You are here


Christmas food is special food prepared for the Christian festival of Christmas which is celebrated every year on the 25th of December to mark the birthday of Jesus. The occasion is observed as a holiday in most parts of the world and traditional Christmas recipes are prepared to mark the celebrations. The Christmas food mainly comprises the Christmas dinner including an assortment of appetizers, drinks, main course dishes and desserts as well. A Turkey based dish is one of the most popular Christmas recipes across the world.

Traditional Christmas Recipes and Dinner Menu

Traditional Christmas food is based on the culture and tradition of the respective country in which it is being celebrated. Traditionally, the Christmas dinner is eaten during day time in UK and Ireland. The food mainly includes roasted turkey as the main dish along with ham, roasted beef or pork. The turkey is usually stuffed and served with cranberry sauce or currant jelly. The traditional desserts in a British Christmas meal are Yule log, plum pudding, mince pies or trifle pudding. Christmas food in other parts of the world are mostly inspired by the British Christmas meal, however few variations are always there. Turkey is always the mainstay in Christmas dinner and some other traditional Christmas recipes include carrot cake, apple pie, pavlova (Australian dessert), roasted or cold meats, gingerbread and eggnog. Alcoholic drinks such as mulled wines are also associated with the traditional Christmas food.

Significance of Christmas Dishes

Turkey, being the main dish served at the Christmas dinner, has gained popularity after King Henry VIII ate it for the first time. Turkey is not only served as a dish but it is also used as in the "wishing tradition ". There is a turkey bone in the shape of a Y that is known asa wishbone. Traditionally, this bone is pulled by two people at the same time and the one who gets the larger portion of the bone is allowed to make a wish. Other dishes such as Yule log also have significance in traditional Christmas meal. A log shaped cake is prepared specially for Christmas food and it is believed that it brings prosperity and protects against evils.

Modern Christmas Recipes and Their Variations

Since olden times, Christmas recipes have seen a significant change. Christmas meal is always a feast but in modern times the way of preparing the Christmas food has changed. Stuffed turkey is replaced by turkey breast and turkey leg. Various styles of cakes and puddings have changed the scenario of traditional Christmas meals. Barbeques are also introduced to compliment the beverages and alcoholic drinks served at the time of meal. Chocolate cake, lemon tart, mousse and rice puddings are some of the most important inclusions in modern Christmas food.

Customary Way of Serving Christmas Food

Christmas dinner is a formal dinner served at the dinner table. The centerpiece of the table is always a turkey dish either roasted or fried. Other birds such as goose and duck are also a part of customary Christmas meal. Entire family and guests gather around the dinner table and enjoy the meal while sharing their good and bad experiences along with Christmas gifts. In some parts of the world, such as Philippines, the traditional Christmas meal, known as Noche Buena is served after the midnight mass.

Christmas Trivia

  • 22 millions of turkeys are used to prepare Christmas meals every year.

  • The largest turkey cooked for aChristmas meal weighs around 86 pounds and is similar to a dog in size.