Christmas Eve

I love Christmas. I love the music. I love the crowded malls. I love the decorations. I love the FOOD. I love the traditions.

The best part about our first Christmas as a family of three was the opportunity to create new traditions for our family. Sure, it took some haggling (more than I expected) to figure out which of our respective family’s traditions we’d carry out this year for Menininho. Christmas Eve we’d drive to look at lights and open up our Christmas pajamas. Christmas morning we’d do stockings, read the Christmas story from Luke, eat our (this year, gluten free!) cinnamon rolls, sing a couple Christmas carols, and open presents.

But Christmas Eve I realized we had no Christmas Eve dinner tradition! For whatever reason this seemed totally unacceptable to me, and I pressed Mark about it. We decided that cheap Chinese takeout on the couch and It’s a Wonderful Life would be perfect. And really, this should be NO problem because we live within walking distance from a strip of Chinese restaurants.

We bundled up the baby and ventured out. Our only caveat was needing to find a restaurant that 1) didn’t use wheat in their soy sauce OR 2) had yummy dishes that used no soy sauce. Unfortunately, this was harder than we thought. For starters, I couldn’t convince Mark that it was probably easiest to ask “Does your soy sauce contain wheat?” than to ask “Do you have a gluten free menu?” A lot of people have no idea what gluten is, or may have gluten-less dishes and not know it, but not have a real gluten free menu (we’ve found most restaurants do NOT have such a menu). After about 10 restaurants it was obvious that no one understood what he was talking about, and we didn’t want to chance him getting sick.

Our backup plan was to drive to the mall, where we knew their Chinese restaurant used MSG in their soy sauce, instead of wheat. Unfortunately we realized AFTER we’d gotten Menininho into his shoulder and walked up from the back of the parking lot that the mall had closed 2 hours previous.

I ended up eating 2 cookies and a bowl of applesauce for dinner. I think Mark skipped it entirely. We’ll prepare better next year!

What are some of your holiday traditions? Did you start any new ones after you had kids?



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7 responses to “Christmas Eve

  1. stopping by from SITS and wishsing you a happy monday 🙂 Hope you had a great christmas!

  2. Our Polish Christmas dinner is my favorite, although some might find it a bit odd, we have perogies, fish and green beans for dinner. My family has been doing this since they came over here from Poland!

  3. How frustrating!
    We bought & watched “Sound of Music” and ate homemade pizza on Christmas Eve. It was a lot of fun!

  4. I love creating family traditions…I think that having a Christmas eve dinner one is a great idea. Christmas eve we do junk night after assembling our gingerbread house. The amount of candy we consume making the house of course calls for more candy LOL.

  5. Mark


    I asked each and every restaurant, “Does your soy sauce contain wheat?” It was just that the responses varied from a concise “yes, it does” to an “I don’t understand what you are talking about” to a “let me show you my favorite shrimp dishes, so how many would you like?”.

    All in all, not too promising… but fairly understandable given the rarity of Celiac disease in East Asian cultures.

  6. Hey not to shabby for your first year/attempt! We don’t really have any traditions. Just eating, singing and dancing (while trying not to kill each other) on Christmas eve. Maybe when I have my own family we can be a bit more traditional with the holidays and create our own routines.

  7. Family traditions are hard! I guess they become traditions when they actually work out! lol I get sad when things don’t turn out the way I want them too…but I think sometimes you just have to roll with the punches…looks like you did just fine! 🙂

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