Festive Dinner – Traditional Menu Or Something New?

Now is that time of the year that everyone feels cheerful, happy and is almost constantly smiling. Even my two toddlers that would prefer to destroy the house than sit for one minute are so good and eat almost anything I put at the table. Maybe it’s the festive season or we are all just a little bit tired as it is winter time, cold and snowy, and is dark very early during the day.

I want to think that my loved ones are just happy and that is why they are in good mood, but I also know that December is a special month when a lot of nice things are happening – we decorate the house, we hang the lights, we decorate the Christmas tree, we prepare a lot of Christmas cookies and other festive treats, we write Santa a letter and hope we have been good enough to receive what we wished for and I try to spoil my family by preparing them different really special to them and loved by everyone meals, warm and satiating.

It is also that time of the month when I usually start thinking about the festive day menu. I should admit that by tradition in the country I come from the Christmas Eve is as big a holiday as Christmas and the special meals we prepare are usually for that evening. The only special thing that we should put at the Christmas table is meat – any meat (chicken, turkey, pork, beef, etc.).

Christmas Eve is a time you stay at home with your family and loved ones, you have a festive menu full with a lot of yummy dishes, time to remember how good it is to be with the people you love in a warm, cosy house full of all those delicious Christmassy aromas.

Christmas Eve Menu 

Let me tell you about the Christmas Eve menu. It involves preparing a lot of dishes, always an odd number (don’t ask me why, I have no idea) and the preparation might start even days before that. At least I need to start a day before that so that to be able to prepare all the dishes in time with 2 running toddlers around me that need attention and to follow a schedule as well.

My grandma usually prepared 11 different dishes, I try to do or put at the table 7 or 9 things.

This year my festive menu would include:

  • stewed fruit compote;

  • garlic appetizer;

  • stuffed dried red peppers;

  • stuffed cabbage leaves;

  • butter beans cooked in an earthenware dish;

  • fresh fruit;

  • nuts;

  • mulled wine (I warm up and add the spices to the wine myself);

  • pastry dish with grated pumpkin, walnuts and cinnamon;

  • home-made warm bread loaf;

  • honey

I know, all of these may sound different and/or unusual to you to have at Christmas (Eve), but that was and is the tradition in my country and I would like to follow it by preparing the meals my grandma and my mum used to make for me until not so long ago.

Anyone of these dishes is so delicious that you don’t know with which to start. I personally like to have stuffed pepper with the garlic appetizer together with some of the warm bread. If I still have room at the end of the evening, I would try the dessert, the pastry dish.

The tradition demands that if you can you should at least try all of the dishes and at the end of the evening you leave the food that is left uneaten at the table, you can store it the earliest the next morning, on Christmas. I know the reason about that, but it is not important. The most important thing is to enjoy the food you eat and be merry.

Tell me about your holiday traditions? Do you have any special plans or traditional requirements that you have to meet?

Tell me how you celebrate this holiday. Is Christmas celebrated differently around the world?

Christmas Menu

I know that maybe all of you associate Christmas with turkey and different nibbles. I also have prepared turkey once or twice, but as the tradition in my country asks a meat to be served at the table at Christmas, without pointing what meat exactly it needs to be, my family prefers to have pork or chicken meat at the festive table. That way we meet the requirements the tradition installed and also I meet the requirements of everyone at home 🙂

This year, I was thinking about preparing a quail or poussin with mushroom stuffing. I would tell you how my loved ones liked the meal.

I also like to prepare a special Christmas breakfast to mark the day when the children will wake up to find what presents Santa (or mummy and daddy) brought them. I want to make everyone feel more festive, be happy, feel full.

I was thinking about preparing bread and butter pudding using a panettone and custard or maybe oats pancakes. I know there is still time to decide and maybe my family would tell me what they feel like having then as well. I’d tell you what special breakfast they got 🙂

I would love to hear about your favourite Christmas day menu and what you usually prepare then. Please share with me your favourite recipes for festive dishes (appetizers, mains and desserts). Just leave a comment.


I love December. The house is bright with different colours and lights, it is warm inside and it always smells so delicious and inviting.

I told you those little things about my family’s festive days menu to share with you some of the memories I have about the Christmases with my parents and to show you maybe a different way to meet one of the biggest holidays during the year in my country – Christmas.

I hope you have a lovely holidays as well, because I know that when you are with the people you love, then you don’t need anything more.

Have lovely holidays! Cheers!

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