Christmas on the 24th or 25th? - ehMac.ca
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Old Dec 23rd, 2009, 02:18 PM   #1
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Christmas on the 24th or 25th?

Curious to know who celebrates Christmas on the 24th. Coming from English stock, I had always assumed that anyone who celebrated Christmas did so on the morning of the 25th. I was shocked as a teen when I moved to Calgary to discover that many of my friends celebrated it on the evening of the 24th. And now, married to a continental, I get to celebrate it twice. Frankly speaking, I've always been of the opinion that having the celebrations on Christmas Eve was a little weird. It renders Christmas Day so anticlimactic for one, waking early on Christmas is one of childhood's defining events. Secondly, if Christmas is or at least was intended to celebrate the birth of Christ, why celebrate it the day before the day. Anyways, just wondering if any members do in fact celebrate and open their presents on the 24th, or we all celebrate on the proper day.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2009, 02:22 PM   #2
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Either and/or both.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2009, 02:30 PM   #3
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I dunno. Eastern churches celebrate Christmas on January 6, which is quite a ways from December 24th or 25th. The Roman feast of Saturnalia, on which Christmas is based, was about a week long and included the winter solstice, which is on or about the 21st of December. So—getting too attached to a particular calendar date is probably not all that important in the grand scheme of things. Like the great prophet Bryans Adams sayeth: there's something about Christmas time that makes you wish Cristmas would never go away.

P.S. On the planet Vulcan, we are always celebrating Hakuna Matata (Vulcan Christmas) on the inside, but we only reveal our feelings about it once every seven years.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2009, 02:35 PM   #4
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The 24th seems to be a Catholic thing. Though all my protestant German friends also celebrate at that time.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2009, 02:42 PM   #5
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Our family is a Dec. 25th celebrator - we do have special "family time" on the evening of the 24th, but we don't do the real celebrating, slash gift giving until the morning of the 25th.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2009, 02:45 PM   #6
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Our family always allows one gift to be opened on Christmas Eve followed by popcorn and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on the big screen.

Christmas is celebrated the morning of the 25th,although since our children moved out and now join us for part of Christmas Day, it can be late afternoon before any gifts are opened.

All our Ukrainian friends celebrate our Christmas on the eve (24th) and open their gifts then as well. Then they get their real Christmas a week later. No gifts, but much good food and drink.

Seems to me there is no hard and fast rule, rather there are family traditions that develop to suit a family's particular need. The way we celebrate is very different from our parents, although the Christmas morning gift opening stuck and our children are busy forming their own traditions that suit them.

Bottom line is it's all good.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2009, 02:50 PM   #7
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German mother, and german background on both sides of my parents. We open all our presents on Christmas Eve. I like the evening, our family gets together at my parents place, its dark out, some years its snowing. We enjoy a good bottle of wine and exchange gifts. The mood of the evening seems just right for me, but we have always done it that way, just in the same way people who have celebrated it on the 25th think its somewhat strange to do it on the 24th.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2009, 02:54 PM   #8
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German mother, and german background on both sides of my parents. We open all our presents on Christmas Eve. I like the evening, our family gets together at my parents place, its dark out, some years its snowing. We enjoy a good bottle of wine and exchange gifts. The mood of the evening seems just right for me, but we have always done it that way, just in the same way people who have celebrated it on the 25th think its somewhat strange to do it on the 24th.
Is the 25th observed at all then? Church going, or anything other than just a normal day? My European in-laws basically use it as a period of recovery from the previous evening's festivities.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2009, 03:07 PM   #9
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Both parents were Dutch, and the gifts are traditionally opened on the evening of the 24th, which seems to be the right atmophere for me, as others have said. Married someone of British extraction, so we've moved it to the morning of the 25th.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2009, 03:13 PM   #10
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Both parents were Dutch, and the gifts are traditionally opened on the evening of the 24th, which seems to be the right atmophere for me, as others have said. Married someone of British extraction, so we've moved it to the morning of the 25th.
I am sensing a trend: perhaps the 25ers are in the minority, that it is just a Britain and her colonies tradition.
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