• Fri, Dec 13 - 4:00 pm ET

TGI Friday Open Thread: I Need To Know How You Spend Christmas Eve So I Can Steal Your Idea

102492954Hello my babies! So, Christmas Eve!

Sometimes we do something like make fondue and play games and let the kids open one gift from a relative. But some years we go out and I get to put on a nice dress and have some cocktails and a dinner that I don’t cook. I like both ways, and I can’t decide how I want to do things this year. Both my older kids will be with their other parents, so I will only have two kids here for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, which makes me sort of sad because the holidays are more fun with more kids around, but I guess we will just have a late Christmas when they return. Bonus Christmas!

I need to know how you spend your Christmas Eve so I can steal your fun ideas and traditions! I still haven’t finished my shopping or wrapping or completed any proper baking yet, hopefully this weekend.

I love being the editor of Mommyish and finding awesome content to share with you guys but one BIG drawback is I feel like I don’t have enough time to just hang out and yammer with you guys in the comments, and I miss you all. I need updates on everything and everyone. I also need a cocktail and some snacks and I’m sure our beloved Julia needs to know if anyone is having sex on Christmas Eve. 

Spill, spill, spill. Not your drink though.

I also need to know how many mandarin oranges you have eaten today. I am on four.

(Image: getty images)

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  • Paul White

    depends on what happens with the job hunt.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      :( awwwww. Good luck Paul we are all rooting for you!

  • Janok Place

    My “uncle” (my father’s best friend who has spent every Christmas I can remember with us) comes to my house and he takes care of Christmas Eve dinner in exchange for the Christmas Dinner I make. He’s East Indian and a fabulous cook so dinner is always AMAZING. Butter chicken curry, pad thai, etc… always an amazing dish. Then there is usually music (my father is a musician) and a board game. This is only my daughter’s second Christmas, but I’m sure her presence will add some new Christmas cheer!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Holy shit I am coming over

    • Janok Place

      Do it, there’s gin martini’s. Darn baby bump, someone’s gotta drink my share ;) I highly recommend everyone adopt an uncle who cooks things like butter chicken curry to your specifications.

    • Kay_Sue

      We need to trademark the idea of an Adopt An Uncle program. The world needs this.

  • keelhaulrose

    We put on a pot of onion soup early in the morning, then go to the zoo for the day. There’s not much of a crowd, but they’re still doing their light festival. Then when we get home we have a warm meal waiting (and the house smells like onion soup for days)

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I LOVE this idea. I am gonna check out my zoo

  • NicknamesAreDull

    We have a ton of people to see when we’re back home, so Christmas Eve is spent in the car, then we go to Midnight Mass with family.

  • Bunny Lucia

    OH MY GOD EVE BE CAREFUL WITH THOSE LITTLE CUTIE BRAND MANDRIN ORANGES!

    I ate 47 of them one day when I was thirteen. Everyone thought that I was going to die.

    But I think that going out to eat would be lovely.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      ….. you ate 47. srsly?

    • Bunny Lucia

      I think it was 47, might have been 37. Anyways, I ate an entire CostCo Crate full of them and people started acting like I was dying.

    • Alicia Kiner

      did you get really bad heartburn after all that acidy goodness?

    • Bunny Lucia

      Well it was seven or so years ago so I can’t remember all the details, but I don’t recall getting sick that year, and I don’t recall anything bad coming out of the citric acid overload. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t give myself an ulcer

    • Rachel Sea

      13 year olds are invincible.

    • Bethany Ramos

      You obviously had scurvy.

    • Sundaydrive00

      I can’t buy those to often because I do the same and eat them all in one day. They are so good!

  • CMJ

    COME OVER

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I WANNA COME OVER

  • TngldBlue

    We usually go to church with my in-laws & then back to their house for a huge family dinner (read: for a huge family drinking fest). But it’s a pain in the ass because they live far, my husband works so he has to drive straight there and last year there was a snow storm so it took twice as long to get home and I broke a bunch of ornaments trying to put gifts under the tree in a drunken state at 1am. So I’m thrilled we’re staying home this year, hooray! The kid and I will be making her Christmas gifts for the grandparents, going sledding, & then have a nice comfy meal (tbd) followed by a movie, popcorn and sweet, sweet sleep. And my mandarin orange count for today is zero, for the week 5.

  • Leah

    I don’t celebrate Christmas but my tradition is flannel PJs, Chinese food and binge-watching Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas movies.

  • Bethany Ramos

    I freaking love Christmas Eve, and we always do appetizers with ugly Christmas sweaters. I make easy apps that look hard, like super easy baked Brie, so people will compliment me. Ha.

  • Cee

    At my family’s house, we used to have a big gathering, eat tamales and drink strawberry atole. We stay up until midnight watching movies and open gifts. Parents sneak out if they can and put the santa gifts in. Christmas day is more for nuclear fam and leftover tamales.
    Now that Im out to everyone, Im not invited. So Chinese food and an Adventurertime marathon with a drinking game involved.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Oh FFS, when my mom sees this she is going to invite you over. she LOVES you, and you would be welcome at my house any time

    • Cee

      Your mom’s love kinda makes me teary eyed

    • alice

      that’s fucking horseshit that you’re not invited.

      but: your new plans sounds so much better anyway, so… yay?

    • keelhaulrose

      If you’re anywhere near me you have an invite. My family is very open and accepting, if you don’t mind some strangeness.

    • keelhaulrose

      Eta: You would also have to have high level of tolerance for toddler ass, as we’re going through the nudist phase, and it’s footie jammies or naked kid around here.

    • Cee

      LOL Im cool with that as long as we all dont have to go through that phase at this gathering

    • Bunny Lucia

      Aww. I’d invite you, but Jewish Christmases are just sad.

      We watch movies at the cinemas and then either decide to save money and eat at home or go out to Chinese. Although there is a Tex-Mex restaurant open on Christmas this year….

    • alice

      47 Ronin or Justin Beiber’s “Believe” ? :)

    • Bunny Lucia

      American Hustle, of course.

      Although if book Thief will still be in theatres we will see…

    • alice

      noooooooooooooo dooooooooooont.

      saw Book Thief last week and it made me angry. okay, you should see it, but be warned that you might be pretty pissed off afterwards.

      it was emotionally moving, as a piece of art. the cinematography and acting was superb. but at its core, it’s nothing more than a fluffy rose-colored view of nazi germany.

      and, well, that’s not a story that i feel really needs to be told. it’s as if it wants to say “look, not everything was bad!” and “look, war affects us all!”

      like, umm, no.

    • Rachel Sea

      Dude, I’m Jewish, and our Christmases are awesome. We put up the biggest Hannukah bush we can afford, decorate it with whatever we feel like (my tree usually wears a fez or a top hat instead of an angel or star), and either cook a huge feast or order in Chinese food for 20. Plus we clean out the stores of any leftover gelt (at 50% off) so we have a huge stash to play dreidel, while drinking mulled wine made with $2 Chuck and leftover Manischewitz. Like, 90% of the holiday has bubkis to do with the Baby Jee, and was picked from older holiday traditions, so why should the Christians get all the fun?

    • DeanaCal

      I’m a non-denominational Christian/borderline agnostic (and maybe part pagan) – can I come to Jewish Christmas at your house?

    • Rachel Sea

      The more the merrier.

    • Bunny Lucia

      See that’s because you have a big family. It’s just my mother and I, and we don’t see eye-to-eye on anything, so we watch a movie in a dark theatre where we don’t have to talk to each other at all.

      But can I be invited to your house? Lol. I’ll bring some awesome food.

    • Rachel Sea

      No, my family is pretty small, but we invite everyone we know. There are always people who are short on family, or who don’t get on with their relatives. We’re going to be at Disneyland this Christmas, and everyone is welcome to that. Next year though: Christmas, Jew-Style, is on. Bring a kugel.

    • Alicia Kiner

      That sucks. Did someone forget to tell them that the holidays are supposed to be about family?

    • Rachel Sea

      Nuts to them. Wanna come to Disneyland? My wife and I don’t give a shit if you’re a lesbian.

    • Cee

      Im saving my pennies for a pass!

    • Cee

      I forgot to ask, how is Disneyland on Christmas? Ever gone before? As soon as the Christmas decorations go up it is suuuper packed!

    • Rachel Sea

      It’s lovely. We haven’t done it in years because it has gotten so crowded, but it was my wife’s family’s tradition, and she misses it. Plus, my favorite live act (Billy Hill and the Hillbillies) is being retired, and we want to see them one last time.

    • Cee

      You guuuuys! You’re all SO nice!

  • alice

    We want to stay in. So it’ll be: Naked Dance Party. Veuve Clicquot. Chinese Food.

  • Amber Starr

    I’ll be at home with my fiance & the baby… desperately trying to get her to sleep for a few hours so that I am not a pissy sleep-deprived zombie on Christmas day. There will probably be cheap, local wine involved. MMMmmm….

  • beth

    We spend the day at my parents with my extended family and the evening at j’s grandma’s with his. Major tradition is chili and oyster stew for lunch. I am not sure why but who am I to question. I have had no mandarin oranges but now that you mention it…starting my first!

  • LadyClodia

    I’m going to try to start a new tradition this year for Christmas Eve evening. I hope that it works, if not, oh well. I’m getting everyone in our family new Christmas pajamas and I’m going to wrap them up, and I’m getting the boys a new Christmas picture book, and I’m going to put them all along with some hot chocolate mix (and maybe cookies) in a box. Then I’m going to have the box “delivered” to our house, and I’m going to say that it’s a box from Mrs. Claus to help us all get ready for Santa’s visit. The boys are young enough that they should enjoy it. Then after the boys go to bed I’m going to give my husband the lingerie that I bought for me.
    I have not eaten any mandarin oranges today. The last few times I’ve bought them, they’ve gone bad in a few days, which is weird. Last week I bought a bag of tangerines, but they’re really sour. I might juice them and mix them with peach schnapps later.

    • alice

      awesome idea

    • lizinthelibrary

      When we were little, we would beg to open just one present on Christmas Eve. Mom would let us, but she got to pick. It was inevitably the matching pajamas for us to wear the next morning. We eventually wised up.

  • Alicia Kiner

    So Christmas Eve is my family’s big traditional day. Yay for being Ukranian Catholic. big meal with a bunch of ethnic food that I still don’t know how to cook. I keep telling my mom I want to learn, and she keeps cooking it without me :( But we’re having it at my house, so my parents, brother and one of my sisters and her family will be here. So 8 adults and 4 kids. We’ll hang out, do the gift exchange, eat, have a few beverages. I make punch that the kids absolutely LOVE, and the grown ups drink whatever they want. I think I’m going to make some sangria this year. Christmas morning is just me and the hubs and our munchkins. The rest of Christmas day is with his family. It works well. No big family feuds and we all have a great time. The best part is, I get to cook this holiday, which means I don’t have to clean up after!! YAY!

    ETA: no mandarin oranges for me, but I did have a banana. ;)

    • TngldBlue

      One thing I’ll miss about not going to the in-laws for Christmas Eve dinner…homemade varenykys!

    • Alicia Kiner

      I haven’t had homemade ones since I was a little kid. My mom’s church sells them every year, so she buys them there. I honestly don’t know if people make them for the church or if they buy them in bulk and divide them out as a fundraiser. But we’ll be having potato and sauerkraut ones this year. The only non-traditional food we eat is the shrimp. Because hey, no meat, no dairy, but we can have fish?! Why not some shrimp?

  • Pumplestilskin

    Early in the day on Christmas Eve my kids open new pajamas and new sheets, which I put on their beds at some point during the day. Later that night we make hot cocoa, appetizers and popcorn for dinner and munch on cookies while watching every unwatched Christmas special on our DVR and the Garfield Christmas DVD we have . Before bed we read How the Grinch Stole Christmas and my husband and I usually fall asleep watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation or Elf or one of the 85,000 showings of A Christmas Story. I have eaten no mandarin oranges today because my kids eat them all before I can remember they are in there.

    • Rachel Sea

      Oooo, new sheets is a great tradition. I’m totally stealing this idea for next year.

  • candyvines

    We’re spending Christmas with my family this year. We used to get Christmas Eve pajamas every year as kids, but my mom called it quits several years ago. My brother makes an effigy of my dad, which I always look forward to. He’s an amazing artist and they are so grotesque. They’re generally filled with a snack my dad likes. One year he had to break open the stomach to get the treats out, another year he had to pour them out the mouth. Cannot wait to see what it will be this year.

    • Jessica

      OMG my family needs an effigy tradition. I want to see pics of this! :-)

    • candyvines

      This was from four years ago I think.

    • candyvines

      And two years ago.

  • Jessica

    We dress up in our Kohl’s best and drive into Philadelphia and go to Max Brenner’s restaurant, which basically a restaurant based in all things chocolate. It’s also the only time we eat at a restaurant that isn’t handing us a tray or chopsticks. My kids get to order whatever they want, so it’s usually some chocolate banana sandwich with a side of gummy bears and two cups of hot chocolate. They will eat themselves sick, and no one will want to get dessert with me. Then we drive home and look at all the lights, and I have big dreams of a movie night in our new pajamas. But by the time we get home, they have sugar crashed and everyone goes to bed. It’s my favorite night of the year by far!

    • Kay_Sue

      TIL: That I need to visit Philadelphia really, really badly.

  • Kay_Sue

    We do a dinner at my parents house (big dinner on Christmas Eve, finger foods on Christmas, it’s kind of a child-centric house), then a “white elephant” gift exchange that usually ends with entirely too much silly string everywhere. Then everyone opens one present (SPOILER! It’s Christmas pajamas!) and we watch a movie together, usually a Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation.

    Cookies for Santa (he likes no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies best, kiddos), and usually milk, although this year, I’m contemplating switching it out for one of these great Christmas-inspired cocktails I found online…anyone know the current penalty for FIU?

    Sex on Christmas Eve? Always. How else do you pass the time between when the kids go down and fall asleep to when they are actually deep enough asleep for you to smuggle all the shit under the tree without them hearing? :-P

    • Elisa Probert

      Chocolate no bake cookies! I knew I was forgetting something. Oh well, Santa gets gingersnaps with a little extra ginger kick at my house. And pfeffernusse. Those are mostly for me though. He doesn’t need the same ones at EVERY house, right?

    • Kay_Sue

      Exactly. Give the poor man some variety! ;)

  • Rachel Sea

    We do it one of two ways. Usually we open our Christmas jammies, put them on, bake pies, make tacos, and watch Christmas movies while eating the Ugly Pie. When we are flush we go to Disneyland, stay in a hotel, open our Christmas jammies, try them on, (and then we strip them off each other, because vacation sex, Julia), put up stockings, and pass out watching a Christmas Story on TV.

    I am eating all the mandarin oranges in the world today. I am sorry/not sorry if there are none left for anyone else, but I swear my habit is the only thing keeping the office plague at bay.

    • Jessica

      I would love to take my kids to Disney at Christmastime. I took one of them to the Disney store recently, and I’ve gotta say, it’s really not the same!

    • Rachel Sea

      It’s madness, because the secret is out and it’s going to be packed, but we’re meeting up with friends whose respective kids are with the other parent for the day so they won’t be lonely, and we needed to make one more trip before our favorite act is retired on January 6th.

  • pixie

    I’ll probably be going to the boyfriend’s aunt’s house where there’s a gift exchange game, tons of food, and alcohol.

    In other news, I’m going to Cuba tomorrow for a week. Yay warm sunshine and no snow! I’ll miss you guys :)

  • lizinthelibrary

    Growing up we were super musical and super involved in the church music program. One member of the family or another was always performing in each of the four xmas eve services. Since we lived 2 blocks from the church, other musicians would come over between services for snacks and relaxatin or we would do that in the back rooms of the church. After finishing up the 11pm service, we wouldn’t get home until post midnight. When we were teens we would spend hours opening gifts, go to bed at 3am, sleep in and having a lazy christmas day of cooking and board games as a family. It was good times.
    I’m newly married and neither of us are in musical slavery to a church. We are still working on Christmas Eve traditions.

  • Sara

    I personally think my family has the market cornered on best Christmas Eve tradition ever. We eat appetizer type foods (cheese dip, shrimp dip, chicken wings, etc.), drink cheap wine, pink squirrels and grasshoppers and play bingo for smallish gifts. Usually under $3, but things you need around the house. Think scrubby gloves, two buck chuck, candy, candles etc. This year we had to move it due to several of us in the medical field being on call, but still our tradition rocks.

  • Elisa Probert

    I have eaten one Mandarin orange today. Last one, poor hubby who brought them home only got to eat all the rest!

    I have no idea what we’re doing on Christmas Eve this year. The past few years we’ve gone to my parents house to eat a lot of junk like cheese and crackers and dried meats, and cookies cookies cookies. Pair this with super-sappy Christmas movies and buckets of eggnog and hot cocoa. Not a horrible way to spend the evening.

    I am sort of toying with hanging some mistletoe over the bed…wink wink nudge nudge. That’s a new tradition I bet my husband would get behind! LOL

  • bigger than the sound

    I bake cookies for Santa with the kids during the day and then make them their favorite dinner (this year, chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese). The kids put out Santa cookies and milk using a special plate and cup set my mom bought when the oldest was a baby. They go to bed and hubs and I wrap and build the gifts I ordered from Amazon. This year though, I’m going to talk about because whiskey and Friday, we are divorcing and he has moved out. It will probably go the same way but he will leave after building and wrapping and I will cry for a little bit and there will be no sex. Maybe I will paint my nails and take a bath.

    • bigger than the sound

      Even thought that was kinda a sad comment above, I’m pretty pumped that I am comment 69.

    • chickadee

      Take a candlelit bath with wine and Christmas music. Do not allow yourself to wander down old Christmases.

      Alternatively, light a billion candles and turn on the Christmas lights. Open a bottle of sparkling wine and watch Christmas movies like A Christmas Story with no romantic bits.

      Actually, you should just come over. My extended family will all still be wrapping gifts and drinking, and four of us have been through divorces so we know all the pitfalls.

    • bigger than the sound

      Thank-you.

  • DatNanny

    My family loves to party, and Christmas Eve is our bash of the year. The cocktails flow and the awkward/hilarious stories are told for years and years.

    Wine. Wine is the secret to Christmas Cheer, Eve.

    Oh, also quiches. That’s always a staple. We make a bunch of varieties, they’re simple, and we have leftovers through the post-holiday haze. And they’re great hangover food.

    My family has a tradition of everyone getting one Christmas Eve gift, which are new pajamas to wear on Christmas morning.

    My partner and I also started our own tradition of opening our gifts to each other on Christmas Eve, basically so we can both spend Christmas morning relaxing with our own parents and siblings, then be together in the afternoon on Christmas. Neither family feels left out, neither of us feel uncomfortable. It will change when we have kids and have ‘our own’ Christmas to do, but it’s nice to have our special time on Christmas Eve in the meantime.

  • Kelly

    We’re going to drink, watch Christmas horror movies and have a gingerbread house decorating contest with prizes.

  • tSubh Dearg

    As my family is half Danish, we celebrate Danish Christmas on Christmas Eve. But we have a whole ritual to the day now.
    First myself and my sister go into the city centre with my dad to get last minute stocking stuffers and books for my mum (this started years ago when we were both really small, I think mainly so that we would be out of her hair for a couple of hours). We go in really early, have a great breakfast, do our shopping and then we meet up with friends (and my mum and myself and my sister’s partners) in a central hotel and have a glass of champagne or something similar.
    Then we head home, have a sandwich and wrap gifts. I also help out with decorating the dinner table and cooking our Christmas Eve feast.

    When dinner time comes we start off by eating Risengrød, a rice porridge, with cinnamon, butter and sugar – it sounds weird but it is delicious! In each bowl of porridge, the Nisser (kind of like a brownie or house elf who also helps out Santa) hides a whole almond. If you find your almond you get a gift from the Nisser (usually a box of chocolates). In most households there is only 1 almond to find in the whole family and surprisingly it is often found by one of the younger members of the household, the Nisser are clever like that. Our local Nisser is very generous, we think it’s because he/she was transplanted to Ireland from Denmark.
    Our main dinner this year is going to be quail cooked with pear and pancetta. I cannot wait to eat it! We usually have this dish with pheasant instead of quail but I am looking forward to something new. There will also be mashed or roasted potatoes, some sort of vegetable that my fiance likes to eat and red cabbage.
    After we’ve stuffed our faces, my dad will light the candles on the Christmas tree and we will sing a couple of carols (one of which will be in Danish) and read the Christmas story to remind ourselves why we are celebrating – this is probably our most religious act of the entire year. Then we sit down and open some presents, especially those from Danish relatives and we will also open all the cards that were sent from the relatives and my dad will translate them for us.
    My parents will probably then go to midnight service and myself, my fiance and my sister will do a bit of tidy up and make sure nothing is going on fire from the approximately 1 million candles my mum will have lit.
    Then we go to bed and get up and do another giant dinner the next day for Irish Christmas!