My favorite day of the year has arrived, and so did Santa, judging by the pile of gifts under the tree. In about an hour my parents will arrive for our gift opening and Christmas morning brunch, and then dinner preparations will begin.

I love Christmas dinner! Turkey with traditional bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. We serve two kinds of cranberry sauce – the homemade kind made from fresh berries that my husband likes and the jellied version that my kids prefer. The latter is slid out of the can, sliced into rings and garnished with fresh parsley.

There will be carrots, buttered and parsleyed, and brussels sprouts because my mom likes those. Creamed corn for my dad, although almost everyone else turns up their nose at that. I made a jellied fruit salad, just like my grandmother’s, and I’ll serve it in the pink depression glass bowl I inherited from her. We’ll also serve sliced buttered beets – those were one of my grandfather’s favorites. Although my grandparents are no longer with us, I like to keep their traditions alive.

My son, who is a jazz musician and also works as a baker, has contributed dinner rolls and, as I post this blog, he’s in the kitchen, baking a pie for dessert. Believe it or not, it’s banana cream. That’ll probably be the least traditional part of our meal, but it’s hands down my father’s absolute favorite.

For me, holiday celebrations are all about tradition, about bringing families together to share old memories and create new ones. I hope you and yours will have as happy a Christmas as mine.

With warmest wishes for the happiest of holidays,


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