It is that festive time of year where we get to go out to a decadent Christmas party here and there. A break in the kitchen, beautiful food, fantastic people, sparkling lights and pretty clothes.
Last night’s Christmas party held for my husband’s work got me thinking and asking myself, what is Christmas food?
Yes, like last night you have your turkey and stuffing but what special something does your family do that is different than others? Last year my mother-in-law made a squash puff with marshmallows and it blew me away! To me that is untraditional but perhaps not for her family.
There are holiday food traditions in my family like a small tray of smoked oysters, cracking open pistachio nuts (long time ago), eating our family’s veggie dip and/or crab dip, preventing winer scurvy by eating many mandarine oranges and drinking copious amounts of tea.
In my earlier years my mom would go to the Latvian bakery and pick up some Piragi (bacon buns) and Little Caraway Buns. My grandma, her Mom, would wake up and make my parents coffee and we would all eat these treats very early in the morning. That is the taste of my childhood Christmas.
What are your traditional family Christmas foods that are not quite traditional?
Is it not amazing we all have different holiday food traditions? Let’s celebrate all the fun ways we enjoy food and the holidays. I may give some of your ideas a try in my own kitchen.
Brandi Reynolds says
my mom is actually quite an adventurer in the kitchen and doesn’t do a ‘traditional’ christmas dinner. In fact, we don’t even have a christmas dinner.
pancakes adn bacon for breakfast.
then lunch could be anything. Sandwhich buffet with veggies and dip or chicken enchiladas or soup or chicken wings.
several different desserts (always something chocolate for me and mincemeat pie for my dad).
dinner is leftovers-grazing-eat whenever you are hungry.
I love that our traditions are ‘untraditional’!
Zedral Z says
My family isn’t Italian, but we do a feast of the X-number of fishes for Christmas Eve. We have fried fish (usually whiting), boiled shrimp, sometimes fried oysters, stuffed clams, hush puppies, coleslaw, and french fries. Sometimes my parents make a ham for dinner the next day, or a pork roast. Sometimes, though, they save it for New Year’s Day because of the amount of leftovers from the night before. I really miss that! I wish I could be there. 🙂
Suzie Ridler says
Brandi, that is so cool your Christmas is so completely untraditional! My husband loves mincemeat, for him that’s Christmas so I sometimes make him tarts since I am not a fan.
Zedral, fish! Really?! Now that is very different. Oh I love seafood, my Mom did make lobster one year, I was in heaven.
I don’t have these foods anymore..(sigh) but when I was growing up (in France) Christmas at my grandparents always meant either pheasant or pigeons (my top favourite!)..we also had canned chestnuts, those were so yummy!
Wandering Coyote says
Well, I make a huge meal on Solstice that has a different menu every year, and doesn’t involve the usual turkey dinner. Also, Christmas Eve is my dad’s birthday, and his favourite meal is steak & kidney pie, so we always make him some of that, though he’s the only one who eats it….
Our Christmas lunches are pretty traditional! Turkey, ham, stuffing, etc. My mouth is watering just thinking about it all. Your childhood Christmases sound like they had a lot of good flavors!
We have the traditional dinner (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc etc) but my mom always made quiches in advance to be warmed for Christmas breakfast.
I love how your photo for Christmas food was a large glass of wine lol!
Traditions – not my thing at all. Just when they get established I love to change them, same old same old is boring, so traditions with a twist is my aim.
Suzie Ridler says
Alex, I have always wanted to try canned chestnuts!
WC, I am actually not a fan of turkey (shh, it’s a secret) and will probably make two festive meals, one for Yule and one for Christmas. My Mom loves steak and kidney pie, I made it for her this summer! I couldn’t eat it though, LOL.
Tori & Luckiest1, nothing wrong with traditional at all!
Janice, that was actually water but I did indulge in a white wine spritzer which is very rare.
That’s OK, not to be traditional is fine too. I love changing things but my husband loves the classics so that’s what I tend to do.
Until my grandparents died, we would travel to their home on Christmas day. That meant our Christmas celebration was Christmas Eve.
We would go to the local Chinese restaurant for dinner then to church for the CE service.
Next was to the next town (we lived in the country) to see the huge lights display.
Home from there to open all the presents that were wrapped with some sort of code. We didn’t know which present was for whom, would spend the week prior trying to figure it out only to find that Mom had used the background colour of the paper to indicate who it was for or all the square boxes were for one kid or some other bizarre plan only she could decipher.
Christmas morning we three kids would get up, make (instant) coffee and toast for our parents and jump on their bed with stuffed stockings from Santa.
Next we were on the road for 2 hours.
The trip home would always be in a blizzard resulting in a stop at the Husky station for french fries and gravy. My sister was NOT impressed with this mode of birthday celebration but we remember it all very clearly.
peppylady (Dora) says
With work I haven’t had time to make really any thing for the holidays.
Coffee is on.
We always did the turkey dinner. When it was my parents’ turn to host the whole extended family, my grown-up cousin Ed would carve the turkey and we kids would hang around, trying to snitch juicy, well-done little bits here and there.
My parents, now in their 80s and no longer able to host the family, and living far from all of their kids, resort to “comfort food” from the Depression–fried potatoes and ham, with a side of “pluma moos,” a traditional Mennonite dried fruit stew.
On the years that my kids spend Christmas Day at their dad’s home, my Christmas is something non-traditional. Initially, my tradition in that case was pizza with veggies and (dill) dip. This year I am doing Christmas with my kids on the 22nd and we are making sushi/California rolls for dinner!
Hey, TheSweetOne: My mom did the same thing with the gifts! She used a numbering system. One year there were three very large boxes, and we went bonkers trying to figure out what all three of us daughters (ages 10, 20 and 23) would be getting the same. She really had us fooled that time, as the big gifts turned out to be for the two already-adult daughters…and Dad and Mom themselves.
I’ve enjoyed reading everyone else’s traditions. I think our family’s tradition has devolved from an elaborate dinner at my gram’s to whatever we can muster up, which usually amounts to ham, cheesy potatoes and a pasta of some kind, served buffet style with whatever else anyone brings. Far cry from the great roast dinners my gram made, but then times have changed! My sis is the one to host now because my home isn’t big enough. My one holiday food tradition is nutroll – I bake a ton of them, and my hubby and I always enjoy that for breakfast on Christmas morning as we share our gifts. Dianne
Like my grandmother and mother before me, I usually make tourtiere (French-Canadian meat pie) but haven’t yet this year. We always enjoyed it cold or warm with ketchup.
Ever since my kids were young, I’ve made nuts and bolts with almonds, cheerios and crispix along with whatever else I could find to throw in. My sister adopted the recipe for her family years ago and this year we both sent care packages of nuts and bolts to our sons in Afghanistan. It travels well and is always much appreciated at the other end 🙂
My mom’s present wrapping code became more and more complex the older we got. It started a simply taping down the tags so we couldn’t peek. Next was tucking the tags into the creases of the wrapping. From there it was the colour of the paper or I think one year it was how she had folded the ends. Inevitably someone would open a present that wasn’t for them but it became part of the fun.
I’m actually looking forward to my kids getting to that stage!