This Tuesday is Christmas Eve. And the dinner we have on Christmas Eve is one of my favorite dinners of the year. My wife Chris, whose mother was of Russian descent, makes the traditional Russian Christmas Dinner every year.

Every year we go to the nursing home and we pick up Chris's Aunt Blanch. Blanch was Chris's mother's sister-in-law and she is the last living member of that generation on that side of the family. She joins me, Chris, Ian, and Ian's father John every year.

Scroll down to see pictures of every course.

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The first course of the meal is a shot of vodka. What would a Russian dinner be without vodka? The second course is a clove of raw garlic. Homemade bread is course number 3 and Chris makes that from scratch.

The fourth course might be my favorite one. It's Podpinki,  which I guess is Russian for sauteed mushrooms? One of Chris's cousins picks wild mushrooms and drops them off at our house for this dinner every year. One of my favorite courses is followed by one of my least favorite courses which would be lima beans. Yuck. I still eat some, but I'm not a big fan. Actually is a kid I used to drown my lima beans in ketchup just to try and kill the taste.

After that we move on to Kapusta, AKA sauerkraut soup. This also features lima beans, but at least the sauerkraut makes it taste okay. Course number 7 is called the Babalki.  It's the same dough that the pierogies are made from, and its served with butter and sauteed onions.

Mashed potatoes, also homemade, is course number 8. And if you were to mix those two courses together they would make perogies which are actually course number 9. Chris makes homemade pierogies that are out of this world.

We followed that up with fish. The fish is breaded haddock that is pan-fried with lemon. The last three courses in order are apricots, prunes, and homemade cookies. Chris has been baking cookies for the last three weeks and has made about 10 different kinds, including zazvorniki, kolachki, and more.

Once we finish with dinner we go to the living room and start opening presents. After sitting around visiting for a while, we take Aunt blanch back home and then we go to midnight mass.

I hope your Christmas meal is just as good as ours. Merry Christmas!

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