When it comes to favorite holiday traditions, it’s all about Christmas Eve for the TVP Comms crew. From the food and decorations to the lights and presents, below are a few of our very favorite ways to celebrate. We’d love to hear about your traditions as well. Tweet us, or share in the comments section. Photos especially welcome!

Teresa: My Christmas tradition is really a Christmas Eve tradition. Each year my family shares some sort of family activity (getting dressed up and watching a play, or bundling up and walking through the holiday lights at the Denver Botanic Gardens, etc.), and then comes home and has a meal of tamales and red chile and we share our hopes for the coming year. The meal is capped off with biscochitos (using my grandma’s recipe) and coffee while we wait for Christmas to arrive.

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Ali’s papier-mâché reindeer (25 years later).

Ali: Holiday traditions from when I was growing up were plentiful, and I still enjoy many of them today, like an annual tree ornament, baking a new holiday treat, and setting up my quarter of the much-squabbled over Christmas village. On Christmas Eve we also used to put out papier-mâché reindeer (that we decorated less-than-skillfully) where we wanted Santa to leave our presents. However, I brought back my new favorite holiday tradition from a trip to Iceland: Jólabókaflóðið, or book flood of Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we each get to open a book and some new PJs and we snuggle up near the tree with some cocoa for a relaxing evening of reading.

Erin: Our family tradition was focused on Christmas Eve, too. My parents would bring the tree into the house that afternoon, and after we all gave my mom wide berth to do the lights (so many colorful curses!), we’d decorate while eating Domino’s pizza (and, as we got older, sipping adult beverages). Then we’d put out luminary bags along the front of our property, as did all our neighbors. We’d head out to two Christmas Eve parties and, when we got home, we’d drive around the neighborhood to see it peaceful and quiet, the darkness interrupted by thousands of glowing white luminary bags. It was perfect for us, and I miss that tradition very much.

The ornament Cristal's son picked out for his baby sister this year.

The ornament Cristal’s son picked out for his baby sister this year.

Cristal: My parents always hosted a huge party on Christmas Day. After we opened our presents, we would prepare for family, friends and neighbors to descend upon our house. So, I always loved our Christmas eve tradition of just the five of us going to church and then out for Chinese food. (The calm before the storm.) And, of course me and my bother would always compete to see who could find where the Christmas presents were hidden first. (We are only 13 months apart, everything was a competition.)

Now that I have my own family, one tradition we have started is going to the Christmas Barn every December and picking out a new ornament for each member of the family. Now that my son has five years of picking out ornaments under his belt, he generously picked one out for his baby sister this year. Another tradition my family started is the Christmas pickle. You hide it on the Christmas tree and the first person to find it gets an extra present.

Kristine: One of my favorite Christmas tradition is actually a new one for me, adopted from my husband’s childhood and his father’s before him. We have white candles in each window of our house during the holidays, but on Christmas Eve we replace the white bulbs with red ones in my children’s bedrooms only. That way Santa knows where to find them – even on foggy or snowy nights.

From all of us—however you celebrate the season—may it be filled with the people and traditions that make you most happy.