For those of you who have been long-time Prietissimo readers, there are a few things you might see every year around the holidays. One of our favorite Christmas traditions has been spending Christmas Eve at the Austin home and enjoying our annual Mary and Joseph dinner.
For some reason this year seemed extra special to me. Maybe it was having both grandmas with us, or maybe it was our unannounced carolers, or maybe it was the fact that we had a boy baby to hold this year. At a Mary and Joseph dinner, it is special to have a boy baby to hold.
Dinner was amazing, as usual. Pita bread, cheeses to knock your socks off, pomegranates, olives, grapes, salmon and my white fish baked with lemon, clementines, dolmas, roasted nuts, and an incredible beet salad. I ate, and ate, and ate and felt perfectly well because it was simple and wholesome.
The meal trailed off into conversation around the table with clementines, and kiddos on the couch with Tutu for story time.
And then it was time for Gifts that Cannot be Wrapped. Some shared poems, or music, and then there was a knock at the door. It was our friends the Molnar family with all of their kids and Grandma, stopping by as a surprise to gift us with their carols at the door. They came into the entryway and we joined them singing Christmas songs, and those few minutes were one of the highlights of Christmas for me. We sang loudly, and with all of the harmonizing, with all of the looking into smiling, loving faces and enjoying beautiful lyrics I'll be darned if that feeling wasn't what Christmas is all about. My heart was fit to burst.
The Molnar family stayed a while, and joined us for our reenactment of the nativity. Gigi was Mary for about one minute, and Orion was a perfectly well-behaved baby Jesus. But my favorite costume would have to have been Ben Austin rocking the shepherd get up.
One thing about being young and transient is that we are never sure where we will be year to year at the holiday season, but I hope that wherever we are, we will always find a way to have a Mary and Joseph dinner and share gifts that cannot be wrapped. In the busiest season of the year, it has been our favorite way to anchor our festivities to the spirit and simplicity of Christmas.