Long, long ago in a land far, far away, in the dead of winter priests walked through the dreary night as not to be seen. The priests searched for a candle flickering in a window. The candle's warm glow indicated the home as a stopping place--not just a safe haven but the location of a celebration. The priest would stay in the home and the owners would invite friends and neighbors for a feast. Before the break of dawn, the priest would offer a mass honoring the birth of the Christ child followed by the feast.
Today, millions around the world still set out late night through the December cold to honor this tradition. Not I, for my little ELF melts if not sleeping tight by eleven, so we shall celebrate by day.
*I don't know if any of this is true. I got the info from a book of Irish folklore. But I do know Irish Christmas music rocks*