Christmas Dinner Suggestions

I always cook a traditional Soviet menu for New Year’s. We get some Soviet champagne to go with it, and unleash the childhood memories.

For Thanksgiving, I do the traditional American thing. Brined and roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, etc.

But what to serve for Christmas? What do you, folks, do? Also a turkey? It feels weird to do two turkeys so close to each other. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to distinguish between the Thanksgiving and Christmas family meals? I want it to be still American but different from the Thanksgiving shebang.

14 thoughts on “Christmas Dinner Suggestions

  1. My family has taken to doing a pork roast with mashed potatoes and other assorted sides. For dessert there’s usually pineapple upside-down cake or something like that. At my grandparents house it was a day of pastries and if you were still hungry there was real food (I think ham instead of turkey). But it was a lot of pastries.

    In the past, we’ve hosted Christmas for one side of our family. These last few years we did a pasta bar with homemade meatballs, and then we had relatives bring different things like potatoes and sweet potatoes and rolls and desserts. We also did our own desserts so it was more dessert-oriented than Thanksgiving.

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  2. I am no expert since we do not do the American thing for Christmas, but how about the Christmas Ham? I know some Americans who do that instead of the Turkey again.

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  3. We have had ham in the past, but have transitioned to Prime Rib (beef) recently since our family is all adult now. For those who would rather go to a restaurant, Chinese seems to be a favorite since they may be the only ones open in your town.
    Best wishes and let us know what you decide, please.

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  4. The British thing is roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and lots of Americans do that or used to.

    I like a goose, that’s Scandinavian and maybe fits some other northern European places too. It’s stuffed with apples and prunes and served with red cabbage, and later you make the leftovers into a soup with carrots and leeks.

    You don’t have to have turkey for Thanksgiving, either, lots of people have things like salmon, which is indigenous.

    Here’s a good list of things from Mexico, and a lot of people in southern parts of US do them. https://tec.mx/es/noticias/nacional/arte-y-cultura/10-platillos-tipicos-de-navidad-que-puedes-comer-en-mexico

    Back home in California we would sometimes go to the beach, taking a picnic of some kind; there were people who would barbecue, or cook mussels and things in a fire. Barbecued mussels is, of course indigenous — so that makes it fun for Thanksgiving, I don’t know why I associate it with Christmas.

    I’m tending to salmon for Thanksgiving, and maybe I’ll make some kind of acorn squash dish with Cornish game hens, I’m not sure. Christmas seems a bit further in the distance yet.

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    1. Most Brits do a turkey at Christmas, but roast beef and Yorkshire pudding is a classic “Sunday lunch” (and we would often have it on New Year’s Day).

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      1. I have never figured out why, turkeys are from here, what did they do before that? So I just looked it up: the Spaniards had imported the turkey to England even before England established colonies here. Wild! I think my post-British family goes for the beef and also the suckling pig so as not to repeat Thanksgiving.

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  5. My mom used to make roast pork with dried plums. I did that for a while but at some point switched to roast beef. Beef os generally better in the US, pork is generally better in Poland. I usually make some wild mushroom gravy for the roast (to add a little Polish accent), mashed potatoes and green beans or Brussel sprouts.

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  6. Ham is pretty easy for Xmas and my family likes it. We don’t really care for turkey and it’s a pain for just us, so I roast a chicken and we have mash potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green beans or roasted Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving. I will buy pecan pie for Thanksgiving and make things like apple strudel for Xmas, if I’m in the mood. I’m kind of over cooking so I’ve been slacking off in recent years.

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  7. I grew up Italian-american so Christmas Eve was always a big deal and always fish. In recent years we did king crab legs but the prices have gotten so ridiculous it’ll probably be something cheaper. Usually we also cook clams we’ve kept frozen that we dig up that summer.

    Also a Christmas favorite has always been pierogis as they feel festive and my mom’s side also had Polish roots. Growing up the sweets were always associated with Christmas. fried dough and pizelle and many American cookies I made with my sister and mom throughout the season were always served on Christmas Eve and day. We did peanut butter balls, Russian tea cakes, the Christmas cutout cookies with cream cheese frosting were a favorite. I do try and bake at least two batches of cookies with my daughter in December for the same reason.

    Christmas day we always have a pasta, usually lasagna, and either a ham or a pork roast. No turkey in sight. And usually a roasted potato, not a mash. Similar other veggies are served as Thanksgiving otherwise. Green beans, squash, brussel sprouts, root vegetables are what is in season. A salad with cranberries or pomegranate would be considered Christmasy to me, and we’ve definitely done this for our meal.

    Hope that helps!

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  8. First…. stuffing? Stuffing!It’s not Thanksgiving without turkey, stuffing, cranberry jelly and pumpkin pie. Is stuffing no longer a thing? Why wasn’t I consulted?

    Second, as mentioned here a time or two already, the main alternative to a Turkey re-run for Christmas has traditionally been baked ham. A bonus is that ham has better leftovers than turkey (and at the end the bone can be used in a big pot o’ beans).

    Third, goose! You can’t go wrong with goose! The king of poultry! And leftover goose is also a great base for cabbage (ie sauerkraut) soup.

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    1. I usually stuff with cooked buckwheat. Should I do the American version with little dried bread cubes? I’m open to trying.

      A goose costs $90 around here, even though we are Geese Town. It was $75 before the inflation hit.

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      1. ” Should I do the American version with little dried bread cubes?

        You might want to try American style stuffing just to see if you like it… (ideally before thanksgiving in case you don’t like it) but buckwheat stuffing sounds pretty awesome.

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