Tonight we had our traditional Christmas Eve Seven Fishes feast. Sort of. Not really seven; but we’re not so good at counting yet. Bella only sometimes makes it to five.
We planned for six of the seven fishes: crab dip, lobster, salmon, crab claws, shrimp, stuffed quahogs.
The crab claws were thawed and snacked on by Daddy and Sophie during dinner prep. While Sophie chanted lobster, lobster, lobster, lobster, lobster….
The crab dip was dipped into by Mama to calm panicking bellies as Daddy was shelling the lobsters. Bella only ate the Asiago cheese crackers, no dip; Sophie licked the dip off the crackers and discarded said crackers in the dip container. At this point Mama also served out glasses of Sauvignon Blanc to those old enough to imbibe.
The salmon was left in the fridge uncooked. The shrimp was left in the freezer.
Mama ate half her lobster between changing Sophie into her pajamas (she suddenly absolutely had to be naked and ready for bed in the middle of dinner: Shirt off! Shirt off! Pants off! Jamas on!) and helping Bella in the bathroom.
Mama then went to the living room to nurse a screaming Ben.
Daddy ate a few bites of his lobster and then had to change screaming Ben’s diaper and also help Bella in the bathroom.
Mama forgot a key step in the festive Ensalata de Noche Buena and then discovered she didn’t have peanuts. But we ate it anyway and lo it was good and paired perfectly with both the lobster and the wine.
The table centerpiece was our Advent wreath magically transformed with two green and two white tapers noticeably leaning and a white pillar candle that did not have a beautiful Christmas card image glued to it to transform it into a Christ candle—maybe next year. (The white tapers had been previously burned but no one noticed except Mama)
Sophie and Bella uncharacteristically did not finish their lobster but did opt to end their meals with unfrosted sugar cookies and candy canes.
And then when those had been eaten while running about the house, they returned to the table with Mama to eat more lobster.
While Mama and Daddy were still eating, Sophie grabbed a present from under the tree and began to tear in.
Mama gave in to the spirit of the evening and let Bella finish opening it.
The girls sat down to read the book.
Christmas carols played joyfully.
There were tears and laughter.
Mama’s socks got wet from the snow (we chilled the salad and the lobsters on the back steps.)
Daddy read Mama bits from the newspaper.
The girls and Mama watched the nuns singing Christmas carols streaming on EWTN.
Bella was heard to exclaim: “Jesus is coming! I’m so excited!”
Auntie Treese came home just in time for Bella to give her goodnight kisses.
And now… eggnog and wrapping….
Goodnight and God bless you and your families and may the peace and joy of Christ be with you this Christmastide.
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