From Mr. Handsome…
If someone told you that one of their Christmas traditions was eating pizza on Christmas Eve, what would you think? I’ll admit that it sounds a bit underwhelming. Maybe they burned their Christmas ham a few years in a row and ended up ordering pizza anyway, so they eventually decided to just forget the ham and go straight to the pizza.
Well, I’m here to tell you that I ate pizza every Christmas Eve as a child. My parents still serve it to this day.
We didn’t buy it from the freezer section at the grocery store or order it from a restaurant. No, this was homemade, completely from scratch. We called it shepherd’s pie. I’m not sure why. True shepherd’s pie is a casserole with meat, vegetables, mashed potatoes, and cheese. But for some reason, on Christmas Eve, pizza became shepherd’s pie for us. I suppose family traditions don’t have to make sense.
As my siblings and I grew, we started helping with dinner. By the time we were teenagers, we were making it entirely by ourselves. We improved our techniques each year, and the pizza got better and better. After trying my uncle’s lasagna, we switched out the canned pizza sauce for his secret tomato sauce recipe. After trying Chicago style pizza, we started experimenting with deep dish.
When I met Ellie, I was horrified to learn that she liked a bizarre, newfangled concoction of toppings known as “Hawaiian.” I couldn’t imagine putting ham (or Canadian bacon) and pineapple on pizza. “I’m dating a hippie,” I thought. But to impress Ellie on the first Christmas she spent with my family, I put some pineapple and ham on a pizza, and lo and behold, it actually tasted pretty good.
We have been quarantining since a week before the baby was born, to avoid all the COVID and flu germs going around, so we didn’t see my family for Christmas. My mother was kind enough to prepare some homemade pizzas for us and freeze them. We cooked them in the oven, and they tasted delicious.
Do you have any unusual Christmas (or any other holiday) traditions?