Christmas Eve is inspirational. Christmas Eve is celebrated in many places around the world. The holiday is Christian, however the day is celebrated by many non-Christians as well. The story of Creation from the Book of Genesis says: “And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.” Church services, including Midnight Mass, have historically been held on Christmas Eve due to the evening before symbolizing the first day and the day Jesus Christ was born.
Church, the gathering of friends and family, singing Christmas carols, lights, decorating a Christmas tree, wrapping and exchanging presents, and the sharing of special meals can all be a part of Christmas Eve celebrations. Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Christkind, or Saint Nicholas is said to leave the North Pole to deliver presents to children around the world on Christmas Eve.
Midnight Mass is popular in Poland and in many places throughout the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus. In the Philippines the celebration is actually nine days long. The Church of Scotland has services, but service does not include Mass. Lutherans, modeled on German and Scandinavian traditions, practice Eucharist traditions. There are Nativity plays. Nativities scenes are displayed at churches and homes. Methodists celebrate with Holy Communion with little light or with special light. Eastern churches have celebrations that include fasting and/or feasting.
Christmas Eve is celebrated in different ways throughout the world. Many include religious services and the giving and receiving of presents. Non-religious celebrations and vacation travel are common. Many people travel to visit family. Christmas Day and part of Christmas Eve is often American work holidays. Social events have started for American Jewish communities. From a World War I Christmas truce to an astronaut Genesis televised reading on Christmas Eve in 1968, celebrations vary and can be inspiring. Be inspired! Have a bright day!