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Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day

Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day

Old Dec 15, 09, 6:33 pm
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Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day

This will only be the second year in my 40 plus years that I am not spending Christmas with my mom and dad. Growing up we usually did not do anything special Christmas Eve and had our Christmas dinner with my relatives. Food is always pot luck with Ham/Mexican dishes/Italian dishes/and rice (Relatives are all Japanese with a few Caucasian in-laws) and then we do all Japanese food on New Year's Day. Since I am not going home and I have a five year old I figure it is time to start our own traditions. So I am curious what others do for their special meals. Do you do a big Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas breakfast, lunch, dinner. What kinds of food do you serve? It will just be me, spouse and child and maybe our roommate. I will probably do more American style food as I am heading home after Christmas for the big Japanese feast on New Year's Day. Just looking for ideas but don't have my heart set on any one thing.
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Old Dec 16, 09, 8:42 am
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We do a quick dinner on Christmas eve, focusing instead on the after-dinner festivities: lighting a fire, bringing out the family presents (Santa's come out later), getting out cookies & milk for Santa, sitting around the tree for a holiday reading (often The Night Before Christmas, but Dickens, the Bible, etc., have also made appearances). Then we shuttle the kids off to bed and the Circus of Some Assembly Required begins. If there's time, Mrs. PVDProf will make some cinnamon buns that rise in the fridge overnight, to be thrown in the oven in the morning, when we want a special breakfast but no breaks are allowed.

The real feast is Christmas dinner, which is an all-out affair, but with more flexibility than Thanksgiving. A standing rib roast is the centerpiece about half the time, with beef Wellington, turkeys and hams making up the rest. This year, I am going to try a goose (in good English fashion). There will typically be a cooked vegetable and a baked sweet potato or gratin of some sort, some rolls, and a good bottle of wine.
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Old Dec 16, 09, 10:07 am
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<making note to find out where PVDProf lives>

PVDProf, now that I work in Cranston, I think I might crash your dinner...
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Old Dec 16, 09, 10:14 am
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Not sure about New Years, but for Christmas Eve we have a standing rib roast and for Christmas it's Ciopinno.
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Old Dec 16, 09, 10:24 am
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We have fairly settled in hosting Christmas Eve and going over to her sisters who hosts Christmas.

The list of people is growing as the families grow, but the standard number now (us, her parents, her sister and brother and their families) is at 11, with probably another half dozen people for Christmas Eve.

I believe they will do a ham for Christmas, we will do the Italian seven or more fishes for Christmas Eve.
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Old Dec 16, 09, 12:49 pm
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We always had Christmas Eve with just our immediate family - dinner, then presents.

Christmas day was a big afternoon/evening event with the extended family - aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

Now that both my immediate and extended families are spread around the country we tend to gather a few friends who are in a similar position on Christmas Eve, and we have a grand time. Christmas day is always get up late for a brunch at home, and then a movie in the afternoon.
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Old Dec 16, 09, 12:54 pm
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Our Christmas Eve is a traditional-type dinner with either roast beef or ham.

Christmas Day is extended family. The host family decides the menu. We have had traditional turkey and dressing, we've had deep fried turkey, we've had chicken enchiladas, we've had smoked pork tenderloin. With a family full of excellent cooks it has been something different every year.
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Old Dec 16, 09, 1:04 pm
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For 21 years it was where ever the fox hole was dug or whichever local family I befriended, so there is a lot of variety - Vietnamese, Korean, Italian, German, Greek and Turkish Since settling down most Christmas dinners were spent with my in-laws either in IND or SRQ. On Christmas eve we would have a grab bag exchange. One learned quickly that the bigger box was usually a brick with multiple rolls of toilet paper With dad passing this year Mrs. Italy wanted to spend the holidays someplace other than here so we are going to spend a cold and wet Christmas in Italy Dove il espresso con grappa? Rinunciare il espresso, dammi la bottiglia!
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Old Dec 16, 09, 1:40 pm
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Christmas Eve is mah birfday..
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Old Dec 16, 09, 1:59 pm
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I think I just want to visit some of you instead. I think Christmas Eve will be pretty minor as I am working that day and I know I'll be doing a lot of last minute wrapping after my daughter goes to bed and I forgot all about milk and cookies for Santa.

Beef Wellington sounds so good but I suspect I will be feeling a little tired so may have to opt for ham. But if prime rib is on sale I might consider attempting it. I have never done prime rib before. Rice, veggies and maybe potatoes or rolls for my non rice eaters ought to do it. I think midday sounds good with leftovers for a late dinner.

Thanks for your posts. I like seeing how other people do their holidays. I can't wait until New Year's Day though. Sushi, fish, tempura, terriyaki chicken and flank steak plus all of the sides. It is the best food day of the year for us.
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Old Dec 16, 09, 2:37 pm
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Rib roast is $8 an lb or so in this area and it's one of the easiest meats to cook because it's so forgiving. Though we have had threads in the past about all the different ways to cook it
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Old Dec 16, 09, 2:44 pm
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The last 20 years or so, we have gone to church Christmas eve and then returned home for a buffet. That means deli platters, cocktail sausages in bbq sauce, vegies and dip, cold shrimp ... Christmas dinner is an elaborate affair that involves dirtying every pot in the kitchen (so Mrs BV tells me - I don't do the clean-up).

Sadly, this year we will be moving a week after Christmas and cannot host a feast. I'm thinking we'll be eating out both days with whichever kids want to join us.
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Old Dec 16, 09, 2:45 pm
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Asian Family (mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, Camabodian, Laos) with some Causasians mixed in. But since that time of year IMHO is for the kids and younger generation we don't go full traditional on the food on Christmas Eve. It's a good mix of American style foods (Ham, Macaroni & Beef, Shepard's Pie) and Asian, as we have to consider the older generation. So this year it's Pho and prob fried rice on the table too. We try to keep it on the 24th to allow family to do their own thing the 25th.

I've had 2 years that I can remember (military), where I was not with family for the holiday season and it was not fun. It does help a little bit to be a guest at a friend's house that night as it's the whole family environment that you end up missing.
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Old Dec 16, 09, 3:57 pm
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Growing up we only got into Christmas Eve dinner for a few years. It was at the height of my Dad's hunting craze and we'd eat geese or duck that he'd shot himself. After a while we moved the dinner to Christmas Day and I don't think anyone was upset with the change.

Last edited by CMK10; Dec 16, 09 at 4:59 pm
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Old Dec 16, 09, 4:43 pm
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Christmas Eve, we go to Church at 5 p.m., and then go to the local Chinese restaurant and have dinner there...this year will be our 19th year of this tradition - started when we had first moved to Boston and couldn't find any restaurants open on Christmas Eve but a Chinese one. The place is always hopping that night too.

Christmas dinner is a good feast at my aunt's - roast beef and ham as the main entrees, with about 10 sides to choose from and 3-4 desserts afterwards.
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