Our Guide to Celebrating Christmas Eve Right
How Does The World Celebrate The Night Santa Arrives?
People are unique, and cultures vary all around the world. Whether you are from Australia or Germany, Mexico or Norway; everyone celebrates Christmas a different way. Christmas is celebrated in so many different ways and it’s wonderful to learn about different Christmas Eve traditions around the world.
Here in Australia, we are used to spending the holiday season outdoors or at the beach. Boxing Day is often spent watching the most important cricket match of the year. Our Christmas Eve and Boxing Day traditions here surprise citizens of other countries, especially those that enjoy a white Christmas. For the same reason, we are interested in other end of year traditions including those cultures that don’t celebrate Christmas at all.
Christmas Eve traditions around the world
Have you ever asked yourself how Christmas Eve is celebrated around the globe? What are the most important things about Christmas to people in other countries, and which day is does their main celebration fall on? Australia has adopted some traditions from other countries and has created a twist to make unique Christmas traditions all of our own.
Americans put out cookies and milk for Santa while Aussies often add carrots for the reindeers on Christmas Eve. Here we open our presents on the morning of Christmas Day while countries such as Canada, Germany and Sweden can’t wait that long and get into it on Christmas Eve by opening their presents early.
While Russians traditionally fast until late in the day, Germans feast on potato salad and sausages on Christmas Eve. Most of the Mediterranean countries have family meals on the evening before Christmas; Spaniards enjoying turkey or lamb roasts, the French enjoying many sweets and the Italians enjoying a traditional Roman Catholic practice of having only seafood on Christmas Eve.
Where China registers the 24th of December as their biggest shopping day of the year, Denmark’s citizens spend their day meal preparing and have their main celebration on Christmas Eve instead. In Norway, families quietly light a candle every day between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, and people in Mexico loudly celebrate with parties and a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s story around the neighbourhood.
A blast from the past - classic Christmas traditions
Most families have their own rituals over the holidays and a practiced routine of who they see and what they do each year. Some of those traditions have gone a little out of fashion and have been replaced by more modern counterparts.
Who remembers cutting down their own Christmas tree from their yard or singing carols to their neighbours? Times when the uncle or dad used to dress up as Santa and surprise the children, and when the whole community put on their very own Christmas Eve Pageant. Why not consider filling actual stockings again, and instead of using toys or impractical gifts fill them with fruit and chocolate?
Many families back in the day used to write a newsletter to their extended family on an annual basis and kept everyone up to date on the ups and downs of their previous year. Regular Facebook updates and blog posts have mostly replaced those traditions, but how cute is the idea! This would be a wonderful way to put a big smile back on Grandma’s face or keep extended family informed, especially those who can’t keep up with new technology. Receiving physical mail at Christmas is a lot of fun.
Start your very own magical Christmas traditions
Once you have moved out of your family home, got married and started your own family, it is your choice how you celebrate Christmas Eve with your children. Follow beloved childhood traditions or create your very own. Young kids especially love knowing what to look forward to each year. Maybe your family will spend Christmas Eve around the pool with sausages on the BBQ, water pistols for the kids, and cold beers for the grownups.
Maybe change things up a little bit every year, so the surprise factor will keep the kids on their toes and make it more fun every holiday season. Ask the kids what they’d like to incorporate in your family Christmas traditions. Use ideas the children might have and invite your extended families to learn about your new traditions.
Christmas Eve in Australia is the very first day of real Christmas celebrations and is the perfect day to get the magic of the holidays started. Why not start the day with writing some last-minute letters to Santa and make sure you get what you wish for? Attend a local church service, invite the neighbours to a Xmas street party, or go to Carols by Candlelight. Some communities even offer stories instead of carols, enjoyed by children of all ages. Walk around the neighbourhood and check out everyone’s beautiful front yard Christmas lights and decorations. Why not make it more fun and individually score each yard and see who everyone’s favourite one was at the end?
Get your snacks ready for Santa
A great reason to start baking early on Christmas Eve and spoil Father Christmas with a little treat and a glass of milk before bedtime. Create a little ritual around putting out Santa’s snacks. You can get inspiration by following some of the European traditions. Consider opening one present on Christmas Eve for example, and take some of the crazy anticipation and stress out straight away. Perhaps choose a gift to open that you know will be used celebrate Christmas Eve, like a gourmet food and wine hamper, a BBQ gift, a family board game, or something to entertain a crowd. Choose a special Christmas gift for each family member to open.
Make that very first day of your family holidays unique and special. Choose a Christmas-themed movie together, whether it’s a classic from your own childhood or a new animated one the kids would love to see. Watch it together with some popcorn, candy canes, and traditional Christmas food on the couch. Family time is what it’s all about and making it stress-free is the most important lesson for us all.
The lead-up to Christmas is often hectic for children and parents alike. With the end of school and many activities filling their days, plus deadlines putting pressure on for the adults. Creating your very own magic is important for everyone’s wellbeing and enjoyment of Christmas Day and the holiday period.
Take a load off and enjoy Christmas with Gifts Australia
Often parents—especially Mums—spend their Christmas preparation standing in the kitchen cooking, cleaning and getting ready for everyone to arrive. Many mouths to feed and people having high expectations can take the fun out of Christmas for mothers around the country.
Treat yourself and your little family by ordering in on Christmas Day. Why not choose one of our gourmet food hampers and just kick back and enjoy. Whether you are home with the kids, your partner, or have friends or family over, there are hampers to suit every size gathering and every taste preference.
Make the most of the few days you all have together and relax a little. Try something new and find a new favourite tradition on Christmas Eve. Our Christmas Hampers come with FREE Australia-wide shipping and in beautiful keepsake boxes. There is something for everyone; luxury gourmet treats right to your doorstep.