Christmas Eve is filled with many and varied traditions. Some families have a special family dinner on Christmas Eve…things that might not normally be considered “Christmas fare.” The Schulenberg tradition was always chili on Christmas Eve. Later, that evolved to include Lasagna. At first, when I married into the family, I thought the idea was totally odd, but we still do it to this day, and I can’t imagine Christmas Eve any other way. Apparently, we aren’t the only ones to make chili either, because I heard a friend at church talking about the same thing today. Let’s be real, chili is always a hit, as is Lasagna.

For many years, my family got to open one gift on Christmas eve, and then everything else was Christmas day. Then, I incorporated the stockings into Christmas eve. Bob’s family always opened their gifts on Christmas, and then my family always did Christmas morning. That worked well, but as the family has grown, my family has a Christmas party a week or two before Christmas, and this year, because we have so many families, we opened ours today. It worked so well, and everyone had a great time.

Some people, like my grandparents, George and Hattie Byer, decided that Christmas eve was the perfect day for a wedding. That wasn’t so uncommon back in 1927, and especially in the years of the “Old West” when travel wasn’t so easy, people would plan weddings around times when family was always gathered for other events. It made sense, because their relatives were already there, so no additional planning was necessary, with the exception of adding a cake and a preacher to the mix. We always thought it was very cool that Grandma and Grandpa celebrated their many years of wedded bliss on Christmas eve.

I believe that how the day is celebrated is not so important as is having your family around to celebrate it. Of course, families can’t always be together to celebrate Christmas eve, or Christmas day, so the main thing is to take plenty of pictures and pass them back and forth. That was, everyone gets to share in the special moments. That’s how love is shown. Merry Christmas Eve everyone!! I pray that your holiday is great.

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