The Christmas holiday for my family is about celebrating the birth of our Lord and gathering family around the table with food and cheer. It is a joyous occasion, but for those who have recently lost a family member, it can be difficult time.
I lost my parents within 8 months of each other. They were in their early 70’s and healthy, so it was quite a blow to our family. The first Christmas without them was very painful, sitting at the dining room table gazing at the two empty chairs.
The holiday traditions for our families are put in place by our parents. These traditions are what defines each individual family – it’s the food you prepare, the music you listen to, the services you attend.
Although it was painful that first year, we continued with our traditional pre-midnight mass fondue dinner in front of the fire. It was a way of keeping Mom and Dad with us. In fact, it is a tradition that I continue with my own family.
Here are a few of the recipes from our Clemens’ Christmas Eve Fondue Dinner. We always started with my mom Claire’s Parsley Dip and vegetables. Traditionally, we had a Beef Fondue and a Chicken Fondue, served with my dad’s Béarnaise Sauce and Horseradish Cream Sauce. Over the years, I’ve added to the tradition with a Shrimp and Scallop Fondue with a Curry Sauce. To round out the meal, we have a Mixed Greens Salad with Pomegranate and Orange. Cooked shrimp or scallops on the salad makes a delish addition! Another great addition includes, Spiced Nuts!
I am blessed with the memory of my parents each time we gather around the fondue pot on Christmas Eve. I’m especially thankful for all the love and traditions that they brought to our family. For those of you who have lost someone this year, I am truly sorry for your pain. For those of us who know of someone who recently lost a loved one, reach out to them with a phone call or card – it will mean more to them then you know.
Wishing the Blessings of Christ to you all!