T’was the Night Before Christmas…

Holiday memories can last a lifetime.

kelley edwardsWe remember our own and pass them on, modify and create new ones with new generations.

Kelley Edwards shares her memories and traditions (some old and new) of Christmas Eve as well as a fun gift idea to be opened the night before Christmas.

Some sweet! SABS


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by: Kelley Edwards

For our family, tradition dictated that we didn't put up our tree until Christmas Eve.

barWell, technically, it was up the eve of Christmas Eve, sitting in the green metal stand, sharing its forest fir smell throughout the house. But we didn't decorate until the night before Christmas.

The night before Christmas is when the decorations would be brought out. My Dad would put the lights on and my siblings and I would go through the ornaments to find our favourites. Some of the balls were quite old, having belonged to my Great Grandmother. There were less and less every year as it seemed just a breath would make them dissolve. But we knew the stories about from whom and where all our tree ornaments came. A few we had made ourselves as crafts in school. It was a mish-mash of antique, modern and crafty.

We didn't completely decorate the tree, as that was Santa's job. And sure enough, Christmas morning we would wake to a shining tree filled with all of our ornaments, garland and tinsel (Oh the tinsel!) glowing on our presents underneath. It always seemed like magic.  But the night before, we partially decorated and then brought out whatever presents we had for each other or were given by aunts and grandmothers. We were allowed to open one present each, and those were always Christmas pajamas. Then, in our new flannels, we would watch A Charlie Brown Christmas and whatever other holiday shows were on the CBC. Bedtime always came too early and we would leave a snack for the Big Guy before trying to complete that horrible task of getting to sleep.

night-before-christmas-bThese memories of Christmas' past are the basis of a tradition I now share with the small children of close friends.

Instead of a Christmas gift, I give "The Night Before Christmas" gift.

The package is wrapped and says "Open Christmas Eve".

Inside the box I place a new pair of Christmas PJ's, some hot chocolate and a Christmas story. And an ornament for the tree.

These are the elements of Christmas eve that I remember.

My hope is that they will have that memory years from now and recall how exciting and magical it was to get ready for Santa on the night before Christmas. KE

While you're here check out more of Kelley's features on SEA AND BE SCENE... Old Fashioned Christmas in Sherbrooke Village, A POSTcard from Washington DCThe Eastern Shore to Sherbrooke, The Perfect Path to Parrsboro, NS and  Wonderful Wolfville


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