Ham is the perfect Christmas dinner on our farm. Sure, we eat ham steaks and even the occasional little hams throughout the year, but our Christmas ham is one that is lovingly sent from my husband's aunt and uncle in California. It doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but for 20 years we have received the brown box containing the solution to dinner for Christmas. Some of those years were leaner than others, and the arrival of that ham was my solution to many meals. During those years, I waited for that box; knowing it would arrive, but worrying that this would be the year it didn't.
Another year, it was a less than 2 weeks away from welcoming a new family member into the world, and that box allowed some culinary relief to one very expectant mom. In a recent Christmas past, opening that brown box without mom/grandma around for the first time was emotional for all of us. It was a sad time, until we pulled out the sweet potato side dish she loved so much and we remembered how she would try to hoard the entire thing for herself. We still didn't quite know what to do with the white Styrofoam inner box that kept the contents frozen. Mom used to "need" it for her own storage.
It wouldn't be Christmas without this loving gift from family that I have married into but never met. It's so much more than just dinner.