Antonella's Christmas Traditions

by on ‎12-20-2017 01:51 PM


One of the most special times of the year for me is right now…. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years…. All wonderful opportunities to stop and be grateful for what we have, how far we have come in the last year and make all our grand plans for the coming one.  The two biggest reasons I love this time – are family and food!  It just wouldn’t be the holidays without being with the people that mean the world to me  - and the food and drink that has become so much a part of our cherished memories. 

For the Nester family, on Christmas Eve Morning, we all pack up and get in the car and head to my mother-in-law’s for breakfast.  She is a sweetie – and she goes all out for us.  All year we look forward to this breakfast.  I can smell the coffee and bacon as I write this!  :-)  We talk and laugh and really take time to enjoy the morning after all the hustle and bustle of the last few months.

THEN – we all pile back in the car to drive to my mom’s house for the Feast of the 7 Fishes.  For all of you who never heard of that, it is an Italian Christmas celebration.  It typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. But, some people that I know have been known to celebrate with nine, eleven or thirteen different seafood dishes!  Whew!  I think we will keep ours at the traditional 7!!!!  Especially since we believe that you have to at least have a taste of all of the fish dishes to have good luck in the coming New Year. 

This celebration commemorates the wait, the Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.  In my mom’s home town in Italy, the entire town goes black on Christmas Eve.  Then, at midnight – all of the lights are turned on – the lights in the houses, the Christmas lights, everything… it is breath-taking!

Everyone comes to my mom’s house for the feast…. And when I say everyone – I mean 2nd and 3rd cousins too!  It is an enormous crowd!




We all eat, laugh, talk, open presents – and of course, help my mom with the cooking.  Dinner begins around 4:00pm or 5:00pm with antipasta – Italian meats, cheeses, peppers, olives, etc.  Then, besides the regular salad and all the different veggies, my mom makes 3 fish pastas – usually – an anchovy one, a shrimp one and a crab one.  We also have seafood salad that has octopus and lots of other delicious seafood that is served cold.  There is fried calamari – which is squid.  Our soup is Salmon – so we are up to 5 of the 7 fishes – and we haven’t even gotten to the main course.  :-)  It is usually a whole flounder and the traditional bacalla – which is salted cod.  My mom lightly breads it and fries it and it is delicious!

THEN – a little break – to stretch and digest….and on to my favorite course – DESSERT!  Oh my….the desserts…. Cannolis, Italian Rum Cake, pastries of every size and kind, Ma’s Famous Apple pie, panettone – which was known as the “cake of kings”.

Wow … I am starving now!!  Lol!  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without all of our holiday traditions.  I am sure you feel the same….

From my house to yours, I hope you have a happy, safe and blessed Merry Christmas!

Xoxox  A