This is an age old Italian tradition--The Feast of the Seven Fishes. Every year I pull together a menu of seven fishes and presented them to my guests as a tasting plate or tapas. I also include the history of the seven fishes, which no one really knows for sure how it all got started and why the number seven is used. No matter how it got its start, tradition is a tradition.
It is also not only fish, it can include shellfish and mollusk as part of the celebration. There just cannot be any meat of any kind served until after mid-night. Tradition has it that you go to midnight mass and then come home to pork sausage and an assortment of other meats.
As you can see from this year's menu, I had a smattering of this and that and also brought in a potato latkes dish (with shrimp) in recognition of the first night of Hanukkah. We celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah in our home and this year was even better because the two holidays fell on the same day.
You can find all the recipes from this menu right here. They are all quite easy to make. The wonderful thing is that you can either make or prepare all of these dishes before hand. This gives you more time with your guest and less time in the kitchen.