If there is one thing that toddlers can be tricky about, it’s big holiday meals. Add to that the inevitable excitement of Christmas Eve, the likely sugar overload, and the fancy settings and dishes, and you have a possible recipe for disaster.
In my family, we’ve had what we call “a shepherds’ meal” for Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. I’ve always planned on carrying on this tradition with my own family and now, with a toddler and a newborn, I realize that my family might not have only been doing this because it was fun, but also because it’s so feasible to pull of with small children (not to mention being a pretty low-stress event on an often busy day).
We spread out a blanket on the living room floor (my toddler LOVES anything that even hints at the idea of a picnic), and serve a very simple meal of soup and bread bowls, with some fruit and sparkling cider.
The bread bowls mean that even a picky toddler will have SOMETHING to eat, and also something to keep the soup from being as likely to spill.
We turn off the lights and set around some electric tea lights and light up the Christmas tree, and it all feels very cozy and magical.
I’m so excited to finally get to share this favorite tradition with my own daughters. What do you do for Christmas Eve dinner, especially with very small children?