Today it’s Christmas Eve. Today is the beginning of Christmas. Most offices are closed today. Shops, city malls, supermarket and grocery stores are open ’til 1 or 2 p.m and open very early in the morning (i.e. at 7 or 6 a.m. instead of 9 or 8 or 10 a.m.).
In the afternoon there are special programs for kids (and even young kids) at TV, in some cinemas and theaters to help them shorten the waiting time until the evening.
Christmas starts in most families usually at about half past 4. Many people are going to the Christmas service in one of the churches even they don’t go for any other service during the whole year (expect Easter maybe). When back from the church we usually have a special dinner. Some have a traditional dinner with potato salad and sausages or grilled duck, cooked carp. Other cook a more festive meal. After the meal everyone gets his or her gifts. When a family has small kids, they get their gifts before the meal and they are usually allowed to stay up a little longer.l
The Christmas Day (25th) is usually used for visiting relatives, like parents or grandparents. It’s a pubic holiday.
The Boxing Day (26th) is also a public holiday. It’s also often used for visiting relatives (i.e. the spouses relatives) or friends. Some people use that free day for a walk after all the good food.
During the 4 weeks before Christmas the people decorate the homes with candles, Christmas pictures, angels and other Christmas related decoration stuff as well as with an Advent wreath. It’s usually made from fir twigs and is also decorated. It also has usually 4 red candles, one for each Sunday before Christmas. At Christmas most families buy a fir and build it up as the Christmas tree where later the gifts are put under.
I wish a peaceful Christmas to you and your family.