The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

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December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

It was the day before Christmas, and all over the world, people are wondering whether to celebrate the event tonight, or on the actual day.

Readers of the Herald-Banner who posted on our Facebook page Saturday were split over the issue, with many choosing to do a little bit of both.

Still, there are those who refused to have their opinion swayed.

“Christmas day!” proudly proclaimed Michelle Hockett.

“Has always been a tradition for my family to do presents on Christmas Eve!!” came the opposite view from Tammie Arroyo.

Not that we wanted to start a debate or anything, either one is fine with us.

When to open the presents was just one of several Christmas traditions our fans shared.

Nancy Long Robertson, for instance, explained her children had to perform before the unwrapping ceremony took place.

“The kids have to sing ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ before they can come down the hall to the tree,” Robertson said. “And they are all grown now. So funny!”

Sue Dooley Luhn said her family’s Christmas celebration still centers on one area church.

“When I was growing up, we always had my brothers, and my sister and their families at Mother and Dad’s house on Christmas Eve after we attended Christmas Eve service at Prairie Valley Baptist Church,” Luhn said. “We opened gifts to each other then. As our families grew, we had about 30 or more people there. My boys always got to open a present Christmas Eve morning. They knew it was always something new to wear to the church service so there really wasn’t too much excitement there! We went to my in-laws on Christmas day for food and presents. My husband passed away in 2010, but my boys, my daughter in law, grandson. and my mother in law still attend the Candlelight service at Prairie Valley and then come back to my house for a meal and opening gifts.”

Many of those who responded said their procedure involved opening one present on Christmas Eve, often pajamas or the like, with the majority of the presents opened Christmas morning. However, the process can get a bit more complicated if there is also a birthday to be celebrated at the same time.

Such is the case with Lisa Ray.

“My birthday is on the 24th and one of my happiest memories was picking a present from under the tree to open for my B-Day,” Ray said. “My family didn’t have a lot of money but I didn’t even notice. I would walk around the tree for the longest time. Then once I finally decided I would rip it open.”

Sometimes, the decision is a case of a happy compromise.

Kim Weishaupt explained, “I opened Christmas Eve and Bob opened Christmas Day so when we got married 22 years ago, we halfed it out. We go to my parents house and take some to open on Christmas Eve. Then Christmas Morning we open the rest at our house! Love that we worked it out to do both our traditions.”

Ray Allen noted these days Christmas is whenever everybody can get together, and his family celebrated over the weekend.

“Besides, it’s not about the presents, It’s about the Presence,” Allen said.

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