Every year on December 24th, I spend time doing absolutely nothing all day except eating and talking and watching movies with my parents, my partner, and my brother and his wife. It’s a tradition of ours to keep close to the core 6 and do nothing else but be in the presence of one another.
And when we get together for this day, it’s customary that we all prepare a dish or two of finger foods to munch on throughout the day. Oftentimes there’s a shrimp cocktail board, and we make sure to find the spiciest cocktail sauce around in order to get our horseradish dry heat kick. (It typically ends up devolving into a “Who can handle the most heat” contest between my dad, my brother, and me.)
Still, I’ve been excited thinking about what I may bring this year, especially now that my partner and I have gone plant based. While we’re sure to bring a few candy boxes along too, which are always traditional, they’re not something we actually made ourselves (though nonetheless, candy boxes are a great addition to finger food snacking).
I’m thinking some sort of dish like fresh homemade jalapeno poppers would do the trick. Considering we all like a little bit of heat in our food, it would be an upgrade from frozen jalapeno poppers that we used to have in years past. Or, now that I think about it, it could be fun to bring along one of our own little recipes that we recently found involving baby bok choy. If you’ve never sauteed some baby bok choy with soy and mirin, you have got to try it. The savory flavor with the bok choy’s fresh and pungent aroma is one of the best things I’ve ever had, and it’s ridiculously easy to prepare.
I think that traditions are meant to be updated from time to time. A tradition is just that because it’s always the same, but in my opinion, traditions should evolve a little bit along the way in order to keep it familiar, yet new and exciting.
No matter how you look at it, I would say my family has a pretty solid tradition set in place that won’t be going away any time soon. So many families put the emphasis on December 25th when it comes to the holidays, so it’s kinda nice that we all look forward to December 24th more than anything.