Preparation for Christmas eve has included a tiramisu-style mango dessert. My grandmother was Lutheran and so our family tradition is to attend the Christmas eve German service at the Lutheran church in the city (across the road from St Patrick's), and then come back to a meal and the exchanging of gifts around the tree. I've always loved the atmosphere inside the little bluestone church. A very tall Christmas tree stands in the altar, decorated tastefully with large red balls, straw stars, silver 'rain' and white lights. Each white-washed, leadlight window ledge has fir branches and a simple white candle. The cathedral ceiling is lined with dark wood.
We sing carols in German. Since my husband and boys don't speak German, I give them a quick lesson on how to pronounce the vowels and consonants on the way to the church.
Early in January we celebrate Christmas again!!
I wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas wherever you are.