So often many of our Christmas and holiday traditions include singing or listening to our favorite songs and watching movies year after year. It was a tribute to those favorites as the theme of this year’s Christmas Gala Dinner – The Nostalgia of Christmas in Movies and Music. For the past seven years, Mother Provincial Maria Christine, with the help of chefs Andy Webber and Tony Stallone, has hosted this Christmas Gala at our Home.
Shortly after breakfast on December 20, the dining room was closed off and transformed into a Michelin Three Star Restaurant. In the kitchen, the chefs and staff were busy preparing the feast beginning with of hors d’ oeuvres of smoked Scottish salmon on cocktail rye, crème fraiche and Tuscan style Liver Pâté on a toasted baguette, a salad of mixed baby lettuces, crisp pears, toasted walnuts, crumbled Roquefort cheese, with a Champagne vinaigrette, the surf and turf entrée of petit filet mignon and broiled gulf shrimp, maître d’ butter, steamed asparagus, duchess potatoes and a broiled tomato. Finishing off the meal was a luscious dessert of vanilla sponge cake and peppermint ice cream covered in a dark chocolate sauce.
Hardly able to contain our excitement, we waited in the hall outside the dining room for the unveiling. The doors were locked and covered. No one could see what awaited us inside. Five o’clock finally arrived and the doors were opened to a red carpet leading up to a magnificent Christmas tree decorated with silver and blue ornaments. The tables were dressed floor length sliver linens with a pale blue overlay. Lighted silver trees and sparkling lanterns illuminated the center of each table.
Dressed in our best Christmas attire, we were escorted by a volunteer or staff member to the beautiful tree for a picture and then to our table. Once seated, our famous happy hour volunteers began taking orders for cocktails. After everyone was seated and enjoying a sip of good cheer, the appetizers were served. While we munched on our appetizers, our favorite Christmas songs were played by our dear friend Candice on the harp.
The food was fabulous thanks to our wonderful chefs Andy and Tony (and their families). The room exploded in appreciative cheers and “Bravos” when the chefs entered to greet us.
Pictures of many of our favorite Christmas movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “White Christmas” and “Christmas Carol” were displayed on our tables and on the Christmas tree in the center of the room. The pictures of the evening have also been ingrained in our memories as we experienced our own Christmas movie, were we were the stars. As in the endings of our favorite movies, our evening ended happily as we wished our friends a MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!