|Katie Laramore, JJ McKay, Cathi Hatch|
This year it was the Hatch family’s turn to produce Christmas Eve for our family and friends. Each year, the Barriers and the Hatches take turns hosting Christmas Eve and in 2012 it was our turn.
|Katerie Laughlin, Michael Hatch, Kjell Schei|
Christmas Eve is one of the few times each year that we still make the effort to get out all the fine china, crystal and silver and set the table beautifully for the event. This year, we were slated to have seventeen adults plus two 1-1/2 year-old grandsons in high chairs at the main table and three grandsons ages three, three and five years old at the nearby children’s table. Judy Hebert of Hey Jude Catering was on hand, as she is every Christmas Eve, to help manage and produce the food.
We often have a few friends that join us for a toast on their way to their main Christmas Eve event and this year JJ McKay was our only additional guest. JJ arrived wearing festive antlers and a flashing Christmas necklace and really helped set the stage for a Christmas Eve celebration.
|Kevin Laramore, Ken Hatch, Sean Hatch|
Arriving at about the same time were Patty & Jimmy Barrier, Sean Hatch & Troy Clark, Kjell Schei and Katerie Laughlin, and a short time later followed by Katie & Kevin Laramore and their two sons, Cutter and Bode, Alicia & Michael Hatch and their three sons, Jackson, Spencer and Andrew, Pat Wallace, Nancy Wallace and her boyfriend, Kyle.
|Jackson Hatch, Cutter Laramore, Spencer Hatch|
We toasted each other while enjoying Judy’s Caviar Pie and Rosemary Parmesan Pastry Rounds and Asian Crab on Endive Spears. Jackson Hatch was the ringleader of the other two oldest young grandsons and all seemed to have most fun when they occasionally escaped the watchful eyes of their parents and could do what little boys do best. At least the downstairs family room at the end of the evening certainly looked like they had some fun throwing Legos throughout the room!
|Alicia & Andrew Hatch|
The babies were fed and the little boys ate before the adults sat down for dinner. And then the three older boys were each given a new Lego gift to upwrap and put together while watching the new Ice Age movie. We were able to get most of the parents to sit down at the dining room table for some part of the evening, but I don’t think we actually ever had all four parents of the boys at the table all at the same time. Katie missed the soup course entirely and Alicia missed dessert, though each may have had at least some of the entree course.
The menu at the table included:
Black Tie Tomato Soup
Herbed Pita Crisps
Roast Tenderloin of Beef
Horseradish Cream Sauce
Caramelized Fennel, Onion and Potato Gratin
Sauteed Herbed Pea Pods with Asparagus Tips
Roasted Miniature Tomatoes
|ZiZi kisses Bode Laramore goodbye.|
Caramel Popped Air
Kahlua and Brandy Milkshakes
Over dinner, Ken asked each of us to share one or two memories of Christmases past that stood out in our memories and it was special and fascinating to hear what each person shared.
Following dinner, we adjourned back into the living room for our annual white elephant gift exchange. By this time, Katie and Kevin and their boys and Alicia with Andrew had experienced just about as much fun as they could handle and headed home to bed or to play Santa. Michael decided to stay and keep Jackson and Spencer there until the very end and were the last guests to leave.
We took Christmas fudge and Judy’s beautiful Christmas cookies with us to the living room to keep up our strength during the stressful white elephant exchange. My favorite are the Russian tea cakes covered with powdered sugar that leave telltale signs of white powder everywhere unless you eat the cookie all in one bite.
|Jimmy Barrier, Pat Wallace, Troy Clark|
|Kjell, Katerie, Jackson, Michael, Spencer, Pat|
|Nancy & Kyle
During the gift exchange, we were missing the Sumo Man Fan that usually shows up each year, but almost as obnoxious was a Buddha shaped butter dish that was new this year. Some of the other gifts included Christmas Pez dispensers which somehow Ken had never seen before, a Kareoke microphone that makes your voice sound like an elf, an art piece resembling plastic or glass bok choy, shell shaped Christmas ornaments that Patty thought resembled pasties, a motor cycle pizza cutter and some kind of an electric light-up Christmas decoration that seemed to be the hottest and most desired gift of the evening. However, Jackson, who was helping his dad select just the right gift, was thrilled to ultimately get the bok choy art piece as his number one choice.
It was time to go and everyone headed home to dream about sugar plums and reindeer who can fly.