What was Christmas Eve like when you were growing up? When I lived with my mom, it was considered just as important as Christmas. We made and put out cookies for Santa. We got to open one present from family before we went to sleep to dream of Santa and his reindeer. It had its own ritual, so much so that I genuinely thought Christmas was a two day holiday. That is, until I moved in with my dad and a step family.
There were absolutely, under no circumstances, no presents one could open on Christmas Eve. This rigidity was apparently as important a ritual to them as mine, it precluded mine, and that was probably when I started to dread Christmas. Instead of being a time to think of what I had, it became a reminder of what had been taken away. There was no place for my Christmas in their Christmas. The way I decorated, the way I wrapped, the way I shopped, the way I celebrated.
Since then, I've done my own things to forge rituals around the Christmas experience that were a combination and culmination of my years of Christmases-- the ones where I was sick, the golden ones I started spending with my grandparents (I always miss my Grandfather most around now) and the ones I chose to spend alone in my adulthood, or reeling in Scotland, or with the family of my choice-- mostly Emily & Tigerlily.
My bosses have reflected this roller coaster thought process about the importance of Christmas Eve. Today, for example, we're going in for a bit, mostly just to go over our game plan for the new year and eat. Then my dad and I are going to watch Gone with the Wind with Kade & James. But most of my bosses have been like my stepmother (Scrooge). I've spent most of them at work. All day.
What about you? Do you have a separate/equal Christmas ritual? Do you have to work?
In case you do, here are some other Christmas Eve treats:
-Neil de Grasse Tyson gives us some Science of Santa