Christmas Eve Traditions

The air on Christmas Eve is buzzing with anticipation and excitement. Houses are twinkling from the inside out. Family and friends gather together to share a meal, maybe gifts, and spend time together.

For me, Christmas Eve brings fond memories of being with loved ones. Family members I haven’t seen in ages all under the same roof for one night, eating the same foods year after year, laughing and carrying on in ways that only families can. Christmas Eve truly has a special place in my heart. But what happens when you aren’t able to be with the folks who helped you create those memories? Well then, it’s time to start some new traditions!

As my family and I are new to the area, we are still learning about all that Huntsville has to offer on Christmas Eve. After doing some digging and asking our local friends what they enjoy the most, I was surprised (and pleasantly so) that Huntsville has plenty to do to help create those special Christmas Eve memories with your own family. Here is what I found:

If you like to start your Christmas off by worshipping with a local congregation, Huntsville and the surrounding areas have a plethora of churches offering Christmas Eve services. First Baptist Huntsville has a beautiful Candlelight Service at 5pm that all are welcome to attend. What better way to start your holiday than by remembering the reason we celebrate?

Another Huntsville staple is walking the Tinsel Trail at Big Spring Park. Three hundred trees light up the park for a beautiful evening stroll. Make sure to check the weather so you’ll know whether to wear your parka and boots, or shorts and flip flops. (Gotta love that Alabama weather!) And something new to add when you have enjoyed all of the trees? Try Skating at the Park! They will be open and ready to help you start those new traditions (and possibly make some great stories to tell at future family gatherings…not that I know from experience *wink*).

Appreciate Christmas lights, but want to enjoy them from the comfort of your car? Why not don your favorite Christmas jammies, grab a travel mug of hot cocoa and snuggle up for a ride to a “Find Your Own Christmas Eve Light Show?” There are several neighborhoods in the area that offer some great displays at no cost. One neighborhood that comes highly recommended is the Hampton Valley neighborhood in Owens Cross Roads. In this neighborhood, you will find the Hall Family Christmas Light Show and further down the street are even more houses all aglow, some with especially intricate light displays for your family to enjoy. My two little guys were absolutely in awe! Hughes Road in Madison has some great neighborhoods with lights up too. And we can’t forget about driving through the Galaxy of Lights at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens! This light display is a Huntsville favorite and one my family enjoys. Rocket City Mom has several neighborhoods listed to check out as well.

Being new to any area means making new friends along with creating new traditions. How about doing both and invite other Huntsville newbies or neighbors over for a Cookie Decorating Party? There could even be a “Reindeer Food” Station as an extra fun treat for the kids. Santa and his team will need some fuel for their trip around the world! Think of the lifelong friends and memories that can be made if you simply reach out and invite folks in.

Looking for more? Rocket City Mom is a great resource for Christmas Eve ideas and ideas throughout the year.

However you choose to spend Christmas Eve, may the traditions you start and the memories you make bring you joy on this blessed night and in the years to come.

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