Christmas Eve Traditions
Christmas Eve has to be one of my most favourite days. I absolutely love it. From the time I wake up to anxiously going to sleep (even as an adult, I still don’t sleep much on Christmas Eve night – just like when I was a child). Do you have Christmas traditions?
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”… Luke 2: 8-12
For many years now, we have done our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. My husband and I wake up and begin to get our turkey prepared. We follow a Jamie Oliver recipe that is hands down one of the best turkey recipes I have tried. I then prep all the other side dishes while the turkey is patiently waiting to be set inside the oven.
Jamie Oliver Turkey Recipe
- First, you start with making the Christmas Turkey Flavoured Butter which you will put between the skin and the turkey breast. You will need:
- 1 x 250 g pack of butter or margerine
- 75 g dried cranberries finely chopped
- a few sprigs of Thyme – leaves picked
- a few sprigs of Rosemary – leaves picked
- a few sprigs of Sage – leaves picked
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 clementine – the zest
- Mix it all up and insert between the skin and breast.
- Sprinkle outside of turkey with ginger.
- Stuff the turkey with home-made stuffing.
- Close up turkey around stuffing using Rosemary springs and metal prongs.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees, then turn back to 350 degrees when you put the turkey in – covered. Cook 20 minutes per pound. In last 45 minutes remove lid and baste frequently to achieve that golden brown look. The turkey is cooked once the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees.
Side Dishes Include
- Brussel Sprouts
- Mashed Potatoes
- Stuffing (my mom’s recipe – stale bread bits, cooked sausage/onion/celery in 3 Tbsp of margarine, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, chicken broth. Should be barely moist.)
- Sliced Carrots and Parsnips (a tradition in my husband’s family)
By early afternoon, the house is smelling delicious.
By now, my husband has prepared a fire in our backyard which we all go out for a bit before getting ready for church. We drink hot chocolate and get pictures around the crackling fire all while having some good ‘ol family laughs.
Heading back inside, we all start to get ready for Christmas Eve church service. This service is by far one of my favourite (I know I know.. you aren’t supposed to like church more on any certain day, but I do love Christmas Eve service). Singing Silent Night while the room is dimly lit with candle light is such a special moment that it often brings tears to my eyes.
Once home, I pull out the Christmas Eve gifts – new pajama’s for everyone. We all come downstairs donning our new Christmas PJ’s and sit around the fireplace reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and ending the night watching It’s a Wonderful Life.
My children are basically adults now, but they still put cookies out for Santa and they still go to bed before us on Christmas Eve while my husband and I stay awake longer and quietly arrange gifts all the while sugar plums dance in their dreamy heads.
The peacefulness and stillness of Christmas Eve is forever engrained in my heart. There is such a special moment every Christmas Eve that I cannot explain fully, but all I know is that my heart is filled up to the rim when it happens.
Do you have any special traditions you’d like to share? If so, click the button below and share them with me. I’d love to hear all about them.