Christmas Eve

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Wikipedia Night Before Christmas
Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart... filled it, too, with melody that would last forever. - Bess Streeter Aldrich.
Buying the Christmas tree. ... Why can't they make Christmas presents to fit the wrapping paper? BEN. ... Mr. Hertzog and his wife are checking up on an old economic theory that on Christmas Eve you can buy any tree in town for a dollar. -

Christmas Eve is the evening or day before Christmas Day, the widely celebrated annual holiday. It occurs on December 24 in Western Christianity and the secular world, and is considered one of the most culturally significant celebrations in Christendom and Western society, where it is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day. Christmas celebrations have long begun on the night before the holiday, due in part to the Christian liturgical day starting at sunset, a practice inherited from Jewish tradition and based on the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis: "And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day." Since tradition holds that Jesus was born at night (based in Luke 2:6-8), Midnight Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve, traditionally at midnight, in commemoration of his birth.

Quote[edit]

  • Clay: What's the FBI doing here on Christmas Eve?
    Parrish (Chuckling, opening the briefcase, taking out papers.): I could ask that, too. At seven o'clock tomorrow morning, one hundred and eighty-five miles from here, four children — all under the age of twelve — expect me to come down a chimney.
    • Robert Ardrey in: "Sing Me No Lullaby: A Play in Three Acts", p. 36.
  • A government snooper in my house on Christmas Eve! I could spit! This is my property! I have a deed! I have something that says! CLAY. Are you going to put Mike through to New Zealand? CHRIS. What is it? Did Mike say something on the Radio.
    • Robert Ardrey in: "Sing Me No Lullaby: A Play in Three Acts", p. 42.
  • The office was closed in a twinkling, and the clerk, with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat), went down a slide on Cornhill, at the end of lane of boys, twenty times in honour of its being Christmas-eve, and then ran home to Candem Town as hard as he could pelt, to play at blindman's-buff
Christmas Tree Lane. - I watched the tall plain trees that ring three sides of it being pruned in what seemed a crazily brutal way ....
Then, magically, for Christmas Eve and the formal opening with its speeches and music, the tall trees turned into arbres-de-Noel, twinkling with thousands of little lights the color of champagne. - M. F. K. Fisher.
  • After Christmas, after everyone had gone, he sat down in Helens study and reread the first chapter of Philosophy Made Simple. He was trying to figure out what had happened to him on Christmas Eve. He was looking for a passage in which Uncle Siva –TJ’s uncle Siva – quote Socrates comparison of the soul to a bird, and when he found it: he underlined it, for man who beholds the beauty of this world will sometimes be reminded of true beauty, and his wings will begin to grow and he will desire to spread his wings and fly upward, and because he gazes upward, like a bird, and cares nothing for the world below, he will be considered mad.
The grate had been removed from the wide overwhelming fireplace, to make way for a fire of wood, in the midst of which was an enormous log glowing and blazing, and sending forth a vast volume of light and heat; this I understood was the Yule-log, which the Squire was particular in having brought in and illumined on a Christmas eve, according to ancient custom. - Washington Irving.
  • The grate had been removed from the wide overwhelming fireplace, to make way for a fire of wood, in the midst of which was an enormous log glowing and blazing, and sending forth a vast volume of light and heat; this I understood was the Yule-log, which the Squire was particular in having brought in and illumined on a Christmas eve, according to ancient custom.
  • The story had held us, round the fire, sufficiently breathless, but except the obvious remark that it was gruesome, as, on Christmas Eve in an old house, a strange tale should essentially be...”
Sicilians traditionally celebrate Christmas Eve with a "Feast of Seven Fishes" which was historically served after a 24 hour fasting period. Although pre-Christmas fasting is not a popular custom still practiced by Italian-Americans, many still enjoy a meatless Christmas Eve feast.
On Christmas Eve, a young boy with light in his eyes
Looked deep into Santa’s, to Santa’s surprise
And said as he sat on Santa’s broad knee,
"I want your secret. Tell it to me.".... - Santa.
  • On Christmas Eve, a young boy with light in his eyes
    Looked deep into Santa’s, to Santa’s surprise
    And said as he sat on Santa’s broad knee,
    "I want your secret. Tell it to me."
    He leaned up and whispered in Santa’s good ear
    "How do you do it, year after year?"
    "I want to know how, as you travel about,
    Giving gifts here and there, you never run out.
    How is it, dear Santa, that in your pack of toys
    You have plenty for all of the world’s girls and boys?
    Stays so full, never empties, as you make your way
    From rooftop to rooftop, to homes large and small,
    From nation to nation, reaching them all?"
    And Santa smiled kindly and said to the boy,
    "Don’t ask me hard questions. Don’t you want a toy?"
    But the child shook his head, and Santa could see
    That he needed the answer. "Now listen to me,"
    He told that small boy with the light in his eyes,
    "My secret will make you sadder and wise.
    "The truth is that my sack is magic inside
    It holds millions of toys for my Christmas Eve ride.
    But although I do visit each girl and each boy
    I don’t always leave them a gaily wrapped toy.
    Some homes are hungry, some homes are sad,
    Some homes are desperate, some homes are bad.
    Some homes are broken, and the children there grieve.
    Those homes I visit, but what should I leave?
    "My sleigh is filled with the happiest stuff,
    But for homes where despair lives toys aren’t enough.
    So I tiptoe in, kiss each girl and boy,
    And I pray with them that they’ll be given the joy
    Of the spirit of Christmas, the spirit that lives
    In the heart of the dear child who gets not, but gives.
    "If only God hears me and answers my prayer,
    When I visit next year, what I will find there
    Are homes filled with peace, and with giving, and love
    And boys and girls gifted with light from above.
    It’s a very hard task, my smart little brother,
    To give toys to some, and to give prayers to others.
    But the prayers are the best gifts, the best gifts indeed,
    For God has a way of meeting each person’s need.
    "That’s part of the answer. The rest, my dear youth,Is that my sack is magic. And that is the truth.
    In my sack I carry on Christmas Eve day
    More love than a Santa could ever give away.
    The sack never empties of love, or of joys
    `Cause inside it are prayers, and hope. Not just toys.
    The more that I give, the fuller it seems,
    Because giving is my way of fulfilling dreams.
    "And do you know something? You’ve got a sack, too.
    It’s as magic as mine, and it’s inside of you.
    It never gets empty, it’s full from the start.
    It’s the center of light, and love. It’s your heart.
    And if on this Christmas you want to help me,
    Don’t be so concerned with the gifts `neath your tree.
    Open that sack called your heart, and share
    Your joy, your friendship, your wealth, your care."
    The light in the small boy’s eyes was glowing. "Thanks for your secret. I’ve got to be going." "Wait, little boy," said Santa, "don’t go.
    Will you share? Will you help? Will you use what you know?"
    And just for a moment the small boy stood still,
    Touched his heart with his small hand and whispered, "I will".

The Everything Family Christmas Book: Stories, Songs, Recipes, Crafts, Traditions, and More[edit]

Christmas Eve: The day before Christmas Day is one of great anticipation, and is marked in many countries and cultures. The most popular Christmas Mass for Roman Catholics is the Midnight Mass, a tradition that began in the early 400s. Midnight mass is traditionally held at midnight, as Christmas Eve becomes Christmas Day, because it believed that Jesus was born at midnight. In today’s churches, both Catholic and Protestant, services may be held at midnight or earlier, incorporating carols and the Nativity.
Christmas Eve is a time when families begin to gather to celebrate Christmas Day often traveling to be with each other, and enjoying a Christmas Eve supper together....

Yvonne Jeffrey in: The Everything Family Christmas Book: Stories, Songs, Recipes, Crafts, Traditions, and More, Adams Media, 17 September 2008.

  • In Spanish and Latin countries, Midnight Mass is referred to as the Mass of the Rooster, after the legend that says the only time a rooster ever crowed at midnight was at the moment of Christ’s birth.. The Polish Midnight Mass is called Mass Pasternak (Mass of the Shepherds), in commemoration of the shepherds present in accounts of the first Christmas.
    • In: p. 35.
  • ...the night of Christmas Eve is also when Santa Claus and his many variants are believed to travel the world, leaving behind presents. Although in many countries people open presents on Christmas morning, some open them on Christmas Eve—this includes Canada's [[Quebec province, as well as Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Portugal.
    • In: p. 35-36.
  • Christmas Eve is a time when families begin to gather to celebrate Christmas Day often traveling to be with each other, and enjoying a Christmas Eve supper together. Historically, it was also the day when Christmas trees and decorations were set up; however, the festive garlands are now often in place weeks beforehand.
    • In: p. 36.

Laughter, the Best Medicine: Holidays: Ho, Ho, Ha! The Merriest Jokes, Quotes, and Cartoons[edit]

Why does Santa Claus come down the chimney on Christmas Eve? Because it soots him. - Christopher Walter

Editors of Reader's Digest Laughter, the Best Medicine: Holidays: Ho, Ho, Ha! The Merriest Jokes, Quotes, and Cartoons, Penguin, 11 October 2012

  • As a new minister, I wanted my first holiday services to be both attractive and meaningful. The Christmas Eve service included a candle lighting ceremony in which each congregant lit a candle from his neighbor's candle. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the congregation sat hushed, pondering the beauty of the moment. I rose to announce a hymn and was taken completely by surprise when laughter broke out in response to my invitation ‘Now that everyone is lit, let us sing joy to the world.
    • In: p. 15.
  • One snowy, stormy Christmas Eve, this perfect couple was driving their car along a winding road when they noticed someone at the side of the road in distress. Being a perfect couple they stopped to help. There stood Santa Claus with a huge bundle of toys. Not wanting to disappoint any children on the eve of Christmas, the perfect couple loaded Santa and his toys into their vehicle. Soon they were driving along delivering the toys. Unfortunately, the driving conditions deteriorated and the prefect couple; and Santa had an accident. Only one of them survived. Question: Who survived? The perfect woman survived. She is the only one who existed in the first place. Every one knows that there is no Santa Claus and there is no such thing as a perfect man.
    • In: p. 64.
  • In preparation for a Christmas Eve performance, some of the members of our church were rehearsing a group of carols. All went well except for one song, which sounded slightly off. After listening carefully I finally located the source of trouble. One girl, who came from the Deep South, had been singing: “O lil' ol' town of Bethlehem...
    • Tena Mohaupt in: p. 77.
  • Why does Santa Claus come down the chimney on Christmas Eve? Because it soots him.
    • Christopher Walter in: p. 107.
  • Oh, joy, Christmas Eve. By this time tomorrow, millions of Americans, knee deep in tinsel and wrapping paper, will utter those heartfelt words. “Is this All I got?”
  • Who is the good natured, plump man who goes all over the world on Christmas Eve working miracles?” Our ten year old son answered, “Henry Kissinger!” —
    • Judith B. Ayers in: p. 171.

Christmas in Pennsylvania: A Folk-cultural Study[edit]

It was he who, in living flesh and blood, a great sheepskin coat covering him and an immense white beard bushing his stern old face, appeared on Christmas eve in the old town and gave the children their Christmas gifts, unless they had been very very naughty.

Alfred Lewis Shoemaker Christmas in Pennsylvania: A Folk-cultural Study, Stackpole Books, 2009

  • We have frequently seen gangs of young fellows parading the streets of a Christmas eve, with their shirts outside of their lower garments, and their faces blackened.over.They would visit homes, and after going through a series of “mumming” as it was called thay would put the master of the place under contribution of money or drink and go somewhere else to go through the same foolery.
    • The Philadelphia Public Ledger, 25 December 1844, recorded one of the speeches used by the early Christmas, in p. 25.
  • It was he who, in living flesh and blood, a great sheepskin coat covering him and an immense white beard bushing his stern old face, appeared on Christmas eve in the old town and gave the children their Christmas gifts, unless they had been very very naughty.
    • From the Philidelphia North American of 21 December 1913 in: p. 116.
  • Two or three boys of the community where she lived, would dress up in the oldest rags they could find on Christmas Eve. They would also blacken their faces, get a big stick or whip, and then with their pockets full of nuts and candy they would raom from house to house in the community on Christmas Eve
    • Robet F. Fehr in Franklin and Marshal folklore (1950), in: p. 117.
  • ...one of those scenes that Christmas eve alone presents. The general jollity, indeed, was of a character that on no other night would be tolerated. Not that the scene was one of disorder, but that the boisterous jocundity manifested by the people in the streets was such as on any other occasion would have been out of place Calathumpian bands and masquerades were moving about during the whole evening, and the clock struck twelve considerably before the streets were quiet.
    • From the Philadelphia North American, 25 December 1866, in: p. 12.

External links[edit]

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