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What Are Some Traditional Christmas Foods?

Holiday cookies are a favorite traditional Christmas food.
The most common Christmas meat is Turkey.
Eggnog is the most common Christmas drink.
Stuffing is a traditional Christmas dish.
Squash may be featured as a Christmas food.
Figgy pudding, a traditional Christmas dessert.
Pumpkin pies are popular during the Christmas holiday season.
Roasted duck.
Mincemeat is used for traditional pies.
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  • Written By: J.Gunsch
  • Edited By: Sara Z. Potter
  • Images By: Brent Hofacker, Stephanie Frey, Uckyo, Brent Hofacker, Andersphoto, Springfield Gallery, Lisa F. Young, Glen Maclarty, Alex S. Bayley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2014
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The day following Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas season which means tons of traditional Christmas foods. Specialty drinks, treats and edible works of art all lead up to the much anticipated Christmas dinner. Every family and circle of friends will add their own variations and flavors to these traditional foods but at least some of the dishes are common to all.

Christmas cookies are one of the signature Christmas foods that inspire the holiday spirit in young and old alike. Sugar cookies are easy to make and are just as much fun to prepare as they are to eat. Children love to help mix the dough, use Christmas themed cookie cutters and decorate them with frosting and sprinkles. Other popular holiday cookies include gingerbread, mint cookies, stained glass cookies and gourmet cookie confections that require special preparation.

Along the same line as gingerbread cookies, gingerbread houses are one of the most celebrated holiday dishes. Constructing a house out of gingerbread with frosting, candy and more, the baker becomes an artist leaving a tempting work that is just waiting to be devoured. Certainly some gingerbread houses are too elaborate to be eaten and are designated and preserved to become a part of the Christmas decor for years to come.

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Eggnog is a favorite Christmas beverage that can be served with or without a punch. Some people like to add spiced rum, whiskey and even wine to this drink to create a warming holiday cocktail. The same also goes for hot apple cider which is a must among holiday foods and is great with or without the added alcohol. Hot chocolate is also a popular Christmas beverage that goes over well with countless children and adults, especially when warming up from outdoor play on cold and snowy days.

All of these Christmas foods are enjoyed up to and at the big Christmas dinner. However, the foods that are normally reserved for the big day are a much anticipated event. Traditional Christmas dinners will likely have a meat like turkey which is the most common, ham, roasted duck or goose to a lesser degree. Along with the meat, Christmas foods found at the traditional dinner include stuffing which is also called dressing, and a number of different vegetables like corn, creamed onions, broccoli, squash, potatoes and cranberry sauce.

Every Christmas dinner worthy of its name will also have a variety of enticing deserts. Spread out in front of all the diners will be Christmas cookies, fruit cakes, figgy pudding, pumpkin bread and an assortment of pies. Some of the most popular types of pies are apple pie, pumpkin, mincemeat, chocolate and lemon meringue pie. Desert is incomplete unless it is accompanied by coffee, tea, eggnog and any variety of after dinner liqueurs.

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Discuss this Article

anon356713
Post 9

Fruit cake!

backdraft
Post 8
I know that this is not necessarily a traditional Christmas food, but when I think of Christmas and food I always think of little cocktail meatballs in BBQ sauce.

As a kid, Christmas with the extended family was always at my grandma's house and she always served the same appetizers. One was those little meatballs and I gorged myself on them as a kid. I didn't want to eat anything else. Now, honestly, I think they are kind of gross, but back then I looked forward to them as much as Santa Clause.

profess
Post 7

What are some traditional Mexican foods? I am thinking of switching up our own traditions this year and I would like to know how other people around the world celebrate the holiday.

BAU79
Post 6

My family doesn't really do a meal on Christmas, we basically just have a bunch of appetizers and snack foods that get set out for people to much on while the family mingles. There are so many of us that it would be really hard to do a proper sit down meal.

clippers
Post 5
I know that for a lot of people, traditional Christmas foods are basically the same as traditional Thanksgiving foods. But about 10 years ago my family decided to do something different.

On Christmas the entire family has a potluck Italian feast. We have several different kinds of pasta, salads, breads, and veggie medleys. Who doesn't love Italian food, right? And so soon after Thanksgiving, who really wants to eat all the same stuff over again?

turtlez
Post 4

@gameaddicted - Send his family over to me! I have almost one "failure" a year that goes straight into the trash. You've heard of people having green thumbs for gardening? Well, my flour thumb for baking and cooking is just non-existent. I stick to the simplest Christmas food recipes like stuffing and green bean casserole and let someone else do the turkey or ham.

gameaddicted
Post 3

@plaid - My husband is half Greek and we make Greek Christmas foods almost every year in order to celebrate that heritage. I think Christmas is a great holiday to try new things because many people have a lot of family over and such. In my husband's family you are almost sure to have some one eat your food no matter how badly you think it might have turned out.

plaid
Post 2

@olittlewood - My family is very non-traditional. We don't necessarily make the same Christmas holiday foods every year. In fact, just last year we made a macaroni and cheese dish and an Alfredo side dish instead of the more traditional stuffing or mashed potatoes. I think this year we will try healthy options, though, because we are becoming healthier this year.

olittlewood
Post 1

every year, i love taking traditional christmas foods and finding a new, interesting way to make them. i still prefer the old standbys, but it's fun to find a new way to enjoy them!

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