I am celebrating Christmas backwards this year. For in all the festivities, traveling, and inclement weather, I missed two Sundays and therefore Advent slipped past me, much to my disappointment.
I’ve always been enchanted by holiday traditions. When I married, I decided to create a tradition of my own. Since Jack’s side of the family celebrated Christmas the Saturday before and my side met on Christmas day, I invited anyone who wanted to come for a special Christmas Eve feast.
Jack’s parents and Jack’s sister, Rita, along with Rita’s family, came to the very first Feast. I planned the menu weeks ahead. I scrubbed the house to a spit-shine and happily fretted over endless details incumbent upon a holiday hostess. It was important for that first Feast to go well, and it did. The guests were suitably impressed by the food, and the atmosphere was pleasant and festive.
One year I decided to serve prime rib. I investigated many methods of cooking it, and finally decided on the One True Way. With guests about to arrive, I prepared a final herb rub–and noticed a funny smell.
“Is that my roast?” I shrieked.
“Yes,” Jack admitted, as if he’d noticed it for a while.
Turned out my prime rib was way past its prime–the meat was foul. Christmas Eve Feast was about to be a complete failure. Maybe my husband expected wails and groans–maybe I did. But many years of celebrating this Christmas Eve Feast taught me one thing: it isn’t about food, though the food is nice. It isn’t about the atmosphere, though atmosphere is important. It’s about people. It will always be about people. Continue reading / Leave a comment…