Christmas Eve Dinner – An Italian Feast

Welcome to Day 24 of

Partners In A Pair Tree – Kelly And Mo Celebrate December

Today’s ornament – Christmas Eve Italian Feast.

Christmas Eve Feast

My husband, Peter, is a great cook.

One Christmas Eve, many years ago, he got in his mind that he would make an Italian feast for our family.

He went to an Italian grocery store to get the best ingredients and spent the better part of the afternoon in the kitchen. The result was a delicious meal and the start of a tradition.

Year after year, there would be some variation of this schedule on Christmas Eve:

  • Peter visits several grocery stores to get his ingredients.
  • Peter uses approximately every pan and utensil in our kitchen.
  • Peter serves us a mouthwateringly wonderful dinner.

The dinner starts with Peter’s signature minestrone soup that has been cooking all day.

The main course is Veal Parmesan over pasta with homemade tomato sauce that has also been cooking all day.

Recently, Peter has added Eggplant Parmesan to the menu to accommodate our son-in-law who keeps kosher and me who prefers Eggplant Parm over Veal Parm.

He rounds out the meal (and our bellies) with and antipasti salad and his version of garlic bread topped with fresh mozzarella.

As you might imagine, each course is paired with a darn good wine.


This tradition is so important to Peter, and to the rest of the family, that he tries to make it work even if we are traveling for Christmas. On more than a few occasions, he has pulled together the feast using whatever supplies were available in the kitchen of the vacation rental we happened to be staying in. He gets very creative in using the tools at hand.

A veritable kitchen McGyver.

We like to go to Mass on Christmas Eve. Some years we go before dinner (leaving everything to simmer while we are gone) and some years we go after dinner.

Before going to bed we each choose one gift from under the tree to open. Then we put out a plate of milk and cookies for Santa along with carrots for the reindeer and head to bed. The 6 am wake-up call on Christmas morning comes awfully early.

This year we will be in Nashville with family for Christmas and Peter won’t be able to make his Italian Feast. But, as an homage to our favorite Christmas Eve tradition, the whole family will be going to Maggiano’s for dinner.

Not as good as Peter’s Christmas Eve dinner, but it will have to do.

The “Christmas Eve Feast” ornament is my last contribution to our Pair Tree. Kelly and I have had a wonderful time celebrating December with you.

Thanks for taking the time out of your hectic holiday schedule to join in the fun! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas Eve.

What are your Christmas Eve traditions? New pyjamas like Kelly’s family? Midnight Mass? A party with friends? Do tell!

Pair Tree Day 24

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  1. i love going to midnight mass, but this pregnant lady has got to be in bed by 9pm. we’ll do mass late tomorrow morning before all the christmas festivities at my parents’ house. i’m looking forward to the day off and sleeping in with my hubby. we have to enjoy it now before baby comes!
    catherine gacad recently posted…Christmas HopeMy Profile

  2. Mo!!! I have missed you! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year!!


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