what is traditional christmas dinner for you ?

Joined Jan 14, 2007
this Christmas i want to make a traditional dinner for my friends and family. but i actually never know what is the traditional christmas dinner is since i never had it.
what i know is there must be an eggnog and mincemeat pies also a ginger bread but for the main course and others i don't have any clues.
can somebody tell me what christmast dinner usually have ?

thxs for the help :peace:
Joined Jan 5, 2007
I don't know about American christmas meals - but here's the British version (or at least my family's version!). And yes, I know the turkey is from the Americas, ditto potatoes!

Starters: something light like smoke salmon or melon with Parma ham

Roast turkey (or goose, I alternate)
kilted sausages (2 small chipolatas wrapped in bacon)
Bread sauce (only my husband likes it)
Brussel sprouts
honeyed carrots
petit pois (I use frozen)
Roast potatoes, parsnips and French turnips (plus game chips if serving goose)
Cumberland and cranberry sauce
Wine reduction gravy

Christmas pudding (home made) served with hard sauce or double cream or custard - soaked in warmed brandy and flamed to be brought to the table.
A fruit salad for those who want something a little lighter

Mincepies with sherry cream with coffee for those who are greedy.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Christmas dinner varies. I don't think we've repeated on it yet.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
For us, what we've done for a number of years generally runs along these lines.....

- Prawn cocktail (very 70's- I know! but still tasty)
- nice dry white wine

- Roast pork with really crispy crackling
(I buy extra skin so we have lots)
- Roast lamb
- pan gravy from both
- roasted: potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips, sweet potato
- apple sauce, cranberry sauce
- mix of green beans and peas, ummm, drowned in butter :)
- nice loaf of sourdough bread with, ummm, more butter
- nice peppery Shiraz to go with.

- trifle (chocolate swiss roll cake splooshed with sherry, jelly set in and over top, layer of tinned sliced peaches, layer of custard, fresh summer berries, with whipped chantilly cream to serve.

Burp, go for a slow walk, then sleep it all off in the lounge. :)

Then wake up, for those who are hungry- big slabs of sourdough/rye bread with butter, mustard and sliced ham off the bone (always leg, never shoulder, much nicer) pickled cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and cheese for the really hungry, and then have port and coffee and chocolates...back to sleep again.

Then, here, the next day is also a holiday (Boxing Day), so any leftover veg becomes a hash, leftover meat gets warmed in the leftover gravy, and to ease the conscience - a huge tossed salad. This is lunch after watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. And then the Boxing Day cricket match starts...aaarrrghhh.

That's pretty much it.

Then if anyone really wants dinner, it's takeout.
Joined Aug 25, 2009
DC Sunshine,

Your lamb sounds terrifc !!!!....all of it...
The dessert !

capped off with port and chocolates, what can I say more ? :)
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Yeah, it's pretty nice eating, and although it's a lot of work, it's a labour of love to be honest :)
Joined Aug 18, 2007
We do traditional. But Have done an Indian banquet twice.

I have my husband home for the first time in years this year so we'll be doing the trad thing. Starts about 4pm

Not sure about starters yet

Bryan wants roast beef, so i'll get a small sirloin joint, as most folk will be looking for a bird. Our butcher gets humungus free range chickens

The juices combined for the gravy.Works well

Roast and mashed potatoes... I keep scrapings of fat from duck leg confit collected through the year in the freezer for the roasters.I tested it out last year as i thought it woulnt keep well, but it does. btw parsnips go in with them
Glazed carrots
Sprouts with chestnuts
Braised celery hearts
Frozen peas
Mashed neeps (swede/Ruderbaker?)with oodles of butter and back pepper.
Yorkshire puddings (I think they're like popovers)
Cranberry sauce/bread sauce/ Horseradish cream

Something lemony (not sure yet)
Grans Clootie dumpling

Cheese and biscuits are served in the living room once everyones settled with port/liquours

As Dc says, this is nap time, or silly tv with the volume down

supper is when you see gran sobering up and everyone else has the munchies and starts delving into the tins of chocolates. It's also when I check that we've pre ordered taxis for certain people. I've learnt from my mistakes...I'm not into hungover friends and relatives lying round my house on boxingday morning
Joined Aug 11, 2000
nothing set for dinner but Christmas morning is hot abelskivers and beignets....raspberry jam and lots of vanilla bean whipped cream (chantilly cream).
Joined Nov 5, 2009
Christmas Eve is different fish dishes but Christmas day never varies that much:

I start dinner with a baked pasta such as lasagna or manicotti, made with my own "gravy" (red spaghetti/meat sauce), meatballs, sausage and braciolle

Then we have roast turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes a veggie and salad
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Unlike Thanksgiving, I don't believe there is anything close to a uniform traditional meal. Christmas dinner depends on your own family traditions plus influences from where your people are from.

Growing up, we spent Christmas with a friend of the family who always made a fresh ham, for instance. So I tend to associate it with Christmas.

Here in the American South, most folks I know either do a ham, or a repeat of the Thanksgiving turkey.

Throughout most of northern Europe, a goose marked the highlight of a Christmas meal. Italians have their wonderful tradition of seven fishes. Etc.

If you can find a copy, Lorna Sass offers some interesting insights in her 1981 book, Christmas Feasts From History. FWIW, her example of a Victorian Christmas Dinner includes individual oyster loaves, roast goose with sage and onion dressing, mince pies royal, Christmas pudding, punch sauce, and shrub.

I think I gained ten pounds just reading the recipes!
Joined Feb 13, 2008
  • Cocktails, cheese and nuts
  • Gravlaks on thin sliced pumpernickel
  • White wine, served with the
  • Squash soup
  • Caesar Salad
  • Red wine, served with the
  • Standing rib roast with jus, generally carved and served thinner slices to the ladies, and bones to the gentlemen
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Yorkshire Pudding
  • Trifle
  • Dessert wine, cognac
Joined Mar 2, 2009
As an Italian, which MissyJean must also be, on Christmas Eve it's fish, fish, fish.

On Christmas day, it doesn't change for my family either:
Antipasti.... the way our family makes it with a very large platter lined with soppresatta. Next it's filled with finely chopped celery. Then a layer of olive condite followed by layers of other items delicately arranged to make it look presentable and all the while adding a little juice from each item which includes pickled eggplant, roasted peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, black olives, green olives, capers and anchovies plus the oil from the anchovies! The key is making it the day before so the celery absorbs all those juices.

For dinner, it's homemade ravioli stuffed with sausage and ricotta cheese along with meatballs and sausage in the ragu.

For dessert, it's cannoli and espresso!!
Joined Dec 23, 2000
FL I...

That antipasti sounds fantastic (I'm a big fan of soppressata, despite my German and Irish antecedents) and I'm wondering how you serve it? From your description it sounds like you would cut slices of it like a pie.

Mike :p
Joined Mar 2, 2009

Actually it is scooped like a salad...
You use a large deep platter and you overlap slices of soppresata around the edge of the platter. Then you fill the center with a layer of the celery. The olive condite is then spread over the celery... add some brine(just enough to wet it slightly as you'll be adding more brine and oils as you progress). Then I lay strips of roasted pepper around the platter followed by the eggplant, again with some of the brine/oil. I then place the artichoke hearts (quartered) around the platter. All the while I'm doing this to look attractive... Then I add the olives (black/green but you can use whatever olives you like).. also no brine on the olives. Then comes a sprinkling of capers and finally the anchovies where they are laid in strips around the salad and I complete the process by drizzling the anchovy oil over the whole salad. You don't need to salt anything as there's enough salt in the brines and anchovies to cover you. I also don't add olive oil ; the brines suffice on the flavor.

Then it's covered in plastic film and refrigerated for at least 6 hours to let the flavors marinate into the celery. It's served with a large slotted spoon.

My aunt adds some provolone to the top of it but my father and I do not; personal preference. As far as I know, I've never seen this antipasti prepared like this anyone. It was my grandfather's family recipe from Bari and we make it annually for Christmas.

Hope you enjoy it! FYI.. it gets better as the days progress ;)
Joined Jul 21, 2006
We don't really have a traditional Christmas dinner. On Christmas Eve, we have dinner with the other half's family. We usually just do a lot of finger foods and have a spiral ham for sandwiches. Lots of desserts and cookies fill the table.

Before we started this tradition with them, that is how our Christmas day was. We would work together and make a lot of finger foods ahead of time and then put together the last minute items after the gifts were opened in the morning. Then we could graze all day and have food for anyone who dropped by. I can't even remember what we did last year! lol I am still thinking about this year. I'd like to do something really special but not ham or turkey.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Gotta love that gran :)

And great idea with the taxis....Boxing Day should be quiet and relaxed after the stress of all the cooking and entertaining.
Joined Aug 25, 2009
DC Sunshine,

There are not that many days of "rest" in a year....(even when going away for work) so I devote most of Boxing day to big fluffy slippers and a house coat....and you might find me sipping a Martini ....not the most elegant picture. But its my day off ! :lol:
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