Christmas Story duties.

I’ll bet your family has rich and wonderful holiday traditions, too.

I can hardly wait for the night to begin! It’s not because of the card games or the yummy sweets or even the gifts. It’s my favorite time of year because we’re all together.

Whatever your traditions, I hope you’ll include Jesus as part of them. Maybe you could even implement the reading of the Christmas Story into your night, or take communion as a family, or have a testimony time together.

Why not give your children the true meaning of Christmas this year? Because that’s the best gift you could ever give them!

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! I pray this is your best Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ever!

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