Christmas Dinner (An Ultimate Recipe Swap)

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Ultimate Recipe Swap

Christmas dinner can be as fancy as a huge turkey and all the trimmings. Think A Christmas Carol after Scrooge has repented.

Or it can be as simple as a few boxes of takeout from your favorite Chinese food restaurant. Think A Christmas Story after the dog ate the aforementioned turkey.

Whatever you choose, it can be special if you make it fancy, make it a tradition, or make it fun.

Make it fancy

Pull out all the stops and serve dinner on fancy china and real silver. Add some drippy candles and table linens. Even takeout or pizza takes on a different feel when it gets dressed up.

Serve bubbly beverages. Kids will love sparkling apple cider or for a less expensive version, combine juice concentrate with club soda for a Fruit Sparkly.

And as if dessert needed any help, there are lots of small ways to make dessert dazzling.

Make it tradition.

Sometimes what makes a meal special is the consistency of the tradition and the memories attached to it. For instance at our house, we have these Out of This World Scalloped Potatoes. They are made of just potatoes, cream, half and half, butter, and salt and pepper. Oh my!

In our younger days, FishPapa and I enjoyed this dish, the whole pan to ourselves, on a monthly basis. Now that we’re pushing middle age, we enjoy this potato decadence about once a year — at Christmas. We love it. It’s tradition. It’s special.

The same goes for our Buche de Noel.

Even if you can’t swing all your favorites this year — due to time, money, or energy — choose one thing that is a tradition and serve that.

Make it fun.

Even if you’re “just” having pancakes for supper — a great go-to dinner for all occasions, by the way — make it fun by creating special shapes and letting the kids add powdered sugar and sprinkles. Make pancake art.

Depending on how large your crowd is over the holidays, you can even eat someplace other than the dining room table. Have a picnic supper in front of the fire or kneel on pillows at the coffee table.

Fellowship trumps food.

I’m the first to say that good food is important. But, spending time with the people you love is more important than how good it tastes or looks. If I get to spend time with my brother and my friends, I don’t mind that the salad dressing was a little too sour or that there were dishes in the sink or big bags of flour on the countertop.

What matters is the hanging out and enjoying one other.

What are YOUR Christmas Dinner plans?

What makes a holiday dinner special at your house? Feel free to share a recipe, menu idea, or Christmas dinner memory in the linky or the comments section.

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  1. The last few years I’ve been making an Italian 7 fishes dinner (even though I’m mostly Hungarian – it’s just a fun meal!) then make make ahead french toast for Christmas morn.

  2. I seriously love your log cake! I was at the commissary picking out the ingredients when I remembered that David told me to take it easy this year….oh well… adding it to the idea book for next year.

  3. Your Yule Log is very pretty and looks yummy! Your little boy is precious with his little pancake man. I brought you my Cream Puffs and hope you enjoy them. Thank you for sharing and hosting us today and you and you family have a very Merry Christmas!

  4. For many years we have had href=””>Cheese fondue with sourdough bread and steamed vegetables for our Christmas Eve Dinner.

  5. Oh, I’m very much looking forward to the “traditional” part of my Christmas Day – since my hubby and I moved to Chicago in 2006, we have had a quiet one. Breakfast is cinnamon buns, coffee has fancy creamer, and we get Thai food (complete with Thai iced tea and tofu pad thai – every year) for lunch. Then we take a nap.
    And it’s usually the only time all year I get those food things, so I really look forward to them. Much more so than the rest of it, in fact. Yum.

  6. Every Christmas Eve we make a greek style dinner we feature chicken kebobs, and everyone loves homemade spinach pie and rice pilaf with a spring mix salad and some hummus with fresh pita bread. By the way no one here is greek but its great being one for a day.

  7. Thanks so much for hosting! I shared my mother-in-law’s Strawberry Pretzel Salad which is a holiday tradition in our house. Some might try to place it on the dessert table, but in our home it’s a side dish:) Merry Christmas!

  8. What fun! I needed some good ideas. We are still rounding out our Christmas dinner plan.

    Merry Christmas!


  9. I was inspired to blog about our weird Christmas tradition: Chicken nuggets and tater tots. Too many years of exhausting holidays, and my hubby eventually put his foot down 🙂

  10. I picked up the dungeness crabs this afternoon and they wiggled and spatin their bag. So exciting! I used to fish them when I was young but over here they are a rare treat. Oysters of course! Christmas Eve is fish and seafood (with a little foie gras). I also have some black truffles I bought at the marché aux truffes last week (1000 euros a kilo this year!!!) Divine things. Not sure what I’m going to do with them yet. It’ll all come together, it always does. So, it’s part tradition, part gourmet and part just having fun and winging it.

  11. We have so many food related traditions – Tamales on Christmas Eve, Sausage Egg Casserole for Christmas breakfast, Prime Rib for Christmas dinner, & Red Velvet Cheesecake for Christmas dinner (which I shared the recipe for in the linky).

    Remember this trick when eatting all the holiday goodies – close your eyes with each bite, & the calories won’t count 🙂

    Hope you & yours have a wonderful Christmas!

  12. Our family tradition is to have cinnamon rolls for breakfast with sparkling grape juice. This year for lunch we are focusing on food that can be made ahead of time and I am making my Loaded Baked Potato Soup (I posted it for the linky party!)