What does your family read on Christmas Eve?

by Derwood Hunsdale-Talbot on December 11, 2008

Poor-Gabriella-A-Christmas-StoryMy family has a few truly grand traditions on Christmas Eve: a candlelight service at church, followed by bowling at the bowling alley(hiked-up pants and garish Christmas socks mandatory), breakfast for dinner, and reading The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale.family-reads-christmas-eve I first heard this magical story of three trees dreaming of what they want to be when they grow up at summer camp, and it soon became a Christmas tradition in my family.

Pre-“Three Trees”, when I was little, we used to always read this book about a cow called Poor Gabriella: A Christmas Story. Despite the downer title, I still get a shiver just looking at the cover because it brings back so many special childhood memories-the kind that can’t ever be bought. (I’m not saying that in the cheesy sense. It really is out of print. There is one antique copy on Amazon selling for about $96! Who knew?) I still remember my favorite part of the book, which was the idea that on Christmas Eve animals could talk. I used to get so excited thinking all year of what my wise blue-eyed Siamese cat Ferdinand might say to me, and storing up questions to ask him. He never actually said anything (yet) but that childish excitement I felt thinking about reminds me of what Christmas is truly about. All in all, I love to snuggle in from the concrete and the commercial aspects of Christmas and take turns reading with my family. It’s one of the most festive parts of the holiday for me, and obviously one of the most memorable.

What about your family? Do you have any holiday reading traditions? If so, please share them in the comments below! If not, why not start one this year!

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