I don't know about you, but I have always loved this time of year. Our family is lucky enough to come from several different faiths, with a lot of different traditions, so we end up celebrating from Thanksgiving to New Years. But my favorite thing of all is the food and all the traditions surrounding food this time of year. We make latkes and brisket on Hanukkah, tamales on Christmas Eve, and so many other things in between.
This year we started (or, rather, restarted) a tradition more than 20 years old from my childhood. My mother used to have a dessert party on Christmas Eve. We would have piles of desserts, all handmade by us, and after our tamale dinner, friends would come join us and celebrate the holiday. We found that in Arizona people tend to be more available on Christmas Eve for a party, and our party had gone on so long, that it was the Christmas Eve tradition of many families to join us. So, we compromised and this year had a Christmas Eve Eve party. It was so much fun. We had old favorites (cheesecake, a yule log), new recipes (a particularly terrific upsidedown cake) and some amazing additions (flan, Bailey’s chocolate cake) and so much more. Our house looked like a scene from the Nutcracker. And I can’t wait to do it again next year!