How did you and your family spend Christmas Eve?
When I was a girl, Christmas Eve was spent getting ready for the next day. I don't really remember anything specific about the day or the evening, probably because the big excitement of St. Nicholas coming had already passed, on December 6th. That's not to say I wasn't excited; there were always large boxes full of presents from my grandparents and other relatives in Michigan, waiting to be opened the next morning.
While we had lived in Alaska, my parents had become friendly with the clergy from various denominations in the area, and we usually stayed at the Catholic rectory in Ketchikan whenever we had to stay overnight for business or medical appointments. Several times, my parents hosted ecumenical services with Catholics, Presbyterians, and Pentecostals, and we often attended mass at one of our Catholic friends' homes whenever the priest came over from Ketchikan. Once we moved to Washington, we "adopted" an elderly couple who were neighbors of ours as surrogate grandparents. Their children lived too far away to drive them into town for Midnight Mass, so we would always take "Grandma Anne" with us. I always loved the beautiful ritual of the mass, the carols of the choir in the loft behind us, and the light shining through the stained glass out into the snow. My favorite part was the finale with the Hallelujah Chorus as everyone exited the church, and it always seemed to echo through my head as we drove back home later that night, up the snowy mountain roads.
This post is a part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" meme created in 2007 by Thomas and Jasia. You, too, can write your own Christmas memories, either for your personal journal or blog. Visit Geneabloggers to participate and to read others' posts on these topics.