In a Polish household, Christmas Eve is the big night ... as is in our household. The Christmas Eve dinner or Wigilia, pronounced "Veleeya" is a meatless meal so it usually consists of seafood, soups, and pierogies and it is usually an odd number of courses -- five, seven or eleven. I go for five or seven. Before sitting down at the table, everyone breaks the traditional wafer, (Oplatek) and exchanges good wishes for health, wealth, and happiness in the New Year. The Oplatek is a thin, unleavened wafer similar to the host in the Catholic Church. My mom usually brings it with her if my parents come for Christmas Eve (they alternate between my sister's and my family). This year they will be with us for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.
After dinner, my family exchanges some gifts. The boys exchange their presents for each other and we give each of our boys a Christmas book. As the boys have grown, I've continued this tradition -- sometimes giving them "grown-up" Christmas books such as "A Christmas Story" and sometimes giving them picture books (Last year my 19-year old received "Merry Christmas Curious George"). The idea is that they will receive books on Christmas Eve until they have families of their own and then they will have their own collection to read to their children.
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a blessed new year! See you all in January!!