... A very old tradition
Before a Holy day in the Catholic Church, we have a fast. A fast means that we abstain from eating meat and have only one full meal a day. During the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, Catholics between the ages of 16 to 65 are obliged to "fast". The exceptions are if you are pregnant or ill. This period of time is called Lent. I'm sure that many of my readers have heard the question "What did you give up for Lent" It is usually attributed to the concept of sacrifice. We must remember that Jesus sacrificed his life to atone for the sins of man. On Easter Sunday, which is a holy day, we celebrate Jesus Christ rising from the dead.
Another Holy day is December 25th. This day is known as Christmas. This Holy day celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Now remember that before the feast, we have to have a fast.
For many many years, I had the fast, which was Christmas Eve at my home. I would purchase, clean, prepare, cook, and serve, fish of every variety, and any other non-meat food. I invited my entire family including children to enjoy the food and each other for the entire evening. If we were not too tired we would go to the midnight Mass, but we never forgot the purpose of the gathering. This was to celebrate the birth of Christ.
December 1, 2000