Growing up, my brothers and I would rather go to church the night before Christmas so we could stay at home on Christmas and play with our new toys. That meant we had to stay up very late and go the midnight Mass.There were no earlier services in those years. Mass was said in Latin so there was much that we did not understand but I loved the flowers, the candles and the songs.
When our children grew up we were often traveling on Christmas Eve, trying to see both sides of our family. In the years we stayed at home our children also preferred going to Mass the night before Christmas. Fortunately we did not have to wait till midnight. Saint Henry's church has an early children's Mass. The children would sing and act out the Nativity. It was a very different kind of service than my brothers and I had experienced, easier for children to understand and participate in. You can see our girls dressed for the special night.
Now that our children are adults we are often traveling again. We attend Mass in other states but we usually stick with Christmas Eve Mass. No matter when or where we go it is always special, to be together, to pray and sing together, and to remember the first Christmas.