Holiday Guide – Adulting

Favorite Christmas Tradition: Feast of the Seven Fishes

Each Christmas Eve for the last 24 years my family has celebrated the Feast of the Seven Fishes. It's one of my favorite things about the holiday season. For us it began as a huge party at one our our family's closest friend's house. All night there was family and friends coming and going. Coming from other family events, going to other family obligations, but everyone wanted to at least stop by the party. You just couldn't miss this night. From start to finish there was food everywhere. Meats and cheeses, appetizers, food, beers, wine, of course sambuca (black licorice/anise taste still gross to me.) One of my favorite memories of the early years were the parents sitting around saying they were going around the world with each bottle of wine that was opened. Really it was mostly the dad's being loud and shouting, 'We're going to Spain. We're moving to France! We're back in Italy! " You get the idea. This party was great. So many funny memories and stories come from all those years. When I was in 8th grade I was an altar server for the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. We naturally went to the party first, then we went to the mass that I was in. We all went to the mass, but only four of us stayed as my dad snuck out, and went back to the party before coming to pick us up. Looking back on it that's a legendary move on his part. Over time as life happens and things change the crowd got slightly, I emphasize slightly, smaller. The party got moved from that house to a great little restaurant in northeast Philly called Cafe Michaelangelo. It was a place a few of them had been going to for dinner for years, so they got the whole hookup. We took over the entire main dining room for the night. So many courses of food were brought out you couldn't even imagine another thing could possibly fit in your stomach. This went strong for close to a decade at Michaelangelo, then the people who were kids when this tradition started began having kids of their own. Trying to wrangle an overtired and overstimulated toddler was tough. Then COVID threw another wrench in and changed things again. The crowds split and people began to sort of do their own thing. As more kids came the more difficult it would be to enjoy the night how it used to be. So we continued the tradition in much smaller size and now do it at my sisters house. It's our parents, the siblings, significant others and our kids. It's still a great night of food and wine and desserts with family. Maybe when the kids are all a bit older the whole group gets together for another banger of a Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve... because TRADITION! [select-listicle listicle_id="929341" syndication_name="unique-and-unusual-thanksgiving-traditions-to-consider" description="yes"]