Day 12 of Just Joy's Christmas Traditions Countdown:
About the time I was in high school, my parents started hosting a Christmas Eve open house for some of the extended family. Over the years it became a much loved and looked forward to evening. Mom spent weeks cooking and baking for it. A few days before, my dad would start decorating their downstairs family room. He loved lights (I obviously inherited that from him) and would string them around the walls and windows making the room quite magical. Our whole family would crowd into this small room and have a wonderful meal followed by the littles acting out the Nativity, and then a talent program. There was a small gift for each person to open and then we would quiet things down by singing a few Christmas carols. Then the real magic happened! As we quietly sang Silent Night, there was suddenly the sound of beautiful sleigh bells bouncing past each of the windows. Everyone came to complete silence as we listened to those bells. At least for about three seconds. That's how long it took for all the kids to charge up the stairs to try and catch a glimpse of Santa's sleigh! Of course, they were never able to quite make it in time! Santa still does a low fly-by over our house each year and it's still just as magical!
What Christmas Eve traditions do you have?