10 Things Palestinian Christians Do before Christmas Eve Dinner
1. Dads leave the house early in the morning for a final round of last minute shopping.
This usually entails getting the forgotten ingredient for some of the dinner dishes or desserts. Most important would be to bring chocolates and dried fruits and liquor to serve all the relatives that will come to visit the days following Christmas.
2. Moms start working in the kitchen early.
Most of the dishes are freshly prepared so there is much to wash, boil and dice before family starts coming. Different types of salads for the mezze that accompanies the barbecued meat, desserts and Christmas hot drinks. Let's not forget the wide variety of pastries like sfiha, meat cigars, borek, cheese and zaatar and mini pizzas.
3. Adult children help rearrange the house to fit the multitude of family.
This is a family dinner which usually starts from 18 people and more. So, the main dinner table needs to be set up with enough chairs for everyone. Tidy up the living room and make sure there is enough room for gifts under the Christmas tree.
4. Prepare the BBQ station outside with two or more BBQ stands to operate without being disturbed in case it rains.
Make sure there are enough coals for all the meat that usually comes in this order: chicken wings or skewers, kebabs, lamb chops, lamb cubes on skewers, pork chops and beef fillets. And leave some coals for roasting chestnuts.
5. Don’t eat too much all day because you know dinner is going to be huge.
So have a sandwich with labane or hummus in the meantime.
6. Find a TV channel that is broadcasting special Christmas services all day.
Or you listen to Fairuz's Christmas album at least once this day.
7. Go to a Church service.
Many Palestinian Christians go to a special Christmas service before going home to dinner.
8. Go to the Christmas parade.
Each city has a small parade where the scouts and other institutions walk the city in celebration for the holiday. This is the time for people to wear their holiday clothes and go to the parade and greet each other (especially those they have not seen since high school).
9. Watch the fireworks.
Usually after the parade is over the church lights up the skies with fireworks wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.
10. Maintain your social media extravaganza.
Find a good Merry Christmas wish and send it out to all your family and friends on social media. And don’t forget to take a photo of your Christmas tree and upload it on your social media, along with the different dishes you are about to devour!