Serious Eats: Talk

Crazily thinking ahead to holidays

I'm already trying to start planning for the 2010 winter holidays (namely, Christmas) as my husband and I are hosting BOTH our families (thankfully, just parents, siblings and 1 grandmother - no chitlins to deal with yet) at our weekend getaway. I'd done Thanksgiving for one family but I've never done an extending hosting holiday thing for this many people.

My main questions is (besides why I'm driving myself crazy in February but I can't answer that except I like to plan and be organized - type A to the extreme!) my husband's family is of Italian descent and does the seafood thing Christmas eve. My mother's family is Mexican and we typically did tamales (maed with all the helping hands at Thanksgiving) and/or pozole for Christmas eve. (Luckily, both families agree upon prime rib for the main dinner - thank you dad's white southern heritage).

I want to incorporate both family traditions on Christmas eve but I can't seam to reconcile the seafood (some sort of seafood salad, oyster casserole, squid in tomato sauce) with tamales/pozole and just serving everything will be incoherent. Any creative ideas for reconciliation? Will seafood tamales do the trick or is that gross? (I can't decide). Any ideas welcome.

(please no castigation for bringing up the holidays when we just finished the old one - this is my first combined family hosting and I'm excited to start planning).

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