We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We minimize presents, maximize festivity and games, piano sing-alongs, and being together as a jolly family.
Christmas Eve is a fasting day (meaning, curiously, lots of delicious seafoods). Why God would want that is strange to me, but whatever. For Christmas, we're doing crown roast pork with apple stuffing, roasted root vegetables and Brussel Sprouts, and a Buche for dessert with hot chocolate drizzle.
I'm not aware of Christmas Eve being a fasting day. But, we'll have a turkey, wild rice cream soup, and lots of finger foods. This year we're not having an elaborate sit down meal, just a spread to pick from throughout the night.
I'm looking forward to trying the homemade egg nog I've been aging since Thanksgiving. I prefer egg nog without alcohol, but am trying a new recipe. You whip the eggs and slowly pour in the bourbon, rum, and brandy on Thanksgiving. Then cover it with cheese cloth and let it sit in a closet until Christmas Eve. Fold into the semi-whipped cream, sugar, and nutmeg just before serving.
Advent is not for parties, but is for serious prayer and contemplation of the coming of the Lord, and Orthodox Christians fast St Andrews Day (November 15) through Christmas Eve (Lent like and serious). Americans get a reprieve on American Thanksgiving, for local custom and historical reasons. Party hardy starting Christmas, for the 12 days of Christmas. American culture has moved the parties before the actual feast. Such is our time.
Oops, need to correct my comment. The Orthodox Christian Nativity Fast started on November 15, the day after St. Phillip the Apostle's Feast day. St. Andrew's Feast day is November 30, and is the start of Advent for Roman Catholics, and other Christians who follow that tradition. Interesting details!
@ Steve, an excellent point, and we should all do what we can to revive both the prior fast and the subsequent feast. If Christians want to reclaim the celebration from the secular world, that would be one way.
@ Barrister - we have had ebb and flow in gifts vs celebration, as we brought in adoptees from Romania and then a rather neglected nephew for whom material presents were the only reality when they came. It takes a decade to teach that lesson fully, and those who were raised in severe want never quite get past the idea that Words Can Be Hollow. Now that they are grown, we have granddaughters coming into the picture, who likewise are not that abstract. But you are entirely right, and that is where we should always be moving. Those who cannot apprehend fully should be accommodated but also brought along. Thanks for the reminder.
Assistant Village Idiot
Thumbs up on the port...and later the males will be out on the patio for a whisky and a cigar--weather permitting (Colorado)
Nothing fancy - most things baked for easy preparation:
Baked ham; green bean casserole; succotash; baked carrots with almonds and craisins; spinach, mushroom and bacon casserole; mac 'n cheese (usually ziti with some Colman's mustard added for flavor); mashed potatoes; sweet potatoes with pineapple and a pecan streusel topping.
For dessert: Apple, pumpkin, cherry, and chocolate pecan pies. All served with ice cream.
Our home on Christmas morning will start with lox, eggs, and onions, with apple sausage. After a phone call to the grandchildren, it will be a relaxing day for my husband and myself. Already prepared the stew meat for a great homemade beef stew for Christmas dinner with sourdough bread.