‘Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas 2009

by Cate on December 24, 2009

As I sit here at 11:30 at night, the kids fast asleep for several hours, I feel good.  Really good.  For the first time in about ten years, all the presents are wrapped.  Everything.  Even the ones from Santa, which I was going to leave until tomorrow night.  Last year, I was up by myself until the wee hours of Christmas morning, wrapping presents.  This feels so much better.

I’m not organized this go ’round by design.  It sort of just happened that way.  I started picking up Christmas presents here and there back in September and slowly began to chip away at my list.  That made the shopping a lot more bearable and, quite frankly, pleasurable this year.  I *do* need to run out tomorrow at lunchtime, to just one store, for three or four things, but other than that, everything has been bought and wrapped.  Love that.

As for the menu?  I had a general idea of what I was planning on making for Christmas Eve dinner, but didn’t set out to attack my grocery list until today.  Costco at lunchtime and Shop Rite after dinner.  Surprisingly, I was in and out, and only missed out on one ingredient.   Apparently there is a run on scallops here in the Northeast.  Who knew?  A quick substitution and every last thing was crossed off my list.

We’re going to be doing the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes for tomorrow night’s dinner, along with a lasagna.  Five of the fish will make their appearance in a Cioppino, and two more in before dinner spreads.  I have three dips and spreads planned for pre-dinner munchies, along with Cheese Delights, Spinach Cheese Squares and fresh fruit.  My hope is that if I ply everyone with finger food before dinner, I can buy a little time for someone to hook up the DVD player.  (You hear that, Uncle Tim?)  I haven’t been able to figure out which cord goes where since we moved, and I’d hate to miss out on watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on Christmas Eve.

There will be an antipasto platter, a delicious herbed bread thing that I spied in a magazine recently, and thirteen desserts (to celebrate the French contingent of our family).  An easy, low-key, low-stress menu … all the better to enjoy good times with family.

And now, inquiring minds want to know … what are YOU planning on eating for Christmas Eve?  I’d love to know!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne December 24, 2009 at 8:20 am

Congrats on being done Cate! It sounds like you’ve got a great meal put together.

My family traditionally eats lasagna on Christmas but this year, by my request, we are having “homemade” ravioli from the Bronx (Arthur Avenue!). I am going to make a broccoli salad as well as a frozen maple mousse pie. Other than that I imagine that there will be an antipasto platter and many more desserts (cannoli!).

Have a happy holidays!


mandy December 24, 2009 at 10:42 am

Merry Christmas!!


Sarah Caron December 24, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Oooh, sounds like an awesome spread. I’ve never heard of the 13 desserts tradition before. Very interesting. Have a wonderful Christmas Eve and a fantastic Christmas!!


Cathy December 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm

I miss the big Italian Christmas Eve’s I used to go to at a friends – the food was always amazing and the atmosphere amazing. Merry Christmas Cate!


Claire December 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Well…since I’m on call at the hospital on Christmas, Christmas Eve I guess is our Christmas dinner. We’re having leg of lamb (a first), asparagus, potatoes, maybe cauliflower, and pineapple. I’m making a brownie trifle for dessert. I would LOVE to make seafood a Christmas eve tradition but my brother’s fiance is allergic to shellfish and I don’t know if she eats anything other than catfish…not so exciting!


pam December 24, 2009 at 2:07 pm

cate, your menu sounds fantastic. 13 desserts! i’m on the next plane.

since it’s just steve and i we’re having a simple dinner of pork tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed zucchini. for dessert, cinnamon rolls. the ones we’re making for neighbors today. so excited!

isn’t is a great feeling to be done with christmas shopping? i usually know what everyone’s getting by fall. this year, we sent the family homemade canned peaches and blueberry jam. food usually goes over real well.

merry christmas! pam


Patsy December 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm

I love your menu… and all the finger foods! We already had our family gathering for Hanukkah, but I’ve made a mental plan for next year…. mostly finger foods and appetizers! It’s the most fun and least stressful!

Have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!


so Spiffy December 24, 2009 at 10:57 pm

What a spread you have planned to eat!!! Like Pam said… 13 desserts… WOW…. sounds all too fabulous. Happy Christmas!!!


Merry December 27, 2009 at 1:25 am

Your Christmas Eve dinner sounds divine! We celebrated at my in laws and we had king crab legs and filet mignon. There were only 4 of us so 4 crab legs and 2 steaks fed everyone. The funny part of it was that my father in law fired up the grill even though it was -25 deg C. It took a snow shovel & a hairdryer to get the grill going but in the end it was some of the best steak EVER!


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