Why Christmas Eve is the real high point of Christmas

THIS is the real ‘big day’. For me, Christmas Eve is the high point of Christmas, writes Colm O'Regan.

It was always thus. Right back to medieval times, when true loves were wont to give increasingly elaborate, cumulative presents. Christmas Eve meant a pear tree — just about in time for planting — and a partridge that could be a pet or a meal. There was no indication of the chaos that was to follow as the other 363 presents arrived. All the joy of receiving 12 partridges, 22 turtle-doves, 30 hens, 36 calling birds, 40 gold rings, 42 geese, and 42 swans was completely soured by the realisation that all those presents would have to be slaughtered or pawned to feed and house the 40 maids, 36 ladies, 30 lords, 22 pipers and 12 drummers.

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