15 Best Christmas Eve Traditions to Start This Year

15 Best Christmas Eve Traditions to Start This Year

Have a feast of seven fishes

7 fish italian christmas dinnerBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

If you always host a family get-together on Christmas Eve, take a cue from Italians—or Italian Americans—and make it a feast of the seven fishes. Fish was traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve in keeping with the religious custom of fasting from meat on holidays. Which seven fishes? Although some dishes (salted cod, fried smelts) are considered traditional, the fishes aren't set in stone, so feel free to pick your favorites. Dishes may include seafood pasta or pasta with fish sauce, crab dip or shrimp appetizers, and, of course, fried calamari. The feast could even be a potluck, with guests bringing their own choice of fish dish. This is one of the Christmas traditions from around the world you'll want to steal.

Make a Buche de Noel

buche de noel christmas cakemargouillat photo/Shutterstock

For Christmas dessert, get inspired by the French with this whimsical cake that looks like a Yule log, enjoyable for the whole family to create on Christmas Eve. After baking the spongy cake, it gets covered in a buttercream concoction. Then, here's the fun part: The cake gets rolled into a log shape, creating a delectable swirl inside. Cut off the ends, which can then be used as "stumps" on the log, and frost with chocolate frosting; score with a fork to look like bark. Then, the quirky cake (or gateaux in French) can be decorated with meringue or marzipan mushrooms, holly, and other woodland treats. Although it can be complicated, look for an easy recipe to simplify things and focus on the fun. The kids will look forward to it every year.

Visit a nursing home

nursing home during christmasHalfpoint/Shutterstock

For kids, Christmas can be all about getting stuff, so each Christmas Eve, teach the message that a present doesn't even need to be a material object: Your time and company are all that's needed. During Christmas Eve day, start a tradition of gathering family and friends to visit a nursing home or senior care facility, perhaps one where a family member lives. Arrange with the activities director ahead of time to have the residents gathered, or go room-to-room. Then have the kids sing carols, recite a Christmas poem or story, or simply visit with them. The older people, especially those alone on the holiday, will appreciate seeing the little ones; the children will feel the spirit of Christmas by making a difference in someone's life. Be sure to prepare young children for appropriate behavior (no shouting or running) beforehand. Consider putting one of these beautiful holiday gifts that give back under the tree.

15 Best Christmas Eve Traditions to Start This Year, Source:https://www.rd.com/culture/christmas-eve-traditions/

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