Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is celebrated December 24th of each year. Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas Day, a widely celebrated holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a culturally significant celebration for most of the Western world and is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas.

Most households circulate wrapped gifts in the two weeks before Christmas Day. In North America, gifts are most commonly opened on the morning of Christmas Day; however, families may also choose to open all or some of their presents on Christmas Eve, depending on evolving family traditions, logistics, and the age of the children involved. E.g., adults might open their presents on Christmas Eve and minor children open their presents on Christmas morning, or everyone might open their gifts on Christmas morning. In Quebec and among many French-speaking families living in other provinces, the Réveillon is held on Christmas Eve with traditional food such as tourtière, attendance at church, and the opening of gifts. It is also common tradition throughout the United States and Canada, for children to leave a glass of milk and plate of cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve by the fireplace and a carrot for the reindeer. Similar traditions occur in Mexico, also in Central America including El Salvador; however, the name given is, as in Spain, Nochebuena.