Christmas is a big deal for my family. We celebrate on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Christmas Eve begins with a dinner followed by church and then an evening snack. We move from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day watching mass from the Vatican even though we’re not Catholic. Dinner would vary based on who was there from pasta to turkey and all the trimmings. The midnight snack was always the same, cheese straws, sausage balls and cookies. A plate of cookies was always left for Santa with a glass of cold milk and carrots for the reindeer.
Christmas morning was always an early celebration. A fire in the fireplace, juice, and coffee while we opened presents and stockings and then a huge breakfast. Breakfast was always a breakfast casserole and sugar cake. If you’ve never had sugar cake you are missing a treat. I love to tell everyone it is mashed potatoes as it has a potato base. It is truly a treat.
Christmas day was always spent with family and friends dropping by the house for a cup of eggnog. My Dad was the nog maker. He would begin on Christmas Eve “cooking” the egg yolks in a bourbon and brandy bath overnight. Cheese straws also made by Dad, fruitcake cookies, Chinese chews and sands (cookies) made by Mom would accompany the egg nog as we visited with our guests.
The day would end with a delicious dinner of beef tenderloin, potatoes, asparagus and applesauce raisin cake for dessert.
I have my own version of holiday traditions now but I’ve kept many of those I grew up with. I make the cheese straws and eggnog now and we’re having beef Wellington on Christmas Eve rather than for Christmas dinner. No cookies this year but the cake is made! The DVD of White Christmas is ready to watch and I’ll be up late for church. Christmas Day will be filled with visits with friends and my box of sugar cake arrived, after all what would Christmas morning be without sugar cake.
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!