It’s Christmas Eve! Caitlin is mega busy with her reunions and her eats in the crisp, cool, desert. And I am writing this under palm trees in a balmy 24°C and 10 hours ahead. But we still wanted to share some of our own Christmas Eve traditions with you. Everyone has their own way of doing it, and we wanted to share the little things that our families do on the eve of the mega tasty eating that follows on Christmas Day.
I have never finished reading Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast because it hits too close to home. In fact, I can never really finish any book about expatriates because they all simply reflect so much of how I already live. What does this have to do with Christmas Eve traditions? A lot. For the first time in years, I’ve owned up to the fact that I now live outside of Canada. Now, Christmas doesn’t feature snow. I haven’t been in Canada for Christmas for seven years (I’m not a complete exile – I see my family and friends in the warmer climes). I’m an expat. I type this with so many mixed feelings.
That feeling of missing home usually settles in today of all days. So I haven’t completely removed myself from family traditions. One that I do like to hold steady is Christmas Eve sushi! This is a huge deal. Basically what happens is that my mom has no interest in preparing a meal on the eve of her cooking a massive meal featuring a prime rib and all the fixings. So once my siblings and I approached sushi-appreciating age, takeaway sushi became something we all looked forward to as a marker of the holidays. My dad would head out (usually into the snow) to our favourite Korean-owned sushi palace and pick up the biggest platter of sushi and sashimi. We would set upon it like wolves.
Raw fish and Christmas go together like marshmallows and hot chocolate for me. Call it weird, but they’re my holidays and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the proliferation of Japanese restos in Phnom Penh tonight!