Home for the Holidays: Do you have a traditional holiday food?

To get some audience participation, if you will, for our Home for the Holidays week, we thought we’d ask YOU to share about what the holidays are like in your home. On each site, we’ve got a question we’d love for you to answer!

Share your thoughts here in the comments, and then hop to the other sites to jump in on the other holiday-related discussions.
Most of us associate certain comfort foods with the holidays; that’s just how it is. It may be your grandmother’s plum pudding or mom’s bread stuffing, but it conjures up feelings of homecoming, no matter where you are.

My background is British, so there is always shortbread and mince tarts aplenty.  My mother also makes an Italian inspired fruitcake called ‘Panforte’ every year. One of the highlights of the season is getting a thick wedge of it delivered in our Christmas package.

Since starting a family of our own, there are a few dishes Danny and I like to have around every year over the holidays. Tourtiere is a must ( I just made and froze several yesterday!), as is the German fruit and nut loaf, Stollen, for toasting on Christmas morning. We also like our homemade eggnog, with a grating of fresh nutmeg on top, thank you very much.

So that’s my question for you today: Do you have a traditional holiday food in your home?

I can’t wait to hear about your holiday baking or Christmas dinner menu! Do you boast a fruitcake recipe that has been handed down for generations? Do you make anything specific with your children? Is your tradition to buck tradition? Whatever your style, I’d love to hear it.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. My family is German, so holidays at our house always mean there will be my Grandma’s pfeffernusse cookies and rice pudding. Yum!

  2. Gingerbread cookies must be baked before Christmas.

    We also always had blood sausage (kiszka) on Christmas Day. Nobody is quite sure exactly how that started, but by the time my mom passed and it was time for me to cook Christmas dinner, I was informed it was tradition and that I’d better also make it, “or else.” I THINK that cousin was kidding…

  3. in my home it is homemade no crust pumpkin pie handed down from my grammy to my mom to me.i can’t forget the non alchol eggnog.the two together is the best.i also love hot chocolate this time of yr.

  4. My mom’s fruit cake is something I look forward to every year. I just has dates, cherries, and walnuts. No citrus peels for me.

  5. Stacy Makes Cents says

    I always make Chunky Apple Bread for Christmas morning….it sounds weird, but tastes awesome! I look forward to it every year. 🙂

  6. Growing up we would make “Roppé Pie,” a Canadian dish with potatoes and meat. The potatoes are “juiced” and the juice is replaced with chicken stock. It’s a lot of work to make by hand, however, and have never done it on my own.

    We have started Christmas morning with Monkey Bread quite often. You can set it up ahead of time and it’s easy for everyone to much on while opening gifts.

  7. Julie Capp says

    I am Dutch – through and through – so we have Olle Bollen on Christmas Eve. It is a sweet, yeast dough with apple and raisins that you fry by the spoonful in hot oil. They come out crispy and hot on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. You dip them in sugar and eat them hot out of the oil. Oh, they are mouthfuls of Heaven. I can see my mother standing my the stove every year. I miss her so much and cooking her food keeps her with me on the holidays. My niece makes them now, I hope my daughter will carrying on the tradition someday, too.

  8. On Christmas Eve, we just do finger foods/appetizers: rotel and tortilla chips, sausage balls, homemade cheese log and crackers, quesadillas, etc. On Christmas morning, we have orange danish rolls and coffee or cocoa. And it just isn’t Christmas dinner without ham and yeast rolls! I always make my grandmother’s asparagus casserole, because I remember she always made it for the holidays.

  9. My mom always made 8 or 10 kinds of cookies to give out to friends and neighbors. I loved helping her pick out the recipes… usually from the Betty Crocker Cookie Book. We always made spritz and Russian Tea Cakes, among others. Our “adult” tradition is Mimosas while unwrapping presents on Christmas morning.

  10. roasted chestnuts. loved them growing up. unfortunately, my parents don’t make them anymore. makes me sad.

  11. Melissa @ Baking For The Boys says

    Christmas just isn’t Christmas without my grandma’s cornbread dressing. Though now, all grown up and with a family of my own, I always serve eggnog french toast and maple glazed sausage on Christmas morning. I suppose my Mocha Chocolate is a holiday tradition as I’ve been making it since I was a teen! 🙂

  12. Melissa Walker says

    When I was growing up, we always had Frog Eye Salad! It doesn’t sound so great, but it’s delicious!

  13. our family treats to share at Christmas are granola, strawberry jam, and peppermint bark

  14. Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy are traditional foods in our house at Christmas-time 🙂

  15. Bootsie Battle says

    Cheese Straws, I make these only for Christmas, when folks come in the door they are looking for the tins of cheese straws.

  16. We have Prime Rib on Christmas Eve, and always appetizers on Christmas day..

  17. You know me, it’s all about the Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner! And since joining my husband’s family it is about the Christmas Tree Bun with honey butter on Christmas morning.

  18. My Grandma used to make popcorn balls and peanut butter fudge that would melt in your mouth! I always make a rib roast and lasagna on Christmas day. Cut-out sugar cookies are a must along with many other kinds of goodies!

  19. Laura Meyers says

    On Christmas Eve, we always have crab and cheese fondue, and Christmas morning, we have German Pancakes (Dutch Babies)! Yummy!

  20. We have piles of traditional foods in our family. We cannot get together without having Spinach Dip. And don’t even think about Christmas without Red Velvet Cake!!!

  21. Darlene Richardson says

    We always enjoy cocktail weinies for the holidays with the little smoked sausages, peppers, onions, mushrooms, pineapple, and sweet & sour sauce. Mmmmmm

  22. Angelique Gertig says

    In our home my kids start bugging me to make my Chocolate Nut Rum Balls every year around Thanksgiving. Its a “holiday” treat I usually only make at this time of year, just like my mom used to. They are not like what you might think of as “rum balls”, as the dough is like a chocolate shortbread, rolled in nuts, then dusted with powdered sugar after cooling. The rum is just extract, and I make half without nuts for the non-nut lovers in our house. But they don’t last long once made….

  23. Here in Texas, it’s pretty traditional to have tamales on Christmas Eve, and more normal fare the next day. My mom, however, had to work many Christmas Days as an emergency room nurse, so we grew up celebrating on Christmas Eve Day. We would alternate years of serving turkey and dressing or fajitas and tamales.

  24. Christmas Eve is all about fish and seafood (no meat). Christmas Day is usually some kind of roast (usually lamb, turkey) with all the fixings. And let’s not forget the dozens upon dozens of baked cookies and cakes everyone shares!

  25. Elise Adams @AdamsOrganizing says

    I don’t think we’re too fancy or unusual…but we always have a special VEGAN stuffing that my sister makes. Full of veggies and WW wheat bread cubes we eat it as leftovers for days!!!

  26. Well I can say that we don’t really have any “traditional” christmas foods, but we definitly like all the special foods that our family makes for the holidays! 🙂 Anything that family makes is always a traditional treat eat! 🙂

  27. On Christmas morning (for many years) I’ve made a yummy quiche and even though my kids now have families of their own, they still request my quiche when they’re home for Christmas. Served with lots of other deliciousness – french bread, hot chocolate, fruit, bacon, bagels, etc.

  28. Martha Artyomenko says

    Homemade raviolis!!!

  29. Mark A. Morales says

    I love tamales during this time of year with Mexican hot chocolate!

  30. My mom always made “Christmas Bread,” a sweet white bread including that fluorescent candied fruit. It was heavenly. But since I went gluten free a few years ago, I can’t have it. 🙁 I am still looking for new, replacement traditions for Christmas food. We do like to make cutout cookies and frost them, and I’ve found a good recipe for those.

  31. a fun christmas eve tradition of barbecue, even in the snow!

  32. My mom is half French-Canadian and half Bohemian. So every Christmas Eve we have Tourtière and on Christmas we have holska (Czech Christmas Twist bread, also called vanocka – holska actually just means “bread”), kolaches, and no matter what meat is served we always have sauerkraut. Actually, we also make the holska at Thanksgiving and Easter too so we won’t have to wait for Christmas.

  33. Joanne Bay says

    Aimee, I would love your recipe for stollen but I can’t find it on the website. I have made stollen many times but have not yet found the perfect recipe. Could you help, please?

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