Every family has their own special traditions and dishes that they make every year. This year goodtoknow is celebrating real Christmas food.
Christmas dinners don’t always look like the pictures, they’re never perfect – but that’s why we love them!
Every family has their own special traditions and dishes that they make every year. This year goodtoknow is celebrating real Christmas food.
Read on for all your real Christmas food traditions….
Since my husband and I became senior citizens a new tradition has evolved in our family. We have become honoured guests at our daughter¹s home!
Christmas morning for us, therefore, starts with tea in bed, followed by a leisurely breakfast of cereal/muesli and toast. The cat has some cream as a Christmas treat.
After a shower we spend the entire morning dressing and combating the ravages of time, though coffee with whisky or Tia Maria is welcome at eleven.
By 12.30 we reach our daughter’s beautifully-decorated home to be greeted by SIL and Grandson and glasses of mulled wine or whisky! Dinner is well-prepared and we eat around 1.15.
The afternoon is spent watching TV or trying out new video games until 4 p.m when our Younger Son and his partner arrive and the present-opening ceremony can commence.
Tea is quite a spread, buffet-style: lots of savouries and chocolate cakes with my home-baked Christmas cake in place of honour. It’s a ‘jewelled Cake’, that is a glorified cherry and almond which the offspring love.
The evening is spent playing ‘silly’ card games, or Trivial Pursuit which SIL always wins!
We usually leave around ten as the cat will be expecting us by then! Besides senior citizens need their beauty sleep!
For the last 5 or 6 years we’ve had a buffet Christmas. A full Christmas dinner was getting too difficult to plan with people coming and going from all over at all different times.
I spend Christmas Eve at my mum’s making the cake while my lovely nephew comes and plays with his baby cousin, well cousins this year! The build-up to Christmas is just as special as the day itself in our family because we all rally round and do our bit and get to enjoy one another’s company. I am almost 30 but spending time with my family is still my favorite thing at Christmas – especially now I have children myself.
I have family in South Africa and it is a tradition to eat coriander, chilli, lemon and garlic prawns as part of our Christmas dinner.
We always buy fresh prawns and stuff them with a green sauce that is made with fresh lemon juice, coriander, cumin, green chilli, salt, pepper, garlic – all these ingredients are blitzed and then stuffed into tiger prawns which are fried with a knob of butter and oil. The prawns are then served with chunky chips and a lemon mayo.
Every year I make Christmas cakes for my sisters, brother and mother in law, I have done it for many years now.
On Christmas morning we all have porridge with loads of chocolate (normally the last one from the advent calendars) for breakfast.
Lunch is skipped as we have dinner at around 3-4 and we like to save room! We have the full works for dinner including my hubby?s sprouts with red onion which are delish. For pudding we have my home made yule log. In our house it is just hubby that likes Christmas pudding, so he has that on Boxing Day and we all have my chocolate log on Christmas day, with lashings of cream.
Here is a recent picture of us from Legoland.
I’m so excited to start new Christmas traditions! My little nearly two year old is a whizz in the kitchen all ready so she hand painted a plate with her ‘mistletoes’ ready for her chocolate dipped Christmas tree biscuits on for Santa! Can’t wait to do this every year! 🙂
We tend not to eat much breakfast on Christmas day as we are eager to open our presents. I always have a tot of whiskey in my tea (a family tradition) and this is the only time I ever have whiskey.
Then we have lunch about 1pm – traditional turkey etc & christmas pudding, then we have the rest of the day to enjoy the festivities and tuck into chocolates later. I always enjoy a turkey sandwich for tea. The photo is my son & husband when Santa toured round the houses before Christmas.
I’m not too sure what this year will hold, as I have a few options. But recent Christmas days have been an early start for me with a light measure of cereal and a slice of toast. Then I’ll prep the veg and homemade stuffing, my dad may appear at this time and do his own thing, which until last year would be followed by pick up Gran, but she was in a home last year and died in April, so this is our 1st Christmas without her.
I’ll pop next door to the elderly spinster who has nobody in her life but her dog and give a card and a homemade mince pie.
The turkey (seasoned, lemon stuffed inside and butter smeared under the breast skin) will go on and then I go for a short walk, possibly to see my mum, then back home to sort the roasties, stuffing and veg. There was a new lunch addition last year of yorkshires, which were really good, so I think there are a keeper even if I only cook for 2!
I may manage a 5 minute walk around the block to escape the heat before serving, around 2pm, roast turkey, crunchy (as coated in flour after parboil) roast potatoes cooked in goose fat with rosemary, homemade sage and onion stuffing, yorkshires, roast parsnips, sprouts, broccoli, carrots and a few peas.
My dad and gran were the only ones for gravy, as I don’t want to drown a lovely meal in that stuff! All I add to mine is freshly ground black pepper, a bit of balsamic over the veg and get stuck in!
We always have a Christmas pud, my job is making white sauce if wanted and turning out the light for flaming the pud.
My dad loves to dollop brandy cream on his, but I don’t generally have any pud until either later or the next day, which by tradition my gran would always make such a fuss about me doing, even though I’ve been that way for years!
Presents have now become an after lunch thing, followed by quiet afternoon/evening, catch up with brother and family, and spend the evening at my mums with gift exchanging, possibly returning home or staying.
I may have a small snack at the end of the night. I then watch tv and much look forward to Boxing Day, as there are no rules to conform to and reheated leftovers taste so much better anyway!
Where do I begin? As my parents are torn between the merits of turkey and goose (my mum loves turkey, whilst my dad prefers goose), we have a turkey dinner on Christmas Eve, when me and my sister arrive home. On Christmas day we have a goose dinner with all the trimmings, which often means my nan skips her visit to my aunt?s house as she never wants to miss out on the goose. On Boxing Day, we have a honey roast ham. Finally, to avoid the dreaded turkey sandwiches, the day after Boxing Day we have a turkey and ham pie! Christmas is all about food in my family and every year I really look forward to driving 130 miles home and enjoying it.
Here’s a picture of my goose-loving nan on Christmas Day!
We have a few traditions in our house…
- We always play Monopoly Christmas eve.
- We always open our Xmas pjs on Xmas eve.
- Xmas morning my kids only open presents from us till after lunch, then we open the prezzies from under the tree from all the relatives and friends after dinner…a tradition passed on from my mother. It breaks up the day and we don’t have so much mess 🙂 kids appreciate things more as well I think, especially when they’re younger.
- I always make a huge Christmas cake even though no one else eats it …more for me.
- I have to make 2 chocolate logs… one white, one chocolate for each child.
- And although we have turkey we also have beef and pork. I don’t know why we do this, I did try to go with one meat last year but I was out voted – its a tradition I think I’m stuck with!
- No TV till after lunch!
- And I don’t do the dishes on Christmas day 🙂
My mum makes homemade stuffing, using bread that she lets dry out somewhat and then crumbles in a bowl. Next she adds butter or margerine, never measures, just gauges by sight. She adds seasoning to taste and some mixed herbs, sage…yum yum..and chopped onions. Half is then inserted into the poor dead bird (I’m a vegetarian) and the other half is wrapped in foil and baked in the oven. It’s delicious and makes packet stuffing taste bland and doughy. It’s been this way since as long as I can remember and long may it continue!
Recipe pictured: John Torode’s sage and apple stuffing
This is leftover pie, which we have every Boxing Day, we look forward to it as much as the Christmas Day meal!
My Christmas food tradition include the turkey but Caribbean-style with a twist, so I always add spices and seasoning to it and all the trimmings includes roast, sautee potatoes and mash potatoes with black pepper and salt, all the veg and the stuffing. For my Christmas pudding I make it from scratch but add rum in it. I do a separate one for the kids with no rum and I always try and let the kids make their own cakes a day before Christma, that way they don’t feel like there missing out on anything. There’s always plenty more for 2nds!
Recipe pictured: Classic Christmas pudding recipe
I make a pavlova as my children & grandchildren are allergic to Christmas pudding, and it makes a refreshing alternative.
Recipe pictured: Chocolate and cherry pavlova
Christmas food in my house starts from 6am when we are woken by my very excitable (and now pretty grown-up) sister. I’d like to say we have a fancy breakfast but it’s celebration boxes and bucks fizz for us!
Dinner is at 1pm – no later! We are roast potato snobs in our house, my dad makes the best homemade roasties so we can’t stand the thought of shop-bought roast potatoes. We’re also very much in the roast potatoes AND mashed potatoes camp but this has proven to be a hot topic when making roasts outside of the family! We have the customary turkey but mainly for sandwiches after, so the roast beef is the centre of our meal.
After an afternoon of snacking, a ‘small’ spread of food is laid on for dinner. Cheese, crackers, turkey sandwiches, we all say we can’t manage another bite but we soon fill our plates!
The evening ends with my dad cracking nuts and getting out the Christmas pudding and lazy hands reaching into the tub of chocolate – fully satisfied but still eating! Perfect Christmas food.
Our Christmas food prep starts a few days before the big day. Me, Mum
and Dad take it in turns to make each layer of our epic Christmas trifle
(which we have every year!) my mum also starts to cook the ham (or
boiled bacon) on Christmas Eve which fills the whole house with a warm,
meaty smell – I don’t actually eat red meat, but the smell is amazing!
morning my mum is up before all of us and the turkey is in the oven
straight away. We open our prezzies first followed by a Christmas
breakfast; a classic fry-up and a variety of pastries, muffins etc and
of course, a glass or 2 of bucks fizz.
Then it’s time to get
dressed up, pop on the Christmas tunes and set the table. Me and my
sister prep the veggies and the roast potatoes (her speciality!) and mum
starts the cooking.
Dinner is usually at 2-3pm depending on
which grandparents are popping over (they all have their own time
preferences!) My dad has the job of carving the turkey whilst mum plates
everything up and me, my brother and sister organise the table and keep
the grandparents entertained.
Dinner is followed by a trio of
desserts; Christmas trifle, chocolate log and Christmas pudding (which
we cover in brandy and set alight!) – I have to have a bit of all of
You think that we’d be full after all this but NO.
Champagne, cheese and crackers, mints, Baileys, Celebrations and choccy
biscuits are on the menu for the rest of the day and sometimes even a
sneaky packet of crisps. I find the trick is to wear something stretchy
around the waistline and embrace or as my nan would say’?let it all hang
We start the day with a big pot of tea and scrambled egg and smoked salmon on toast.
Lunch is at 1pm. By which point I’ve already cracked open a bottle of fizz with my little sister. We ALWAYS have a prawn cocktail starter (we don’t care if it’s retro). Last year my dad forgot the parsnips and it was nearly the end of my Christmas all-together.
My mum buys the turkey from the local butcher and we roast up a ham on Christmas eve for snacks and sandwiches.
At about 10pm after the day is done and we’re so stuffed that we can hardly move my dad will announce that it’s time for MORE food! Last year I had to pretend that I was asleep to avoid eating anymore!
On Christmas Eve I arrive at my parents’ house and help my mum wrap pressies and make our famous creamy chestnut stuffing – our contribution to the Christmas lunch and a very arduous task I must say!
Christmas Day starts off early – not past 7am. We are lucky in our family, because we haven’t been without an excited child on Christmas Day for a good 30 years. It makes such a difference having little people around (even if it does mean an early start!) Stockings are ripped open in a rather frenzied fashion then we have a little break for a fry up (for me and my step-dad), chocolate for the rest.
After brekkie we do a few more under-the-tree presents and then get ready to go to my nan’s house which is about an hour’s drive where we meet up with the rest of the fam – aunties, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces.
Lunch is a full on turkey fest with pigs in blankets and a good Quorn selection for the veggie side of the family! And of course the chestnut stuffing. Pudding is trifle (of course) and my nan always makes a Christmas pudding, even though nobody likes it, and gets offended when nobody wants any.
In the evening it?s back to my mum?s house where we get settled on the sofa with a tin of quality street and some cheese and crackers and watch whatever rubbish Christmas telly is on that year.
On Boxing Day it?s time to do it all again with the other side of the family. But you?d never hear me complaining about having two Christmasses!
It?s a leisurely start for our team. Long gone are the days of early rises, setting alarm clocks and jumping on mum and dad?s bed till they got up. We don?t even seem in too much of a rush to open our presents anymore as we leave them till the afternoon, how boring!
At around eleven our friends start arriving for drinks and nibbles, Dad is always on making sure everyone has a glass of kir royale and I usually get left in the kitchen with my sister to motor out plates of smoked salmon on thickly buttered wheaten bread to soak up some of that alcohol.
Once our guests have left it?s time to think about our tummies again. As you might be able to tell by now our family aren?t ones for moving too quickly and so dinner isn?t till four or five sometimes. This typically means we will have to keep ourselves going on chocolate, champagne and crisps – a challenge I really look forward to.
We will have already made our stuffing, gravy and prepared all or veg before the big day to minimise our time in the kitchen. On the protein front we don?t normally do turkey, it?ll be a goose, pheasant, or chicken with a Christmas orange, honey and mustard clove studded ham for our centrepieces. There is no question over two types of potatoes is there? One fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes with spring onions and one crisped roasties cooked in goose fat and sprinkled with salt.
After mains we have some sort of pudding that Nanny will bring – anything from steamed treacle pudding and custard to a classic trifle. The evening is then spent in the best way possible, lying on the sofa watching Christmas television in front of the fire with our little cat too who was our Christmas Conroy family addition last year. There?ll be plenty of sugar between dinner and bedtime but not anything much of substance because of our late start on dinner.
Over the years a few little foodie traditions have snuck into the Allard household! Generally woken up by my younger sisters, we don’t usually open presents til late morning/early afternoon so all focus is on breakfast. While most of us opt for the fancy smoked salmon and scrambled eggs with bucks fizz, my youngest sister, who was never allowed them at any other time of year, still asks for a box of pop tarts.
After breakfast and present opening, mum will usher us away from the kitchen so she can get started on the masterpiece ? the turkey! Although, two years ago my middle sister decided she was now a vegetarian, cue slight panic and hysteria from my mum, so now it’s turkey AND nut roast. It’s around this time of day that my middle sister and I will crack into the snowball cocktails!
Christmas dinner is usually on the table at around 2, with all the trimmings. Bread sauce made an appearance about 2 years ago and now it’s a staple! We always beg for chocolate melt in the middle pudding for dessert, and maybe a trifle too.
Teatime in the evening is always an amazing buffet, complete with prawn vol-au-vonts which we’ve had on Christmas Day ever since we were kids! Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without finishing off with a vol-au-vont, a pickled onion, and a homemade sausage roll.
Ohhh Christmas! It all starts on Christmas Eve when we walk down the hill into the village for the Carols – Christmas isn’t Christmas without a proper sing-song! We’ll then all head inside the pub for a nice mulled wine, or two!
Christmas morning is a very exciting time. This year well all open our stockings at my sisters house, where well also have a nice breakfast of smoked salmon, scrambled eggs (and other sides like sausages, bacon, mushrooms and beans) We definitely start the day as we mean to go on food-packed!
After breakfast and opening some presents (ok, opening ALL the presents) its time to head home to get started on the dinner which is usually served up around 3 or 4pm! We usually have a turkey, but I’m hoping for something different this year maybe goose! We have all the sides: pigs in blankets, cauliflower cheese, stuffing, my mums famous Yorkshire puddings and of course gravy – the most important part of the meal (if you ask me!) And if we’ve got room after the big dinner we always have slices of bread soaked in gravy.
Theres always a classic Christmas pudding for dessert with a bit of cream – we cant get enough in our house. And my mum will usually have some Yorkshire puddings left over which well drizzle in golden syrup – yum! Later in the day (after the food coma has subsided) well have cheese and biscuits with port and then plenty of chocolates to see the evening out with a nice glass of Baileys.
My mums dinner never disappoints in fact she is the ultimate Christmas cook. We’ve been to aunties and uncles’ houses for Christmas before – and were even abroad one year – but it just wasn’t the same!
When I was little we would go on a long walk at the end of November and choose a couple of big branches to bring home. My dad would spray paint them silver and my mum would hang chocolate coins from them with string, then we’d prop them up in a pot and my sister and I had homemade advent calendars! And yes, we did always save the biggest chocolate coin until last!