Christmas Eve is our Christmas DayThis entire season is just so great, I wish it could last the whole year through. Everyone seems so cheerful and kind. Folks will even let you in the front of them when trying to change lanes on the highways!

Until I started to write this blog, I didn’t realize how much our Christmas tradition seems to revolve  around food. We always observed the “no meat” on Christmas Eve.  We would start our early dinner with a large amount of shrimp cocktail, followed by a bowl of homemade seafood bisque.  A huge bowl of salad gets passed around next. The main meal consists of baked flounder with a tomato sauce on top of it, mashed potatoes, and vegetables.  The entire time we are eating, we are thinking of saving room for what’s next, tons of dessert! My parents always put a lot of effort into making holiday desserts. Days prior, they brought out the cutting board, rolling pin,  huge aluminum pans and aprons to prepare the cookies. Yes, they were serious bakers! Cookies that took hours and days to make were eaten in such a short amount of time.

When all the eating was through, we would gather around the piano. My Mom would play traditional Christmas favorites and the rest of us would sing our hearts out.  We would then exchange small gifts with family members.  Everything had to cease by 11:15 because by 11:20 we were all in the car and headed to midnight mass. Midnight mass is my favorite mass ever, maybe because as I a child that meant I got to stay up super late.

When we returned home from midnight mass,  it was now the start of Christmas Day.  Any time after midnight means, you guessed it, you can now eat meat.  The ham and kielbasa, and babka  were brought out and we gathered around the table for another feast. Forget gaining  7 pounds during the Holiday Season, it seemed to happen in just one 24 hour period! Around 3 am we are finally ready to call it a night and wait for Santa to deliver his goods.

Maryann Morgan is an unofficial Santa Tracker.  Although she’s not associated with  NORAD, she continues to track and guard Santa and his sleigh.