The religiousness of Christmas Eve is a very important characteristic. For many Christians, making it to the midnight mass or latter activities is compulsory. Especially for those folks who go to church less through the year. The fully filled congregations are an indication of the significance of Christmas church services.
The early evening services are a feature of some churches which helps take in the additional presence, as well as making it convenient for older folks who prefer these sessions to the midnight mass.
Many families express a mix of anxious expectations on Christmas Eve. Shopping necessities, decoration touch ups and last minute plans invoke anxiety. The happiness and enjoyment of Christmas day are thorough expectations.
The idea of receiving gifts on Christmas day keeps the kids ever excited which may keep them from falling asleep and staying up awaiting Santa Claus to come to their tree.
Conventional cultural customs have believed that the holiday or a celebration actually starts after dusk on the previous day itself. Hence, the existence of Christmas Eve celebrations.
The last minute sales of holiday merchandise made by retail stores are an added indication of the significance of Christmas Eve celebrations. Last minute advertisements of special discounts and sales are made to rake in the tardy Christmas customers and impulsive shoppers. Profits are made through the whole of the Christmas season by these methods.
The specialty of Christmas day is the food which is prepared on the previous day itself.
Meat and poultry are marinated in spice and herb mixes, while pies and puddings are baked on Christmas Eve including gingerbread and the rest of the cookies and delicacies. The excitement and active participation involved in preparation of these items are a reason to remember Christmas Eve for a long time.
A number of stores are kept open till midnight or just before. For the foremost time in history, on the Christmas Eve of 1867 the world’s biggest department store branch, Macy’s in New York remained open till midnight. The day after thanksgiving starts Christmas Eve which concludes as the largest unsurpassed shopping period for retail companies.
The conventional customs related to Christmas Eve are significant. To the total enjoyment and amusement of the kids the next morning on Christmas day, the parents have to pretend to be Santa Claus and slip in toys and other gifts beneath the Christmas tree on the night of Christmas Eve.
A famous poem titled ‘An account of the visit of St.Nicholas’ attributed to Clement Clarke Moore expresses the thought of Santa Claus coming down the chimney in order to put gifts for nice boys and girls beneath the Christmas tree. The poem, created in 1822 is now well known as ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’. In this poem, Moore correlates Santa Claus as ‘ a right jolly old elf’ who left Christmas gifts for all the nicely behaving boys and girls at every house he went flying to on his reindeer pulled sleigh.