View Full Version : Christmas food traditions

12-20-2015, 03:13 AM
What are you favorite food traditions for Christmas? Breakfast, dinner? What do you like to do?

We don't have food traditions for Christmas, yet. I am thinking about ideas for our small family of 3.

12-20-2015, 08:53 AM
We try to keep our Xmas Eve to just the three of us too. Our dinner is usually pretty heavy fare: we usually do a (small-ish) standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding, bitter salad, and sweet-ish roasted veg like carrots or sweet potatoes or Delicata squash. (We get a cowshare, a "mixed quarter" which means a half of the beast but mixed up so you get good bits of that half. The steaks, tenderloin, rib roasts are really not very numerous so we reserve them for special holidays.) But it's not an ethnic tradition so much as a this-household tradition.

I will admit to being intrigued by various specific Xmas, ethnic traditions...like Sicilian "feast of the 7 fishes (http://cooking.nytimes.com/68861692-nyt-cooking/806748-the-feast-of-the-seven-fishes)", Scandinavian lefse, Mexican tamales. When I was a single vegetarian, my friends and I used to do a big lasagne with lots and lots of wine. Something special, you know? And of course when I dated a Jewish guy, Xmas Eve was usually Chinese or sushi!

Breakfast. Somehow Xmas a.m. breakfast tends to be ignored for all the present-opening. It might be nice to have a quick baked breakfast casserole ready to go...something eggy/bready/cheesy and maybe not so sweet? Maybe I will plan ahead!

12-20-2015, 09:45 AM
Christmas Eve is usually just DH, DS, and me. That meal varies depending on what we have left to do, if I'm baking, if it snows and we are outdoors, if DH is working that day. This year I'm thinking maybe a buffalo blue cheese chicken pasta. Other years we've made clam chowder, chicken and olives, seafood casserole, lasagna.

For Christmas morning we have casserole that we make the day before and the first one up pops it in the oven. It's bread (challah, french, sourdough all work) sausage (or ham or bacon can be used) and then you mix in shredded cheese and mix eggs and milk and dump over it. It sits in the fridge over night and then bakes. DH makes it, so I don't know the exact recipe off the top of my head. He'd rather cook than wrap gifts or bake desserts.

I usually make eggnog cheesecake and millionaire bars for dessert to take to Christmas Dinner, as we don't host that.

12-20-2015, 11:03 AM
Last year we grazed all day. This year Grama wants us over for dinner at her house.

Christmas Eve I want to make lobster or crab bisque - I looked online for where this tradition comes from but couldnt find it. We pair this pretentious soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, perfect for dipping. I may go all fancy with the puff pastry top on the soup.... or might not.

For breakfast after presents, if Im motivated I will serve a combination of Alton Browns two bread pudding recipes.... if not motivated maybe it will be homemade oatmeal with dried fruits.

DS9 has decided that homemade cranberry sauce is awesome, and I thought Id make these cranberry-brie-puff pastry critters to graze on throughout the day.
Cranberry Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites (http://www.wellplated.com/cranberry-baked-brie-puff-pastry/)
Maybe shrimp cocktail at lunch time to appease DHs requirement of meat at each meal. If costco has them, maybe the bacon wrapped, creamcheese-stuffed shrimp, because theyre yummy.

I guess our only tradition is that fattening food is served. Definitely not a vegetable holiday for us.

12-20-2015, 12:27 PM
Xmas tradition for the three of us is vastly different than tradition for my parents & sibs. For the three of us, we ALWAYS go out to a nice dinner on xmas eve. It's my gift to me. :)

Before xmas, the only solid tradition is baking more cookies than three people should ever consume. At least one batch has to involve decorating...it's girl's favorite part.

Xmas day tradition is that we get up, stare at the ludicrous number of gifts under the tree (mainly from my family to girl), and then hold off on the opening ritual until breakfast is done. I will make something substantial that will hold us until probably dinner time later that night. Dinner, though, tends to be on the light side: crackers, cheeses, meats on a platter and a soup of some sort. Cookies for dessert, of course.

12-20-2015, 07:28 PM
Christmas breakfast is always fun takes on waffle-making. We always do some gingerbread waffles (I have a yummy recipe for that one if anyone ever wants it!), but then we've done all kinds of other varieties: peppermint waffles, thin mint waffles, apple waffles with apple cider syrup, gummy worm waffles (don't highly recommend that one LOL), marshmallow waffles, smores waffles, etc. Every year we try something new and it's always a ton of fun thinking up what our new "theme" is going to be.

12-21-2015, 07:04 AM
We go over to my Dad's and cook out for Christmas. Usually pork, chicken, ribs, and sausage. I'll make a rusk roll (it's a dinner roll), mom makes a white chocolate mix that is only ever made at Christmas, and my sister and her husband are in charge of the macaroni and cheese! We have a very bizarre Christmas, but when it's far more likely to be 60 than snow, you have leeway. :-)

12-22-2015, 06:36 PM
We have so many "required" Christmas traditions that it's ridiculous. As far as food, we have an annual "Bake Day" early in December when we make shortbread, butter tarts, sugar cookies, fudge, peanut butter balls, and whatever else people are in the mood for.

On Christmas morning, we eat homemade blueberry muffins for breakfast BEFORE we open gifts. Yes, that's right, we get up and bake muffins first thing Christmas morning. We open our stockings while the muffins are in the oven. That's an iron-clad tradition of mine since childhood, and I'm pretty sure my kids will continue it.

Christmas dinner is always at my house because it's large enough and it's cat and smoke-free. My mother insists on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and carrots. My mother-in-law insists on perogies and cabbage rolls (she's Ukrainian). Sometimes I daydream about having salmon or lasagna for Christmas, but it will have to be long after the grandmothers have passed on.

My daughter's birthday is on Boxing Day, and she usually wants brunch, so we have everyone back over to the house for more food - bacon, eggs, omelettes, croissants, fruit salad, etc...

It's a little excessive, honestly.

12-29-2015, 06:30 AM
Hi Mariam,
Well, we always have a Hong Kong style roasted duck and char-siu pork with white rice for Christmas Eve dinner with assorted Vietnamese desserts. This started about 12 years ago and since kids are 12 and 10, it is all they know so, that is a tradition. For Christmas, we always, always make a turkey, oyster stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce AND the Oceanspray kind, homemade gravy, 2 desserts, cider and hot tea. We are only 4 people. There is enough food for 12. We eat leftovers and I tend to make a turkey pot pie as well. This menu does not ever vary. DH and I did this BEFORE we had kids when it was just 2 of us lol...:D

Mrs. Patmore
12-30-2015, 06:12 PM
Christmas is another one of those holidays that aren't just for us, but for in-laws and friends, so we can't really do things because we enjoy them. I have hosted four years in a row, but made different menus each year to accommodate changing tastes. My daughter is too picky to like normal food, and I don't make things for group events just because DH and I like them, as we can just eat later.

The one exception is pecan rum nog cookies, which I make every year. I am thinking of reintroducing my grandmother's Russian tea as a tradition, too.

12-30-2015, 06:54 PM
Mrs. Patmore, those cookies sound very intriguing. Wasn't there a cookie or dessert thread going? Perhaps your recipe is not a family secret and you'd share?

12-30-2015, 09:33 PM
Dhs dad's side was Jewish, and his tradition growing up was lox and bagels Christmas morning. We did that for the first time this year, and it was great.

I made this dessert Old Fashioned Chocolate Icebox Dessert Recipes (http://busycooks.about.com/od/dessertrecipe1/r/chocolatedesser.htm) with DS today. My grandmother taught me how to make it - though more like a log and no vanilla. We decided it would be a great tradition for NYE/Day so we are starting that this year as well!

I feel some homey. Homish. Momish.

12-30-2015, 09:46 PM
Im feelin it too TFZ!!! And wow, your younguns ate lox on bagels?

I like the idea of making a traditional new years meal too. Black eyed peas and collard greens - eat simply, live richly - somebody told me this is why you eat that on new years day. And maybe add cornbread, because its southern. Hmmm and pineapple upside down cake, because its also southern, and very popular in this house.

And that frozen whipped cream log looks yummy, we may try that for new years eve!

12-30-2015, 10:07 PM
OH yeah ds loves fish. DH makes salmon a couple times a month. Last time DS ate his own, mine, and half of dh's.

12-31-2015, 06:38 AM
For xmas, it's always been vegetarian sushi. Crazy but true. We start making tsukemono (Japanese pickles) a few days before. As the kids get old enough they learn to wrap the rolls.

That's our tradition. My family of origin would turn their nose up at it. DW family is Armenian. Lots of good food around the holidays - dolma (stuffed grape leaves) is a favorite.

12-31-2015, 07:45 AM
MNDad good luck with the move! You're posting so hopefully that means you're not stuck in customs, right :D

Sushi is a grand thing to make with kids. In point of fact their little hands are better suited to rolling, or at least that's the way it works in this family.

NEW YEAR'S: Anyone have any traditions to share? For New Year's Day we usually do Hoppin' John but that's mainly because field peas (of which black-eyed peas are one) are stupid easy to grow here and we therefore have a lot. I also usually make something cheesy and sloppy to help with that post-champagne thumper of a headache that I tend to get....

12-31-2015, 11:29 AM
We haven't developed any traditions yet. On NY's day My mom used to make lots of appetizers, hot and cold dips, to have with crackers, cheese and other snack foods. We used to watch the Rose Parade live and come back to the house and watch it again on TV until the Rose Bowl was on tv.

I liked that, except that I am the only one who like those appetizers and no one is interested in the parade except me.

Mrs. Patmore
01-02-2016, 08:56 PM
Sure EJsMom. These are the rum nog cookies:


I don't put sugar sprinkles on top, but I do put a little nutmeg on top (an option listed in the book this comes from, the Veganomicon). The cookies are very sweet without any sprinkles.

01-08-2016, 09:29 PM
Dhs dad's side was Jewish, and his tradition growing up was lox and bagels Christmas morning. We did that for the first time this year, and it was great.

I made this dessert Old Fashioned Chocolate Icebox Dessert Recipes (http://busycooks.about.com/od/dessertrecipe1/r/chocolatedesser.htm) with DS today. My grandmother taught me how to make it - though more like a log and no vanilla. We decided it would be a great tradition for NYE/Day so we are starting that this year as well!

I feel some homey. Homish. Momish.

Thank you TFZ for this recipe! We do the chocolate variation, the whole family gobbles it up. Frozen whipped cream, who wouldve thought? :)