Our Christmas Eve tradition is to have a tree-decorating dinner party at my parents’ house. The dinner is buffet and much more casual than the sit-down for 30 or so, that we have on Christmas day.

Tonight we had veggies with a delicious miso dip from Whole Foods that I need to find out how to make because there isn’t a Whole Foods that’s really convenient to me. There were two types of chicken wings, spicy without seeds and not spicy, with seeds. And, my mom’s classic salad with Boston lettuce, fennel and her signature dressing.

The thing that really sealed the meal for me though, was the vegetarian chili. It was the most delicious I have ever had with sweet potato, black beans, roasted peppers, just the right amount of heat and no special vegetarian ingredient trying too hard to pretent to be meat. Mom, can you post a link to the recipe in the comments section?

After, we had an assortment of desserts brought by guests and pink sparkling wine.

Before bed, Rose put out snacks for Santa and the Reindeer and my sister Anna read an ancient copy of The Night Before Christmas, which she does every year, regardless of whether there are children present.