Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

For our Christmas Eve post, the editors have gotten together to share their favourite Christmas Eve traditions!

Donna Alward:

Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the Christmas Season. I guess me and anticipation are great friends, after all it is the anticipation of falling in love that makes me adore romance novels, and it's what I love about Christmas too. We have a couple of Christmas Eve traditions that I look forward to each year.

The first is a carry-on from my husband's family. What a surprise when we started dating and I discovered that Christmas Eve dinner consisted of a barbeque! And no matter what the weather, if it's mild or -30 and blowing a gale, it's barbequed steak for dinner. The first year I had it I was amazed and thrilled. After all, barbequed anything is pretty rare after September. Grilled steak, onions, peppers, mushrooms, potatoes done in foil, caesar salad and carrots. Usually some wine to round things out and something great for dessert - our family tends to gravitate towards chocolate, or torte or lava cakes are big hits.

The other thing we do is let the kids open one present before bed - and it's ALWAYS new pyjamas! There is no longer any surprise - they figured out it was the same thing about the time they were preschoolers. But they still love it, opening it to see what I've picked out and the chance to wear brand new jammies to bed. Of course we've left frilly pink things behind now for flannel sleep pants and t-shirts, but it's more fun now than ever!
Michelle Styles:
One of the big traditions in my family (besides having fondue!) is attending the village crib service (nativity service). The various churches take it in turn to organise.
One memorable year when I happened to be in charge and due to a slight miscommunication, two Marys appeared and it was very nearly fisticuffs over baby Jesus. All was settled amicably when Joseph developed a case of severe stage fright and refused to appear, running shrieking from the church. Both Marys decided to support each other. For some reason, the crib service is now enshrined in village folk lore and I have never been put in charge again... After the crib service, we walk back home singing carols.

Back at home, we have hot mince pies and a cup of something warming while we watch Carols From Kings on the BBC (to make life easier and less frantic I tend to tape Carols from Kings and am able to make the mince pies. But a surfeit of mincemeat one year -- same year as the crib service near disaster as it happens, I now buy the mincemeat rather than making my own).

Jenna Bayley-Burke :

It's good to be a Jew. My holiday memories include heading out to the movies, playing board games and gorging on Chinese food. I used to console my stressed-out friends who were frantic with holiday madness. And then I married a Catholic, so we have to create new traditions for our little Cashew babies.

My husband's family does a traditional Swedish Christmas Eve party - complete with lutefisk (which I believe is a gifilte fish cousin since neither are appetizing), Swedish meatballs, and rut-mus (pronounced 'root moose' or what happens when you ruin perfectly good mashed potatoes with rutebegas). For me and the kids, it means eating lots of the spritz cookies and begging to go to a drive-thru on the way home. Hey, bonding comes in all forms - even the avoidance of bad ethnic food!

Christmas morning is fantastic. Since the kids get most of their gifts during Hanukkah, Santa only leaves them stockings and maybe a present under the tree....if we have one. This year we do, and they'll be very pleased with Santa's choices.

Wishing Everyone a peaceful Christmas and a Joyous Holiday Season!!


  1. Jenna! I didn't know that about hubba bubba. One of my favourite books is a historical with a norwegian family and they served lutefisk. The heroine, not being nordic, turned up her nose.

    I think I could handle the potatoes and turnip though. My kids love turnip/rutabagas! (I know. Weird kids.)

    Merry Christmas to you and Michelle and all our Pink Hearters.

  2. What fun traditions! Thanks for sharing. And thanks for all your wonderful editing and keeping us up and running for the past year. You guys are stars! Have a great holiday season, Donna, Michelle and Jenna!