It’s a few days before Christmas. The kids literally have been going to bed thinking Christmas is the next morning for the past week straight. The gifts are all bought, but not wrapped yet (tonight!). The kids made gingerbread houses with their grandparents. We’ve read a gazillion Christmas books and watched Frosty and The Muppets Family Christmas multiple times. Caramel corn was packaged up and delivered to the neighbors.
Today, Zach is officially on vacation from work, and we went together to Trader Joe’s for one last fun stock up to get all the food for the weekend. We aren’t hosting this year, but we will be in our house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day before heading to visit grandparents and family. I’m excited, but the food can be kind of intimidating for big holidays!
As much as I love simplicity, Christmas kind of calls for a bit of splurging and excess. I recently read Jenny Rosenstrach’s new book, How to Celebrate Everything – her ode to recognizing family moments, big and small. I agree with her premise, that there’s nothing like food to cement nostalgic and tender family days in your mind. It’s hard to believe we’re smack in the middle of creating our own kids’ treasure trove of childhood memories right now, this year.
So, the big question: What are you making for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning?
Here’s what I’ve landed on, and I’d love to hear your family’s take on these meals too! Traditionally, both of our families always make appetizers and fancy finger foods on Christmas Eve. So, after we go to our church and get the kids tucked in, Zach and I are making a charcuterie plate and cocktails for ourselves. It’s one of my favorite times together to quietly soak in the season with the kids snug in their beds and all the anticipation of the following morning lingering around us like a happy haze.
For Christmas morning, we both grew up having an egg casserole breakfast. If my kids would eat that, it would be great…but they are pretty anti-casserole at this age. So, my goal is to make something with minimal mess since we’ll be packing up later that day. (No dishes on Christmas sounds like a good gift to me!) We went shopping with TJ’s cinnamon rolls on our list, but they were sold out. People were even stalking the store for a new shipment to come in (!). Granted, they are really good if you’ve never tried them. So, we switched gears and grabbed a box of chocolate croissants from the freezer section. You set them on a pan the night before, and they poof up and are ready to bake in the morning. We rarely buy them, but the kids like them as much as we do! So it seems like an even better choice than the cinnamon rolls, maybe. We usually do stockings, followed by breakfast, reading the Christmas story, and then presents. It’s funny because we polled a lot of our friends, and most of them grew up with that order too. I think I always thought my family was a little oddball for saving the presents, but maybe not?
PS: I went to get Theo up from a nap before finishing this post, and I was remembering how my family always sat at a beautifully set table for Christmas morning with china. So, I think I may try that this year too – setting the dining table with china and lighting candles. Even if it does make a few dishes…the kids will love it.