the eve.

by Janetha on December 27, 2010

in meals

christmas eve is a big deal around here. i think i actually like christmas eve more than i like christmas day. there are just so many fun christmas eve traditions i have kept for so many years.. i always look forward to them each and every year.

first off, i always go snowboarding at brighton on christmas eve. it’s tradition!


i already posted my photos here.

second, my mom and i always make entirely too much food. we have learned to reign things in a bit and this year wasn’t quite as ridiculous on the food front. one year, i made 9 appetizers and there were only 8 people in attendance. what? i like to cook!


this year, we scaled back and had a few favorite appetizers…

garlic crab stuffed mushrooms


shrimp & cocktail sauce


seven layer bean dip (my brother made it, it was great!)


look at this clump of chips! i found it quite entertaining.


buffalo chicken dip with veggies for dipping


my plate~


for as long as i can remember, we have always had my mom’s clam chowder on christmas eve.


this year was no exception. the woman knows her chowder! it is so good.


there were also scones (the utah kind), white rolls & wheat rolls.


my mom has s & p shakers for EVERY occasion! she collects them. check out these two cute sets..


we all had a great time getting things ready, eating, and just enjoying being together.


after dinner, we continued with the traditions.

each year, we purchase a lot of groceries for a family in need. this year, we decided to buy a groceries for 5 families, breaking it up into a bit smaller amounts—this was great because we were able to give to more people.

we managed to get to the grocery store 12 minutes before it closed! it was literally like that old game show supermarket sweep (i loved that show)—we were in and out in less than 20 minutes!

after splitting everything up amongst the 5 large bags, we were on our way to deliver to the families.  in years past, we always do the knock-and-run method.. but this year we actually waited at the door to make sure the groceries got safely inside. we struck out at a few homes because the families were not home.. but the people we were able to see and deliver to were so happy with our gift to them. it was really great to see their reaction. giving.. that is what christmas is all about. i love, love, love to give. way more than i like to receive.

we were finally done with our delivering around 10:30 PM.. marshall and i went home and wrapped our little hearts out, then finally were able to sit down on the couch and admire the tree.


it was a perfect christmas eve.


1. if you give gifts—what was your favorite gift you gave this holiday season? i gave marshall an original painting by an artist he really likes. he wasn’t expecting it and so i was super excited to give it to him.. he loved it!

2. do you collect anything? what? i guess i collect owl things.. and houndstooth things.. but nothing like my mom, who collects s & p shakers. you should see her amazing collection! maybe i will have her do a guest post about them sometime. oh! i do collect christmas tree ornaments, i buy one every time i travel somewhere new.

xo. janetha g.

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Erica December 27, 2010 at 2:04 pm

What a great tradition. I could eat appetizers for dinner every night :) The seven layer bean dip looks fab and Josh LOVES that buffalo chicken dip. Santa’s little helper is freaking adorable. Best gift I gave…..South Carolina themed gifts to Josh’s parents who are trying to move to SC

Rose December 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I collect rubber ducks and snow globes. I also try to pick up a Christmas ornament every time I go somewhere, but I’m not as good at that.

edenseats December 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm

The only thing I collect is dust! haha! But I love that you collect owl things. They are one of my favorite animals!

I’m so jealous of your wonderful christmas with that snowboarding tradition. When can I become part of you family?

janetha @ meals & moves December 27, 2010 at 2:09 pm

anytime, eden! i would love to have you :)

brandi December 27, 2010 at 2:10 pm

that is awesome that you guys buy groceries for families – what an awesome tradition!

kristastes December 27, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I would give anything to be back on the west coast for Christmas…we used to go to Sun Valley every year and I miss it SO much. My favorite gift that I gave this year was homemade, blank notecards that I made with my photography. My Aunt LOVED them.

movesnmunchies December 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm

i wrote a super genuine letter to my dad and laminated it and put it in a mug that said ‘hero’ because he is my hero.. it made his day and meant a lot to both of us!

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine December 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I love the idea of buying groceries for families. We did that in high school (each homeroom got 2 families) but I completely forgot about the tradition until now.

Favorite gift I gave was a hot sauce of the month club to my brother. He’s a hot sauce fiend, so I know he’ll love it!

glidingcalm December 27, 2010 at 2:22 pm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm i love veggies and dip!! what a fun gathering!!

Matt December 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm

That is so awesome that you bought groceries for a family in need. That is what Christmas is all about :)

coffeeandthepaper December 27, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Merry (belated) Christmas Janetha!

I’m glad you had a good “eve”. I love reading about others’ traditions since I don’t really have any of my own. Someday!

Why is it that when you reach the age of 20 Christmas becomes more about the food than the presents? I don’t hate it though!

Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather December 27, 2010 at 2:52 pm

What a heart warming tradition. I do love giving presents, but this year we stuck to a budget which meant I couldn’t go all out as much with gift buying.

Heather December 27, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Your tree is beautiful!!
I gave my husband and “Apple” Christmas and he was thrilled! He’s a total computer nerd and I fed his addiction….. :)

momma b December 27, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I’m so glad I can count on you to photograph our special family gatherings! I really need to dust off my camera :)

What a great night! It is always so much fun to brighten someone else’s day or eve in this case.

I would have to say the very best gift were the presents and food we gave the single mom and her 2 little kids oh and the kitty gifts too!! :) It was pretty awesome to surprise dad with a few dollars to help with his Harley Fund -wink-wink!!

In addition to what was mentioned above I also collect vests, shoes, rocks, shells, hand bags and Christmas ornaments – yikes I believe that this makes me a certifiable pack rat…….!!! xoxo

purplebirdblog December 27, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I loved all the gifts I got for Alex. The newest book by his favorite author, a fleecy robe, a University of Texas hat, and the third Family Guy Star Wars rendition. This was our best Christmas together yet.

Nicole C. December 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm

1 – My favorite gift I gave was artwork for Ben, he too wasn’t expecting it but he LOVES vintage artwork and rockabilly is the link for the shiz i got Framed it up and it looked super rad!

2 – Almost embarrassing but I collect Barbies. I have every Christmas one since like 1990 I think. I have nowhere to store them anymore and I have some stupid expensive rare ones, thanks to Vera Wang. I couldn’t resist, it’s so pretty. Me = super dork

Man, I sure wish I knew how to snowboard!

erin December 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm

My favorite gifts I gave this year was a massage table for my mom..she just finished her Reiki Master training and is setting my old bedroom up into a room retreat. I gave my dad a sign that says “We don’t have it all together, but together we have it all”. My dad just finished treatment for cancer and it has brought us all so much closer.

Liz @ Blog is the New Black December 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I like Christmas eve best, too. I think it’s the suspense, and then on the actual day there’s nothing to look forward too! I have some plates, etc. that match the first pic of your mom’s shakers! Cute!

Lisa December 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I love the tradition your family has of giving to others. I teach at a very low income school and we give some families food for Thanksgiving. It’s such a great feeling to help those in need.

Best gift I gave this year was stealing my sister’s vacation pictures and having a collage made of them. They would have stayed on the computer if I didn’t do that.

Tamizn December 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm

The single serving fish pie dish I gave my dad was pretty cool. I collect lip balms and received a really pretty one : )

Evan Thomas December 27, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Buffalo chicken dip is my kryptonite. That stuff is soooooo good!

Lauren December 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm

This is one of the best traditions! Gosh, your family is so sweet. Can I please come over for the next Holiday? I promise I’ll bring an appetizer! :)

Naomi(onefitfoodie) December 27, 2010 at 6:57 pm

salt and pepper shakers are the cutest collectors item! i see them all over the place. I have seen some really funky ones that I am sure your mom would LOVE!

wow the spread that you have going on there looks perfect! buffalo chicken dip?? wow who knew it could be in dip form! looks delish!!!

I also love what your family does for families in need around the holodays. This year at work I collected sneakers to give to the nike reuse a shoe foundation which helps build basketball courts and playground courts for schools. I collecte 62 pairs! (thats a lot of lugging to the store! haha) but it makes me feel so good afterwards!

I collect little spoons and also magazines. Well I don’t collect them, but when I buy fitness mags (oxygen, muscle and fitness) I NEVER throw them out!

inmytummy December 27, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I gave my stepmother this really cute oil tin for olive oil. That was my favorite gift.

I’m not a big collector. I used to collect postcards when I was in college though.

chandra December 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm

May I PLEASE come join you for Christmas Eve dinner next year?! Every.single.item looked delish!!

SheFit December 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I don’t have anything that I collect. I need to find something to get into. Christmas Eve dinner looks amazing! Merry Christmas

Katie December 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I love your Christmas traditions! It looks like such a fun family time!

The best gift I gave this year was ‘letting’ Meeker find out the gender of our baby! Yay…I’m so glad that I know, too – so really it was a gift for us both. ;-)

I collect Audrey Hepburn things – I’m kind of obsessed with her. I have movies, mugs, posters, coasters, books a t-shirt…it’s almost embarrassing.

ezzie December 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I want that clump of chips! Ha, all the food looks delicious! The only things that I unintentionally collect are nail polish and jewelery. A girl can never have enough of those. :)

The Healthy Apple December 27, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Such a beautiful Christmas; hope you have a very Happy Holiday season.

BroccoliHut December 27, 2010 at 9:40 pm

One of my favorite gifts that I gave was for my dad. He is even more of a peanut butter enthusiast than I am, so I got him a membership to a peanut butter of the month club!
As for things I collect, I am working on expanding my tea pot collection:)

kissmybroccoli December 27, 2010 at 10:37 pm

No way!! They have that?! I need to gift that to MYSELF!

Mary (A Merry Life) December 27, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I have to say that I love your family’s traditions! Especially giving groceries to families in need. That’s really awesome.

My favorite gift I gave this year was a pair of socks to Kepa. They were perfect (he likes really crazy socks).

I haven’t ever really collected anything but I guess I’m starting to collect owl things too. It started because my mom collected owl things and every place I would travel I would search for cute owl related things to bring her back. Since she moved to a smaller place she told me to stop buying them but the obsession over looking for them every time I shop won’t stop! So if I see anything super cool I still buy it and for Christmas Kepa bought me an owl. So I guess it’s the start of a collection but not an intense one.

I like the salt and pepper shaker collection and the christmas tree ornament idea! Maybe I should try starting a collection that is actually useful.

kissmybroccoli December 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm

I love appetizer feasts! I am so indecisive at meal times…that way I can have a little bit of everything!

Your family tradition of grocery giving is so awesome! I can’t even imagine those people’s gratitude! You are really helping bring about the miracles of the season!

I don’t collect anything…unless you count all the food in my pantry! ;)

Aimee December 27, 2010 at 11:09 pm

I made my daughter a cowgirl skirt to go with the stick horse she asked Santa for this year. I love it and am so happy that she likes it too.

I collect cookbooks, and try to get a regional ones from places I travel.

When you mentioned your houndstooth things, I remembered this baby/lap quilt my friend made recently. You can find it here:

lizzyj1305 December 28, 2010 at 12:22 am

Your traditions are fabulous!! seriously what an awesome day! your family is so thoughtful to sweep the supermaket for families in need! I love that!
I hope you had an equally wonderful Christmas, and are enjoying a great start to your final week in December!

marisa December 28, 2010 at 1:34 am

I have a love/hate relationship with posts like these! I love that you capture it all so I feel like I am there but I hate that I’m not there! I guess I’ll keep trying to carry on all of the traditions until I get to come home again.

MelissaNibbles December 28, 2010 at 8:12 am

I love that you give food to the needy.
I want that chowder! I collect ex-boyfriends.

Emily (from Salt Lake) December 28, 2010 at 11:23 am

J–I need to know where you got those chips, because if there is even the remotest chance of me finding a clump like that, I have GOT to find them. Serrrrusley. Yes, I’m totally blog stalking you. ;) Happy New Year! Love you xoxo

elise December 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm

we got a waffle maker and im sooooo stoked to use it. i gave my mom a kindle which she realllllly wanted, so that was cool. my other presents that i gave people werent that interesting. in general, my sisters and i are pretty simple – workout stuff, food stuff, whatever.

Susan December 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Awww, Christmas Eve with your family looks so lovely! My mom and I reigned it in this year too. It made dinner prep MUCH less stressful and we were able to hang out more rather than spend the whole holiday in the kitchen. I love the sounds of chowder on Christmas Eve. A pretty popular tradition around here is having lobster for Christmas dinner.

I collect elephant statues :) My best friend actually gave me an elephant necklace for Christmas!

jqlee December 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm

i LOVED big chips stuck together, for some reason i think it tastes better? i know, wierd. lol.

i wish i could collect things but im a total minimalist and during my crazy “throw everything out clean up rounds” i literally just try to get rid of as much stuff as i can. haha.


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