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Christmas Eve

The holiday season has a certain magical quality. As the days pass, the anticipation builds until Christmas Eve comes – then it’s almost too much to bear! Who can forget the feeling of time moving so slowly throughout the day and the night that seemed to last forever? For children and adults alike, December 24th brings home the big day is about to arrive, making the gathering of family special as the rest of the world is pushed aside. With that in mind, what can you do to make the time together special? Here are a handful of ideas to help you enjoy every moment from the minute everyone gets home:

Cook and/or Bake

Depending on the size of your family, preparing a Christmas dinner might end up requiring more than one person. No matter how good the chef is in your family, having some extra hands in the kitchen is always welcome when a feast is coming together. Even if you aren’t making a huge meal, you will want at the very least to have sweets available for Santa, right? No matter how you slice it, this is an ideal opportunity to make memories and get work done at the same time. If you are icing sugar cookies, the family can gather around the table and talk as they let their creative juices flow.

Sing Christmas Carols

The great thing about being in the privacy of your own home is that your neighbors won’t hear you sing! Have a seat by the fire and let everyone take turns picking a favorite, then belt it out to the best of your ability. If you have musicians in the family, all the better – you can turn the gathering into a mini-concert where instruments are played as each person throws their voice into the carol. In some families, this tradition has become so integral to their celebrations they schedule dinner early so they can sing all night. Having trouble thinking of more than a handful of tunes? Search the web for ideas and print off just enough so each sheet will have to be shared by more than one person.

Share Memories

Though you will probably spend some time doing this in the midst of other activities, setting aside a period of time for bringing up favorite experiences from Christmases past is a great way to exchange some laughs and remember loved ones who are far away. Start by taking turns, allowing each person to tell a story. You’ll probably find everyone then begins to add their own words to the memory, sharing what they found humorous or heartwarming about it.

Read the Nativity Story

After several weeks of hustling all over town in search of the perfect gift, picking up groceries for the festive feast, and attending office parties or friendly get-togethers, reconnecting with the reason for the season is important. Appearing near the beginning of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the story of Jesus’ birth is relatively short – which makes it that much easier to maintain children’s attention amidst the eagerness associated with a visit from the Jolly Old Elf. This allows your family to recall (if only for a few minutes) presents aren’t what is really important, love is.

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