‘Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas {2018}

by Cate on December 25, 2018


My kids are with their Dad on Christmas Eve, so since it used to be my holiday to host my family, I switched a few years ago and host Christmas Eve Eve instead. Truth be told, I don’t celebrate Christmas Eve at all anymore. It’s just not the same without my kids here. I sometimes go to a movie with a friend, but this year I stayed home and wrapped presents until the wee hours of the morning. Winter Solstice may be the longest day, but Christmas Eve, for me, is the longest night.

I kept going back and forth about what I wanted to plan for our menu. I originally wanted to just do a feast of appetizers, because it seriously is my favorite part of any meal, but my Dad is a bit of a traditionalist, and I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about that. Instead, I served three different pasta dishes, garlic bread, and then the mess of appetizers.

And that was kind of perfect.


For the pastas, I went with Penne with Vodka Sauce (using a riff of this old favorite), a Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese (a new recipe I’ll be sharing soon), and Cavatelli and Broccoli, a new favorite of my son’s and one I got delivered from a friend’s restaurant.

As for the appetizers? This twist on Pigs in a Blanket, Spinach Cheese Squares, Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos, and Bacon Crackers. My sister and mom brought over a slew of meats, cheeses, crackers, and dips, and we ate ourselves silly over the course of several hours.

As you do.

And, surprisingly, I only got a handful of photos to show for it!


My traditional gift for the kids on this night … matching pajamas. The five cousins watched two Christmas movies and played board games … just the kind of old-fashioned holiday evening that I love.


Hungry for more?
Last year’s celebration and menu.

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