Nothing Says Merry Christmas Like a Dish of Shrimp LoMein

by Jillian Douglas

Before I was born, my parents and their two young little guys became suddenly starving one fine Christmas Eve. As it was after the church’s annual Christmas Eve service and getting to be late, most restaurants had their lights off and their doors locked, the chefs, waiters, and waitresses all enjoying their own dinners at home. Was any establishment in the proximity of the Douglas family open?

Finally, they stumbled upon a little Chinese restaurant. “Hey, why not?” they must have thought.

And so began the Christmas Eve Douglas Tradition #1 of eating Chinese food for dinner. This has continued all the way up to today; and to me, nothing says Merry Christmas like feasting on shrimp lo mein and sweet and sour pork.

Last year was a pretty big Christmas occasion. I was a minor part of the church service, which not only put me in a festive mood, but also allowed me to hang out with Nate, one of my reallycoolfreakingawesome friends who I had liked for a long time. Just a couple of weeks earlier, he had told me sheepishly that he liked me, too! It wasn’t until the last week of January that we finally did become a couple, but I still remember those days fondly, when everything seemed just the loveliest and dreams became real possibilities.

Because I was in the service, I couldn’t partake of the Asian cuisine with my family, but grabbed two fortune cookies, one for me and one for him. When Nate opened his and read it, he laughed and laughed. Despite my persistence, he refused to tell me what it said! It wasn’t until months later that he told me the message:


“A beautiful, smart, and loving person

will be coming in to your life.”


It was definitely one of those crazy cosmic moments when you suddenly wonder if your whole existence was just to be the protagonist in some chic lit, much like Stranger Than Fiction. At the very least, a thousand butterflies set off in my stomach and ever since then, Nate and I have been very happy together, indeed!

I wonder what this year’s fortune will tell us!

P.S. What are your holiday traditions?! Comment below and you will get the great satisfaction of enlightening people online. Ooo!


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