Christmas Eve
A Christmas Play

by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis

Christmas Eve is a Christmas play that transports us to a time in the early fifties, when the customs and traditions of the immigrants were very much alive. We get to spend Christmas Eve with the Petrides family, a Greek American family of first and second generation, who are first of all Orthodox Christians.

What you see and what you hear are real traditions, which unfortunately are rapidly disappearing even in their places of origin. Our aim in bringing them to you is twofold: to preserve them and to imitate them.

For our Greek American children, the play includes several traditional Kalanda and other Church hymns rendered in English, so that they too can enjoy what generations of Greeks have enjoyed in the past, and still do. We have such a rich tradition, it would be a shame to abandon it.

Christmas Eve may not be the typical “Christmas Pageant”, a dramatic re-enactment of the Biblical narrative of the Nativity of Christ, but in a sense, it is an application of the Incarnation, a faith lived without much ostentation and pomp. To be sure, the outward signs are there too, but beneath them we also sense a solid faith and upbringing “in Christ”.

Indeed this is Christmas lived, not for a day, but for life. May we all be inspired by the simple life of this family.

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