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Mary Burich | December 20, 2018

People | Inspired Fans

Christmas Eve (and Dinty Moore® stew) with the Schmidts

The four Schmidt children understood well that Christmas Eve gift-giving wouldn’t begin until they had cleaned up the dinner dishes. Their mother, Kay Schmidt, insisted on it. What she didn’t realize some decades ago is that the meal itself would become an integral part of the family’s holiday tradition. One that continues today.

Son-in-law Joe thought enough of the custom that he wrote to Hormel Foods recently, unbeknownst to Kay and her husband, Paul. Joe was in the National Guard when he married their daughter Jenna. He was deployed to Bosnia soon after their wedding, and Kay sent him a Christmas care package. It included single-serve cans of Dinty Moore® beef stew so Joe could be close to his new family, if only in spirit.

Now, some 40 years after the Schmidt family made Dinty Moore® the centerpiece of its Christmas Eve dinner, Paul and Kay Schmidt shared their family’s unique story.