Christmas is full of expectations. After all the decorations, parties, gifts, stockings and exchanges are taken care of, you still have to make a Christmas dinner. With this dinner falling just a few short weeks after Thanksgiving’s big feast, you may choose to try to outdo that meal, or you may choose a more casual meal while you relax with your family.
Use this meal as an opportunity to showcase fruits, vegetables and other brightly colored foods, that may normally hide in the shadows. Celebrate the colors of the season–red, green and yellow. Mix red, green and yellow bell peppers into a pasta salad or other mixture. You can make a side salad full of green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, basil or arugula, and bright red vegetables, such as tomatoes, red peppers and radishes. Let kids munch on red berries and green apples while waiting for dinner.
A Christmas Story
If you have picky eaters at the table, keep the menu fun and let the foods tell a story. When you make stuffing, mix in lots of bits of veggies. When you serve it, tell kids it’s reindeer food. They might love to try one of Mrs. Claus’ favorite dishes, such as her North Pole green beans. Use baby corn, grape tomatoes and other tiny vegetables in your dishes and cook up little Cornish game hens, rather than a turkey, and pretend you are eating the favorite dishes of the elves.
There is no reason to stress yourself out during the Christmas holiday. Your kids are likely distracted by their toys and won’t remember this meal by tomorrow anyway. Make a hearty, comforting family meal, such as lasagna or a baked ziti, weeks in advance and freeze it. While everyone is enjoying the day, still in pajamas and slippers, slide the meal into the oven. Enjoy a filling meal without a lot of fuss that day. If you are having other family or friends over for the meal, bake a turkey or ham and invite others to bring their favorite dishes.
Christmas holidays are all about family and traditions. Pull out your grandmother’s, mother’s and other family member’s recipes and create a meal that celebrates your family. You can also pull out an international cookbook and make dishes from other countries. Use this opportunity to celebrate your family’s homeland.