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Old 11-28-2009, 12:47 PM   #1
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Does your Christmas Dinner change year to year - if so when do you start to plan?

I haven't started a thread (other than What's for dinner?) in awhile. The reason for this one is a young newlywed is having both families over for the first time for Christmas and she asked me "I have no idea what to make - how long does it take to plan out the meal?

I make pretty much the same meal each year, but try to change up the sides. I usually start looking now for the right accompaniments to the turkey and ham.

How about everyone else? Now that thanksgivings are over (in North America anyway), when do YOU start planning that perfect Christmas meal, or do you just stick with family traditions? Have fun with this!


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Old 11-28-2009, 01:13 PM   #2
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There's really not much to plan. Where holiday meals are bound in tradition, a lot of the planning is done for you ahead of time and you just have to fill in a few blanks.

We have roast beef for Christmas dinner. It's either a standing rib roast or a tenderloin roast depending on our mood and whether or not my youngest is going to be present. The sides are fairly standard.

The variations are in the desserts. The pies and cookies I don't make for Thanksgiving, I make for Christmas. So this year we will be having a pumpkin pie and oatmeal raisin cookies (I may sub dried cranberries for the raisins). If I can get my grandson interested, we will bake some easy cookies for Santa.

SO bakes about a ton of different desserts; cakes, cookies, breads and other stuff so we are never at a loss.

So I guess we could say we plan the meal a month in advance or that it's been planned for years.

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:33 PM   #3
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We have combined family tradition with new... swedish meatballs with a cream gravy for Christmas Eve (leaving the lutefisk behind!), and since it's been usually just our immediate family (can't really trust the weather to cooperate for travel), it's been prime rib on Christmas day.

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Old 11-28-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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In our family, Christmas was always the same as Thanksgiving! UGH bleck!! So sence I have my own fmaily now.. I am trying to change that up a bit! I have a list of candies I will be making, which I useally do for gifts!

As far as candies.... I will be making...
Peanutbutter fudge, which I have my own simple thing I do and it makes goooy oooy fudge which most enjoy.
Chcolate fudge, spritzer cookies, peanutbutter cups, white chocolate coverd pretzles, sugar cookies, peanutbuttercookies with chocolate chips... (yes I am a huge peanutbutterfan as well is most my family) then I wanted to try out some new things ...pumpkin bars and everlasting Magic Bars!
For my dinner menu.... I'm doing a honey spiral ham this year.
mashed potatoes and gravy
glazed carrots
homemade cranberry sauce
dinner rolls...
(thats it so far I haven't cracked open betty crocker cook book yet.) But i useally make a fancy dish or two.

I was also thinking about doing some lamb steaks...they are divine wraped in bacon and baked! Anything is divine wraped in bacon! :D

Anyway those are just osme of my ideas. It will become cleaer once I get closer to that final date!
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:27 PM   #5
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Wyogal, hoping you still have lefse though! Mmmmm...I love lefse.

LP, our Christmas dinner is pretty standard, the changes for me come with counting the number of heads joining us at the table. I usually take stock at the beginning of December and figure out how many I'm feeding and plan from there. I tend to plan for more folks as we sometimes end up with a few last minute additions.
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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I am still in the "thinking" stage. I think......Baked Ham, Stuffed Ham, Baked Mac-n-Cheese, Sweet Potato Casserole, Veggies and Yeast Rolls. I haven't given any thought to desserts yet.
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:55 PM   #7
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I started planning mine the day after Thanksgiving. My christmas dinner plan is...

I'm not cooking, let someone else do it. I'm tired!
Finally things have started clicking for me, my knees, my elbows, my back, etc...
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:07 PM   #8
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I changed the title to reflect the answers!
Living gluten/dairy/sugar/fat/caffeine-free and loving it!
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:10 PM   #9
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With my family, Thanksgiving and Easter are traditional (more or less), but Christmas is pretty open to whatever someone wants to fix. We've had simple buffet dinners (casseroles); complicated turkeys, hams and fixin's; and even just hors dourves (both en-mass and fancy - plain and simple); but whatever, it's been fun! I think this year it's going to be Cornish Game Hens with two simple vegetable sides for dinner (no heavy starches), and then a fancy deli meat and cheese platter available the entire day. One fancy dessert (as yet undetermined) and a tray of Swiss Colony Petit Fours to finish things off.
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:22 PM   #10
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This is my first holiday season as a vegetarian. Turkey Day was pretty good. I skippd the bird and had sides, and made meatless stuffing, which was delicious.
Christmas is up in the air. I think it will just be the kids and me instead of going to a friend's house and sharing in the cooking, which is what we did for Thanksgiving.

My husband is deployed, so I think we'll do something simple but yummy, I may even let the kids decide. I've been looking around in my food magazines and cook books for ideas for a nice meatless but celebratory meal.
I'll probably make fudge, and of course Christmas cookes for the kids to frost, but I'm not sure what else.

Last year we had beef tenderloin. It was heavenly. Sort of a "farewell meat" meal....

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