We had our traditional Christmas Eve feast, the modified Feast of Seven Fishes. This year it was four: lobster, shrimp, stuffed clams, and baccala (codfish stew).
I realized that this is the one festive meal we have as a family, everything else—Christmas day, Thanksgiving, Easter—are done with the in-laws. This is the one time the kids see the table dressed with a tablecloth. That’s where the fancy begins and ends; but it is my token gesture at festivity.
For the first time this year I kind of wished for some fancy china. My parents always had two sets and I loved the formality of using the “good” plates. At the same time, we don’t currently have the room to store a second set of plate and the kids are still a little too young to really be trusted with nice china. But at some point I would like to have a proper holiday table that truly feels different from our everyday dinners.
We went to Midnight Mass and it was glorious. Once again, I forgot to bring a camera and so didn’t capture anything. Perhaps that’s for the best, thought it would have been nice to try to snap a shot with the kids in front of the manger. I didn’t get any pictures of the kids in their Christmas finery. Maybe next year.
Christmas morning the kids still got up early. Around 7. They opened presents, didn’t eat much breakfast. As they had each given me a wishlist this year, it was easy to give them the gift that they wanted.
The highlight of the presents was definitely Anthony’s car. Oh the joy on his face! It was quite clear that he understood that here, finally, was a car of his own that his brother couldn’t take from him. He shrieked his happiness and let it be known that he loved it with a stream of babble. I didn’t understand the words but the sentiment was clear.
Bella got her coveted forks for the play kitchen and spoons as well since they came in a combo pack. She also got a fancy princes dress that she hadn’t specifically asked for but which she did want. Oh to see her dancing in the frothy pink bliss of it!
Sophie got her ring. Actually, she go two since Grandma B also got her one. An embarrassment of riches. She also got a set of pattern blocks. She loves puzzles.
All the kids got a Christmas book and Ben got his own copy of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.
Each of the big kids got gloves, chapstick, a pomegranate, a candy cane, a chocolate orange and some Reese’s peanut butter cups in their stockings. Anthony didn’t get anything in his.
The children will get another round of gifts at Epiphany. Christmas gifts are from Santa. Epiphany gifts are from Mom and Dad. There will be books for sure and I’m thinking of getting some big twin size quilts for the girls.
On Christmas day in the afternoon we went to Dom’s brother’s for a potluck dinner and hanging out with the family. Dining is buffet style as there are far too many of us to fit round the table. I think there were fourteen adults and seventeen grandkids ranging from 7 months to 21 years old. It is loud and boisterous and very, very, very happy. Oh and the food… amazing. Baked ham, meatballs, lasagna, orzo salad, baked brie… I’m sure to forget stuff if I try to list it all.
Two days later and I’m still recovering, eating too much candy, enjoying Dom’s extended vacation. Hunkering down because now it’s really feeling like winter.
Christmas isn’t over yet and I plan to enjoy every last minute of it.
Merry Christmas, to one and all.