It's Christmas Eve!
Posted 24/12/2013 by BrightHouse Team
The tree is twinkling with lights and ornaments, the stockings are hanging on the mantelpiece, and the big day itself is very nearly here!
Father Christmas is making the his preparations for the night ahead, polishing the sleigh, grooming the reindeer, and presumably lining his stomach with something to soak up all that sherry.
The fridge is filled to absolute capacity with all manner of treats and delights, including a bottle of bubbly for the one morning of the year when it’s acceptable to drink before breakfast, as well as a turkey that’s probably going to be far too large for the oven. (You remembered to defrost the turkey, right?)
If you’re in charge of Christmas dinner our Christmas Kitchen Guide will tell you everything you need to know to help make your preparations run smoothly, as well give you some handy tips for dealing with the aftermath of food stains and leftovers. You’ll also find the perfect Christmas music playlist, and our Christmas TV Guide will help you decide when it’s time to sit yourself down on the sofa, and enjoy a festive film.
All over the world people are getting together to spend time with family and friends and enjoy a whole host of different traditions, and homes and cities from Japan to Brazil are twinkling with festive decorations and cheer.
Did you know that the English tradition of Father Christmas has only recently become synonymous with Santa Claus? Father Christmas was once more like the Ghost of Christmas Present from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, spreading peace and joy, as well as good food and revelry, rather than the man bringing presents in a flying sleigh.
Regent Street in London has a spectacular display depicting the twelve days of Christmas, from five gold rings to a pair of French hens.
Speaking of France, the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris looks like something out of a fairytale, with a soaring Christmas tree rising up beneath its glittering dome. In France, children put their shoes by the fireplace or under the tree so that Pére Noël can put gifts in them.
New York’s Rockefeller Center always has a spectacular tree and decorations alongside its famous ice rink. People in the US often call Christmas Eve ‘the night before Christmas’, owing to a very famous poem written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823, which is also the source of Santa’s flying sleigh, his entry through the chimney, and the names of his reindeer.
Rio de Janeiro is home to one of the more unusual record holders in Christmas decoration - the world’s largest floating Christmas tree! In Brazil, Christmas dinner is eaten near midnight on the 24th December, and is usually a very large feast featuring a variety of colourful dishes of fruit and rice, as well as the familiar roast turkey.
This stunning display of lights comes from Tokyo, where Christmas is becoming an increasingly popular celebration, though isn’t an official holiday. One of the more unusual Japanese Christmas customs is to eat at KFC, the result of a very successful advertising campaign by the company in the 1970s. It’s such a popular tradition that tables at the restaurants get booked months in advance!
However you’re spending your Christmas Eve, we hope you’re having a fantastic time, and we wish you a very merry Christmas from everyone at BrightHouse!