Pressies and Prawns at Christmas-time
I had a very lovely Christmas, and got a couple of things I'd picked up and looked at and put down with a sigh, like the origami Page-A-Day calendar and The Daring Book for Girls.
Our son made me the spaceship gift bag and the "Ho Ho Ho" book, which has pictures of him in it. I received some tea and book gift cards, and my mom gave me (among other things), some beautiful paper. Over the course of the year I'm bound to find something in the origami calendar to fold with it.
A couple of Southern Hemisphere readers have commented on our "prawns at Christmas".
When I met my husband back in high school, the Christmas Eve seafood chowder was already a tradition at his Busia's (one of the Polish words for grandmother).
Traditionally in Poland, Christmas Eve is supposed to be a meatless day. His busia's take on this was to make a kettle of incredible seafood chowder, containing scallops, lobster, shrimp, oysters. (Also tomatoes, celery, saffron, and rice.) Meatless, but not exactly bread and water!
By the time my husband was in high school, he was already helping her with the shopping for the ingredients, first driving her from store to store to buy seafood on sale, then paying for a good chunk of it, and eventually buying the ingredients and helping her make it.
This became his gift to his side of the family, and when she died, he kept making the chowder every Christmas eve. One year we did buy prawns instead of tiger shrimp. In either case, it usually falls to me to shell them (and in the case of the prawns, to behead them).
When we got married, I said I'd make dessert, and my husband asked for apple dumplings. Over the years, I've gotten pretty good at them, although I wasn't happy with the crust this year. It rolled out fine but didn't taste quite right.
But both my husband and our son seem to have happily helped eaten them up!