Christmas eve, December 24
Obviously, most people already have a Christmas Eve tradition. Here are a few suggestions out of a possible million:
- Use some of the resources on the tabs below (carols, reflections, scripture, literature, etc.)
- Have dinner together and go to a church service.
- Go to an evening church service in a denomination you're not familiar with (Christmas Eve is the best time for religious tourism, though obviously if your own church is doing something, make that your first priority).
- Set up the nativity scene or decorate the Christmas tree on this night.
- Watch a Christmas special together on television and drink something warm. Afterwards, discuss what the special got right about Christmas and what it got wrong.
- Listen to Handel's Messiah (or, even better, go to a performance).
- Listen to an old-timey radio Christmas special. I recommend Dorothy Sayers' The Man Born to be King, if you can find it. There are others as well, such as this 1939 version of A Christmas Carol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gJ3jINcTR0
- Go caroling with friends or family.
- Wait and watch for the first star to appear in the sky. When it does, begin Christmas dinner. Spend the rest of the evening telling stories around the fire. (From Poland)
- There are more Christmas traditions belonging to different cultures, even within a single country. Talk with an older relative about how they or their parents grew up celebrating Christmas and recover that tradition (this may, of course, take some planning ahead of time).
- A small purchased gift.
- If you've gotten pajamas, slippers or a stuffed animal for someone, now might be the time to give it to them.
- NO CASH OPTION: Write a Christmas carol or play featuring the person, illustrate it, and give it to them.