A wish for Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas Eve!

As much as I love Christmas Day, Christmas Eve is my family’s holiday. For the past almost twenty years now, my husband and I have hosted dinner on Christmas Eve. It began as a small dinner for our families and a few close friends but has now evolved into a huge affair where all of our friends and their families are welcome, and we regularly host somewhere between 60 to 75 people.

And this is not just a holiday party with eggnog and Christmas cookies. No, this is a full Italian meal, with anywhere between 15 to 20 homemade dishes. And let me be very clear, this is all my husband’s doing, I just serve as hostess. Months ahead of time, my husband makes a menu and begins crafting batches of limoncello and nocino. Then as Christmas Eve nears, he begins cooking, sometimes up to a week in advance. The spread is amazing: ragú bolognese, duck prosciutto, homemade ravioli, braciole, roasted baby octopus, pignoli cookies … I could go on, but you get the idea. This is why I married the man. And I’m not bragging, because I don’t do the cooking, but people look forward to this meal every year with good reason.

Obviously, this year is different. For reasons that are perfectly clear, we are not hosting 60 to 75 people in my cramped dining room and living room, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with plates of roast meats and pasta balanced precariously on our laps. My husband never got around to planning a menu or making the limoncello and nocino because … it never felt like there was a reason or that it was time to. Time lost its mooring this year — it just always felt like it was late summer until one day it was suddenly Christmas Eve.

And so, I’m bummed. Christmas Eve is usually a joyous reminder for my husband, my children, and myself as to just how lucky we are to have so many wonderful people in our lives. It’s an opportunity for us to show our friends and family how much we appreciate and love them, to give back some of the generosity they give us by just being in our world. And I hate that we don’t get to do that this year — that none of us do. Because it’s not just about my husband showing off how great he is in the kitchen, it’s about being with the people who enrich our lives. But thanks to this fucking virus, none of us get to do that this year.

But this pause in our lives has also given me occasion to genuinely reflect on how lucky I am, and how blessed my family is. It’s so hard to be away from everyone, to not be able to celebrate, especially after such a long, shit year. It’s hard. I’m sad. The next month especially is going to be scary and dark and painful for so many of us. But I’m trying to view this moment, this Christmas Eve in particular, as the solstice, the moment when the light begins its return, and the darkness slowly recedes. The early church leaders chose December 25 to be Christ’s birthday for this very reason, to symbolize the birth of the Son/sun, the moment in the year when we can hope again. And so I look forward to just how much better it will be next year after the vaccines have been distributed and the spread of this virus is crushed and we can all be together again.

And this is my Christmas Eve wish for you: please, stay safe, stay healthy, and take care of each other so that we can all celebrate Christmas together again next year. It may be dark now, but the light is coming.

WATCH THIS

A Christmas Story: Put on your precious bunny suit, it’s time for the Christmas Story marathon. 8 p.m., TBS

It’s a Wonderful Life: Get those wings, Clarence! 7 p.m., NBC

Last Christmas: I will not give away the ridiculous twist ending of this movie, but I will say it has everything to do with the George Michael song in the title. 7 p.m., HBO

THUR 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC The Greatest Showman Disney Prep & Landing Disney Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice
CBS Young Sheldon
(repeat)
B Positive
(repeat)
Mom
(repeat)
The Unicorn
(repeat)
FBI
(repeat)
CW iHeartRadio Jingle Ball News/Local
FOX The Resident
(repeat)
Prodigal Son
(repeat)
News/Local
NBC It’s a Wonderful Life

5 thoughts on “A wish for Christmas Eve

  1. Love this, love your unfailing honesty and willingness to talk about the important stuff AND the Bachelorette. May God bless and protect you in this new year. Here’s to better days.

    1. Thank you so much, Betsy, and thanks for reading. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and stay safe.

      -T

  2. Thank you for your all your posts! I truly enjoy reading your blog every day! Sending you best wishes and to stay safe and healthy in the new year!

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