December 25, 2011

The Gift at Christmas: Being together

Christmas Eve is had in my home. My sister and her kiddos come along as does my mom and of course, the four of us look forward to it. But no one as much as me. The house is at its best with shining lights and lots of glowing candles. Orderly with minimal clutter and a settledness. It is only time to celebrate.

Somehow we've always, for as long as I can recall, had an Italian dinner. Before kids, it was an elaborate fish chowder on the lines of Cioppino (but with no mussels or calamari and with chopped potato). Then, when the kiddos were little, it was the fancy pizza and pasta from our long gone but well remembered Ferraros. (I don't know why, but I was shocked and thrilled to find they were open and cooking. The woman who took my order over the phone was so sweet. I asked if they did to go orders on Christmas Eve and she said in her thick Italian accent, "Of course, we're here so you can enjoy and not work so hard." Instant tradition.)

It's evolved back to home cooking, and last night we dined on ham, some spaghettini with pesto, a Caesar with anchovies and garlic bread. We enjoyed. We laughed. We relaxed. And even as the night grew old and the teens and preteens had us playing a game no one could catch on to, no one wanted it to end.

It is simply the gift of Christmas, just being and being together.

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