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Reader Stories: How Does Your Family Celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

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In most Christian and Orthodox Christian Eastern European households, Christmas Eve is as special as Christmas Day. The house is cleaned from top to bottom, a tree or tree branch is brought into the home to be decorated with fruit, nuts and handmade paper ornaments. Straw is spread under the dinner table to represent the Christ Child's manger. A special meatless dinner, consisting of up to 13 courses, is prepared. Carols are sung, fortunes are told, and the Baby Jesus is welcomed to the world at a solemn midnight Mass. Share your memories of how you celebrated or still celebrate Christmas the Old World way.

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Give other readers a sense of what your family was like. Who would be sitting at the table?
Describe some of the foods your family served for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and any traditions surrounding them.

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Do you still keep the old traditions alive? Why?

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