If you’re as busy as I am this week, it’s probably hard to even THINK about planning yet another big holiday meal. This is exactly why we decided years ago to get creative with Christmas dinner. I’m not sure I could get away with a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but Christmas dinner can be just about anything!
Some years, we don’t even have dinner. Instead, we have a lavish, decadent Christmas brunch. Here are a few foods you’ll find on my table during a Christmas brunch:
- Overnight French Toast
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Pecan Pull-apart buns
- Breakfast Casserole
- Shrimp Scampi
- Bagels, cream cheese, and lox
- Christmas pie
- Fresh fruit salad
- Pumpkin Bread
- Christmas ham
Some years, when we’re in a different mood, we have a sumptuous Italian feast for Christmas dinner. These Italian feasts might include:
If we’re going for classic decadence, we’ll have an elegant dinner that involves:
- Golden Pepper Soup served in wine glasses as an appetizer
- Sesame Asparagus
- Whole tenderloin with Bleu Cheese sauce
- Pear Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Sourdough bread
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
Some years, we get a hankering for a Mexican feast. That’s what I’m planning for this year and I can’t wait. I plan to serve:
Of course, if you really WANT a more traditional Christmas dinner, there’s nothing wrong with that and I’m sure nobody will complain about suffering through these dishes:
- Christmas Ham
- Green Bean Casserole
- Cheesy Potato Casserole
- Cranberry Relish
- Sweet Potato Praline Casserole
- Pumpkin Pie
- Dutch Apple Pie
I know that it might feel overwhelming to look at this page full of ideas for holiday meals BUT remember that you don’t have to make all the foods listed.
I think it’s helpful, at this time of year, to decide what you want the Main Thing to be and then plan ways to keep the Main Thing, the main thing! For instance, I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that our family is celebrating the birth of Jesus over 2000 years ago. I want that to be the Main Thing in the midst of all the good food, presents, parties, and general hubbub. I don’t want to forget that!
For me, keeping the Advent of Jesus front and center means that I need to be intentional in my planning and reasonably simple in my expectations. If my lists of meal plans looks extensive and exhausting, remember that most of these recipes are foods I’ve been preparing for years. They’re the best of the best and they work for me. I hope that some of them will work for you! If they don’t, then find recipes that DO work for you.
Pick the general theme of what you’d like your main Christmas meal to be. Do some general planning and and very specific list-making. Delegate dishes to guests if that works for you. Gather recipes and ingredients. Build in the likelihood of lots of tasty leftovers! Do your shopping as EARLY in the week as possible. And then…trust that it will all come together. And if it doesn’t all come together perfectly, enjoy it anyway.
The Christmas season, in general, is a great excuse to spend time with the people we love, eating delicious food. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just made with love.
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