Christmas Eve: Preparing Meals

Since I was a child, I always remember Christmas Eve day as time spent in the kitchen. There was dinner to get ready, fancy sandwiches to make, even a breakfast bake to get ready. This year is no different.

Having a large kitchen has made this year’s meal making an easier experience. My wife and daughter worked together making potato salad followed by the breakfast bake. I was able to work on the other side of the island and stay out of their way.

Besides just making the meals, we were also teaching our kids about cooking. Such as sharpening knives, proper mixing techniques, and the use of taste to create a palatable meal. As well, our son took great pride in laying out the sandwiches.

The sandwiches are called “Fancy Sandwiches” and was a tradition in my home growing up. My father always made fresh baked bread, so I followed suit and baked two loaves this morning. The smell of fresh baked bread fills the house with what I consider the smell of Christmas Eve.

Spending Christmas in the kitchen with the family is stressful, fun, and creative. By the end of the day, we all get to enjoy the food that we worked so hard on preparing.

Tree Time 2021

Having gone on vacation at the start of the month, it meant decorating the Christmas tree was a couple days later than normal. Yesterday was the only chance we had to get on it. So right after an early dinner, we decorated.

As is tradition in our home, we put on “The Wiggles: Yule Be Wiggling” and “Wiggly Wiggly Christmas” whilst we decorate the trees. This year old oldest didn’t join us, but Grandma sat in to watch the fun.

As is also tradition, my wife and I enjoyed some Fireball and Eggnog: aka FIRENOG. We discovered this drink from my wife’s brother a few years ago and it has loosened us up for the holiday season ever since then. As is another tradition- and ornament gets accidentally broken and put on display. This year, no one broke an ornament, instead one came out of the box broken. It always seems to be the red ones…

Our new nine foot tree looks great in our new home. I’d say it’s almost done. As I mentioned, our oldest was unable to join us, so my wife and I put up a few of their ornaments, but saved the rest in case they wanted to add them to the tree at a later date. If not, that’ll be okay as well since this tree carries all of the special ornaments given to the family members. My wife and I knew that one day those ornaments would find a new home wherever our kids move to.

We also finished off our kids tree. This holds all those handmade ones gathered up over the years. From preschool onward, as well as the fandom made ones (Star Wars, etc..) This tree will be one my wife and I will always put up. And finally is a tree in our master bedroom. That one will be decorated in a few days since my mother is using the room during her stay.

Did you decorate a tree or trees this year? Any movies, music, food or drink that you enjoy while doing so? Let me know in the comments.

Quiet Country Christmas Eve

After everything that happens at the start of the week, yesterday and today is relaxing.

We had a full afternoon yesterday of preparation of upcoming meals. This was followed by our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. The meal was had by candlelight and consisted of liver ball soup (yes, it is actually very tasty!) followed by schnitzel and potato salad.

After dinner was my yearly viewing of “A Christmas Story”. This has been my Christmas Eve movie of choice for decades now. Probably my favorite way to end Christmas Eve with the family before laying out the gifts for Christmas Morning.

Once the kids were off to bed, it was time to spread out the Christmas loot. After weeks (more like months) of Amazon orders, supporting small businesses, and creating handmade gifts- under our tree looked full once more. My wife and I worked hard at wrapping for weeks leading up to tonight. It was more challenging than usual because of the days of “off-site learning” the kids had.

But after all that has happened, here we are, about to begin Christmas Day. Merry Christmas one and all. May you celebrate quietly and happily as we do.

It’s Christmas Time

Last night our son wanted to help with dinner, so I had him make pretty much all of it. And it turned out delicious. We made schnitzel together. It was the first time he has helped to make it.

It’s the dinner I had every Christmas Eve growing up. I’m not sure why, but schnitzel at Christmas always tastes better than schnitzel any other time. Last night was even tastier because of it being made by our thirteen year old.

Carrying on traditions and engaging our children in them makes me happy. We have many other traditions that we keep up with. But this dinner is my favorite.

What do you have for dinner at Christmas? Have you shared with your children how to prepare and cook meals? Let me know in the comments.

And Merry Christmas to one and all!

My Christmas Traditions

Everyone who celebrates this season has a set of traditions.  We have many that evolved over the years.  I’m going to quickly share them.  (Most involve food and drinks).

Boozy Christmas Tree

On mornings that I don’t work throughout December- my coffee enjoys a touch of Bailey’s or Kahluha.  Then I enjoy the coffee.

A couple weeks into December, we decorate our kids’ trees as we play “Yule Be Wiggling” by The Wiggles.  It’s something that the kids love dancing to and decorating at the same time.  It’s been a lot of fun- so we keep it up.  We have three trees that get decorated.  Each year, our children take turns putting the Star on the special Christmas tree.  This is the central tree in our living room that the precious ornaments adorn and gifts go under.  

Throughout the month, I play Christmas music through the house and we take time to watch Christmas movies. We always save our favorite for the last. “A Christmas Story”.  

There are a few other kid’s movies that we still watch like “The Powerpuff Girls: ‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas.”  No matter how much the kids grow up, these movies are still fun to watch.

We bake cookies for about a week before the big day.  If we make them too soon- they get eaten before we make it to Christmas.

Christmas Eve is also filled with cleaning.  It’s the last chance to have a perfect home.  Then comes the cooking.

My father’s Fancy Sandwiches

Every Christmas Eve morning, I awake early to bake a couple of loaves of fresh bread.  Then in the afternoon I make what my father called “Fancy Sandwiches”.  We enjoy a couple of them in the late afternoon in order to suppress our hunger until later in the evening.  Saving a dozen or so for lunch the next day.

Our Christmas Eve Dinner is pretty basic. My wife prepares potato salad and I make the schnitzel.  The biggest difference for our Christmas Eve dinner is that we make Liver Ball Soup as an opener.  Not everyone likes liver, but this is really quite tasty.  Once a year tasty…

The night ends with the kids happily going to bed with excited anticipation for the following morning.  

Those are our traditions leading up to the Big Day.  They don’t seem like much, but my family loves every bit of it.  

So from my family to yours- have a safe a wonderful holiday.

Merry Christmas.