Christmas has come and gone with much to reflect on. Most importantly, quality time spent with family and friends and keeping in our thoughts those who aren’t as fortunate as we are.
Anxiously awaited Christmas Eve had some interesting components this year. The most obvious being a seemingly smaller crowd. Although a head count of 43 certainly seems adequate, you couldn’t help notice the extra room. Not surprisingly, we had the same amount of food and hardly any leftovers. We served all the classics, starters like bagna cauda and shrimp dip, mozz & tomato, shrimp cocktail, loads of Italian bread, usual appetizers like crab cakes, coconut shrimp, freshly made fish sticks and baked clams. All this leading up to dinner of linguine and clams, grilled shrimp, grilled salmon and Paul brought back an old traditional dish, Coquille St Jacques, and we had good old mac & cheese for the kids. We were careful to keep our schedule of finishing dinner before Santa arrives. Later we indulged in traditional desserts like Doug’s cheesecake, and Cindy Antinori’s rice pudding and chocolate mousse to name a few.
Santa, the equal opportunity employer, had the women on his team this year. Young and old, myself included, accompanied Santa down the stairs to sing songs, make jokes and hand out presents. Nonna elected Charlie to read a prayer to start the festivities and to keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas. Santa, aka Doug DePice, enlisted my mom as an elf this year. He was funny with her introduction “Elf Meg, 6 feet tall in a 56″ body”. Matt and Allison’s girls were so excited and had waited patiently for Santa to arrive. The girls were unofficial elves by the end of the evening donning the ladies elf hats and shirts. Joe and Lena Chavez-Carey and baby Johnny were here for a visit from Martinez, CA. It was great seeing them. Little John was adorable and not so little anymore. My sister Joan, and brother-in-law Bobby and kids, Maggie, Liz and Bobby joined us as well as Regis Dale and daughters Katie and Jacqueline and her caregiver. Melanie was at home resting.
Those among the missing were Joe and Jodi and the boys back home in Burnsville, NC. Kaitlyn and Danny Antinori and new baby Mason. He was too little to join the big crowd. Anthony Antinori was here but fiance’ Shevon was still on the mend with morning sickness. Andrew Antinori stopped in but he was to join Danielle and her family later and brother Ralph and Loanna, little Ralphie, Avery and Mark had other family obligations. Paul and Kate Carey who are sometimes up for a visit are awaiting the birth of their 3rd child in El Paso, TX. Still waiting for the day when Betsy and Paul and kids can join us from Bodega, CA. Betsy, as always, sent a box of delicious chocolates and homemade caramels wrapped in baggies to take as a going away gift.
It is a pleasure to host this affair but it is truly a concerted effort for its success. Thank you everyone for making this night so special. It was a lot of fun.
Christmas Day was a different event altogether. Joan invited us for dinner at their house later in the day so we had a leisurely morning of church, breakfast and opening presents. We put a roast beef on the rotisserie and made some vegetables to bring. We had a nice time with my mom, brother Bill, Joan, Bob, and family, as well as, Bob’s sister, her husband and kids.
Next on the agenda is New Year’s Eve in Sea Girt.
I wish everyone love, happiness and health for 2013.