Most of my cooking for the holiday is finished. My youngest son Jesse, his wife Sarah, and my grandson Wesley, and I all went up to Chapel Hill last Sunday to celebrate the holiday with my oldest boy, Charlie, and his girlfriend, Lindsey. Charlie has to work Christmas Eve and Day, and Lindsey is visiting her family now out-of-state.
A veritable feast, though, with Charlie's sweet potato and apple casserole (the apples poached in red wine first) and Lindsey's delicious and light stuffing made with rice bread (she avoids gluten when she can) and her red lentil soup. I brought a broccoli spoon bread with accompanying cheese sauce and some other steamed veggies. There was also brown rice and a veggie gravy to go with it all. Lindsey is a vegetarian (well, she does eat fish), so we respect that when we have meals together.
Afterwards, we all had a hand in making the traditional chrushiki, a very light, delicately fried dough twisted and covered with powdered sugar...something I make every Christmas, as my Polish mother before me did.
Tomorrow, Jesse, Sarah, and Wes will becoming over to exchange gifts. I've roasted some garlic today to go with cheese and crackers and have an apple cornbread in the oven now. That should be good with the Cheddar cheese. Today, they are in Charlotte with Sarah's maternal grandmother's huge family
Christmas, it seems, is as much about eating as it is about gift-giving, a tradition that encompasses all cultures that celebrate it. The act of sharing a meal is symbolic and part of every relationship. At Christmas, it's a way to reconnect and strengthen bonds.
And it tastes so good, too!