Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Mom's Traditional Christmas Eve Meal - not what you think

Do you and your family have a "traditional Christmas Eve meal"? You know. You eat the same thing, every Christmas Eve? When I was a kid, a few decades back, my mom always made the same thing every year. As my brothers and I grew older, we always knew what was for dinner on Christmas Eve. I can remember back when I was about 11 or 12, after this meal had been established as "traditional", having a conversation with a few friends at school. This subject arose and all my friends were sharing that their moms made Turkey and Dressing OR Ham and Green Bean Casserole, plus other things in that genre of food.

UH, WHAT? I was confused. Those are things for THANKSGIVING. Ya know, the big meal we had a few weeks prior to Santa Night? The day that Black Friday is slowly creeping over it, where it may be breakfast soon.  Ooops, sorry! That's a totally different topic. {teeheehee} uh, hum...getting back on track. All of my friends were not eating what we were eating. In rush my thoughts - why? are we weird? are my friend's families wrong? What do you mean it doesn't have potatoes in it? Ya know, typical pre-teen, junior high, girl thoughts. We HAVE to all be the same, right? ;) Oh the HORROR!

Fast forward 30 years and that meal as become something of a treasure to me. Two years ago, when I turned 40, was the first time IN MY LIFE that I did not eat our "traditional meal" on Christmas Eve. Why? My brothers and I no longer go to my parent's house on Christmas Eve. It stopped. My brothers are all grandparents now. Yep. In fact, my youngest son is one month younger than my niece's first born. Product of me being the baby, of the family, with brothers 7-10 years older. My oldest child is just 14, so I have a while before anyone is calling me Ma-Maw. Even if I can look the part, when my natural highlights are showing from letting my hair go too long without more color. {teeheehee} Anywho, so they are all with their growing families, which leaves us to having "Christmas" on the Saturday AFTER the 24th.

Surprisingly, it was kinda hard for me that first year. Yes, I spent Christmas Eve with my wonderful husband and two blessings of children. However, we are talking FORTY YEARS of "tradition". So yeah, this tough-non-emotional girl got a little teary eyed. This will be the third year where my "tradition" is not happening. I think it's about time to start the Wright Christmas Eve Traditional Meal, so my kids can have the same memories as me. Yeah, it's a little late start for my 14 year old daughter, however good for my 7 year old son. The question is - Do I make the SAME Meal or something else?

I figured out my mom's recipe, about 20 or so years ago, when I really started to learn how to cook. Over the years, I've even tweaked it to where I think it's better. HA! So what do YOU think? Is is weird to eat homemade chili with cut potatoes in it for Christmas Eve?

Here is the recipe:  HOMEMADE CHILI

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments

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