Long awaited Christmas Eve arrived and as usual did not disappoint.
It was our absolute pleasure as always to host Christmas Eve. Thank you all for the help and effort that goes into having a night like this.
Who Needs Just 7 Fishes, or simply, Off Menu could have been the themes this year. It seems as though the food gets better and better each year, and true to form, there’s more and more. We had the traditional appetizers and entrees like mozz & tomato, loads of Italian bread, bagna cauda, crab cakes, coconut shrimp, freshly made fish sticks, linguine and clams, grilled shrimp, grilled salmon and fish stew. We had several Off Menu items as well. To mention a few, Margaret & Jim added lobster mac & cheese, blintzes & caviar and crab claws supplied by Charlie and his friend Anastasia. Loanna brought empanadas, and some new dessert items, farina dolce and apple gallette . Dessert was in abundance with traditional treats like rice pudding, chocolate mousse, tiramisu, Betsy’s long distance boxed chocolate, cheese cake, cookies, rum cake and fruit. Jim Dale picked wonderful wines and the customary punch was perfect – if careful not to over do it.
Rather than wait for the lull in eating, that may never have come, we motioned to get the Santa ball rolling. Santa joyfully bounded down the stairs this year with his bag full of gifts and a new version of his helpers. The teen scene at the North Pole wasn’t happening this year so Santa took his elves out of retirement to help him deliver. Santa joked and young and old danced and sang along as gifts were handed out. Debbi took the following video:
Gifts were exchanged and the little kids jumped for joy. Lots of Off Hat items were also exchanged. An Off Hat gift is one that someone gives to someone else even though they did not pick their name out of the Hat. You know who you all are. The receivers graciously accepted.
The cheerful crowd of 52 dispersed as gently as they rolled in. With the exception of the uninvited stomach bug that seemed to have settled in quietly somewhere that night and made itself known over the next few days, I would say more magical memories were made.
Christmas Day we rose early to conveniently time Charlie coming home from his night shift, open our presents together and attend 9:00 mass. We had a relatively small group of my family and extended family for Christmas Day. Although a bit more quiet and thankfully a lot less food, and we missed those who couldn’t come, the day was filled with laughs, love and happiness.
I wish everyone near and dear to us a very happy, healthy 2012.
I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s. ~Henry Moore