Twis the week before Christmas and yes I have been scurrying around like a mad mouse. The stockings are hung in the kitchen with care and cat nip. All the gifts are wrapped, cards sent, fudge made and I have sipped, dipped, danced and pranced with all my favourite peeps until I can’t cram another gingerbread man in my mouth. Twenty days into December and it’s been an enormously jammed-packed month of non-stop festivities, over indulgence, social butterflying to the max and red wine everydays, and truthfully, I’m ready for Santa to come, go and let me recover! But not before my most favourite night of the holiday season.

I love Christmas Eve. Sure there was the whole miracle of trekking the dessert guided by a bright star looking for a place to have a baby and making friends with a donkey in a manger which is an awesome sauce story, just as much as the magic of Santa flying with his eight reindeers delivering toys worldwide with the heart-felt hope and anticipation of believing being realized on Christmas morning. But for me it was all about being together with my family on a night resonant in tradition. It always started with a dinner that Mum would only make on Christmas Eve. I waited all year for this dinner and it is to this day my favourite meal of all – Gifilte fish, perogies and potato pancakes. We would gorge ourselves on them trying to break last year’s record for number of potato pancakes eaten and I always managed to win that contest. After Dad would do the dishes, we’d head downstairs for the annual Lowry sing song. I’d play the piano while Dad bolted out his top tunes from Good King Wenceslas and God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen to Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells; and Susan always did her Monotone Angle solo. Mum sipped Drambuie; Dad his G&T, while we nibbled on a tray of homemade sugar cookies, Gingerbread boys, Jam thumbprints and Mum’s famous lace cookies. Mum and Sue would cuddle up on the couch, while Dad would scratch my back and we were all happy. Anxious for Christmas morning to arrive, the evening would always come to an end with my solo of Silent Night. We left cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. Sue & I always slept together on Christmas Eve talking, giggling and trying to stay awake to see if we could hear Santa arrive on the rooftop…but we never did catch him.

Christmas morning was always a rush of abundance, stockings, and gifts, Mum making the dressing, getting “the bird” ready – a cacophony of joyful chaos. But Christmas Eve was something special; soulful, close, loving and real. It was a Lowry family tradition. A silent night; a holy night, where all was calm and all was bright.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

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