No one in my immediate family likes turkey much.
This wasn’t always the case. As a child, I remember my grandmother making a turkey every year. She made the perfect dressing, too. There was always pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas. (I like pumpkin pie so much it is my birthday “cake” every year.) We had cranberry relish too–not that horrid tinned stuff, but an ambrosial concoction of cranberries, strawberry Jello, sugar, oranges, apples, and celery.
After Grampa Al died, our meal got a little less complicated, and by the time I was in high school, we usually did a cold plate buffet and basically ate all day. A lot of our Christmas pictures have people eating. My grandmother always joked that she only ate one meal a day–she started when she got up, and she stopped when she went to bed. She was a grazer, blessed with fabulous metabolism. I thankfully inherited that, though I’ve noticed that post-30 it has definitely slowed down!
Now that the holidays are usually just my parents and I, with the occasional aunts, uncles, and two cousins, Christmas meals have a formula.
First of all, they happen on Christmas Eve. All my life, my parents and I have celebrated our own Christmas the night before. When I was a kid, we went to Grandma and Grampa’s on Christmas Day. Now, we generally sleep in, which is glorious.
My mother and I spend the week before the holiday baking (I talked more about this at Tiffany Michelle Brown’s blog a couple of days ago). We make gingerbread boys and springerles and butterhorn rolls and pumpkin pies. We also usually do nutmeg logs, which involve rum, which is always a good thing. ;)
Then on Christmas Eve, Mom puts a roast in the slow cooker with carrots. She makes mashed potatoes and laments every year that her gravy isn’t as good as her mother’s. But every year, it’s the most delicious meal of the year.
We usually mull a bottle of red wine on the stovetop, which not only gives us a nice hot drink but also floods the house with delicious smells. We put on Christmas music, read the Christmas story from Luke, and dig in. Then we sit around for a while until Dad finally gives in and agrees it’s time to open presents.
I know our Christmas meal is a little different from what most people have, but Christmas can look different for everyone, and I love our quiet, simple celebration.
I want to share Christmas with people who don’t have enough money for it this year. That’s why I’m helping Rhonda Parrish with her Giftmas 2016 blog tour in support of Edmonton’s Food Bank. There are still four more days of Giftmas! If you check back in a couple of days, I’ll have a great post from Rhonda. Donations to the food bank can be made up through December 12. And remember, it’s in Canada, so if you’re in the US, your money stretches a lot further! If you pledge $10 you’re really only giving $7.75 USD.