Celebrate Like a Catholic: Christmas Eve

The following is a post from my Celebrate Like a Catholic Series. Merry Christmas!

I don’t know what it is, but I am a Christmas Eve kind of gal. Christmas Day tends to get all of the glory– and for good reason– I mean, it’s Christ’s Birthday! But Christmas Eve, to me, has all of the glory of Christmas Day… but is a little more serene. So here’s a glimpse at Christmas Eve in the Caffeinated Catholic Family House:

We have three kids, 5 and under, so as much as I love Midnight Mass– we hit the evening Christmas Eve Vigil Mass. The girls love this night because they get to wear their fancy Christmas Dresses and new shoes, and they love the candlelight at Mass. Before heading out to Mass, we set the table for Christmas Eve dinner: we have special Christmas Plates, tablecloth and napkins; everyone gets a wine glass that night! To remember those who we have lost that year and those who can’t be with us, we set an empty place. I am usually the last one out of the house and for good reason– just before leaving, I place the Christ Candle in the middle of the Advent Wreath.


Upon returning from Mass, we sit down to dinner. We are still early in establishing our traditions, so we don’t have a set meal, but the meal is generally meatless and soup-based (meatless because Christmas Eve used to be a day of fasting/abstinence, but that changed in 1983, but we kind of like it and soup-based so it’s ready when we get home.) Hubs will recite the final “O Antiphon” while I light the Christ candle and the four Advent Candles, allowing us to dine by candlelight.

After dinner, the girls get to open one present: their new Pajamas. We all change into PJs and snuggle together for a reading of the Nativity Story from the Gospel of St. Luke, the girls receive the Baby Jesus to place in their Creche and Daddy reads “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Once the kids are off to bed, Hubs and I will sit together with a glass of wine…

…and watch “Nat’l Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

There you have it! A little Catholic, a lot of fun and all ours!

Karianna blogs at Caffeinated Catholic Mama. She is married to a great guy and mama to two daughters and a brand new son. You can find her in Southern California, cruisin’ in the Swagger Wagon, desperately looking for a drive-thru coffee shop.



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