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Chr-stmas Eve and Day Meal Traditions


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#1 Gator Pam  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 7:48 am

Any special plans for Chr-stmas Eve and Day meals? As a Jew, I didn't grow up with any special traditions, but since we try to get together with my non-Jewish FIL to celebrate his holiday I try to make it festive.

I have learned about the Italian tradition of La Vigilia - Feast of Seven Fishes on Chr-stmas Eve, and would love to do that some day, but right now I think it's financially impractical for us this year.

I have about 20 overnight French toast recipes I rotate for our Chr-stmas morning breakfast. So easy to just place it into the oven while we sort through our hung stockings.

I always do a standing rib roast for Chr-stmas dinner, with my version of Yorkshire pudding (the recipe was acquired from an online friend on AOL). I have no idea if it's an authentic recipe, but it sure is yummy.

However, this year I am considering deep frying the rib roast. It's supposed to be really excellent, but we do like our traditional oven roasted rib roast, and that cut of beef is so expensive I just don't know if I want to risk taking the chance.

We snack on sweets, candies, and citrus throughout the day, so I'm not planning on doing dessert. But, home made eggnog is always served as we wind down the evening. I usually make Martha Stewart's recipe, but Alton Brown's also looks good and I may just give that a try.

What are your Chr-stmas meal traditions?

#2 Illinoismom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 9:11 am

We do the Italian tradition Christmas eve, which is no meat, Since all my husbands family is not coming, Inlaws are traveling and see the west, and my SIL assumed because they were not coming that I cancelled Christmas, Yeah okay me cancel Christmas, so since it will be just the 6 of us and my neighbor and her kids, I may do something a little bet different with more seafood and less pasta but I havent thought that far

#3 mmm40  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 9:30 am

We do the Italian tradition Christmas eve, which is no meat, Since all my husbands family is not coming, Inlaws are traveling and see the west, and my SIL assumed because they were not coming that I cancelled Christmas, Yeah okay me cancel Christmas, so since it will be just the 6 of us and my neighbor and her kids, I may do something a little bet different with more seafood and less pasta but I havent thought that far


Grew up with the same tradition. Jumbo shrimp was course 1. Next was smelt. Salad next. Soup with some kind of fish. There were a total of seven fish dishes. Only my father ate the Calamari. :yuck: Then we had linguini with claim sauce. My grandmother made everything from scratch. Even the pasta. She made ravioli that were 2" x 2" x 2" Man were they good!

#4 ms_mckenna  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 10:19 am

We do appetizer kinds of foods on Christmas eve ... something I have gradually added more and more too since I married my hubby. He and his brothers cook icky things for dinner that I don't eat lol. (chiterleans, pig ears, pigs feet, you get the idea :yuck:) Christmas day we have done the traditional thing for years. We may go different this year DH and I both admitted to each other we really are not that fond of turkey after Thanksgiving this year :sidesplit

#5 Illinoismom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 10:32 am

Grew up with the same tradition. Jumbo shrimp was course 1. Next was smelt. Salad next. Soup with some kind of fish. There were a total of seven fish dishes. Only my father ate the Calamari. :yuck: Then we had linguini with claim sauce. My grandmother made everything from scratch. Even the pasta. She made ravioli that were 2" x 2" x 2" Man were they good!


Calamari we all love this including the lil one, Oysters, clams, and one year I made a 7 fish lasagna, Yuppers even down to the anchovies

#6 Melissa  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 12:08 pm

I'm just curious why you type "CHRISTMAS" without the "i"???? :confused:

#7 glitterstarr  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 12:15 pm

Since my mom passed away in 2001 and my dad 7 months later and we no longer have anywhere to go on Christmas Eve because it was always spent at my parents he now takes me out for lunch somewhere on Christmas Eve then we just pick up nick nack junky type food to eat later that night while we wrap all the gifts.

#8 glitterstarr  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 12:17 pm

I'm just curious why you type "CHRISTMAS" without the "i"???? :confused:


Not sure but I think it's out of respect according to her beliefs. Like some leave out the "O" when they spell God.

#9 Gator Pam  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 1:28 pm

I'm just curious why you type "CHR-STMAS" without the "i"???? :confused:


Not sure but I think it's out of respect according to her beliefs. Like some leave out the "O" when they spell G-d.


:yup:

You got the gist of it. I expand upon the traditional Judaic tradition of not writing out the name of HaShem to include any word that includes any name for HaShem I recognize as being used as such.

The Name of G-d

For instance, many of the students, staff, faculty, and adminitration at my son's school are devotees of Kr-shna. I generally refer to them as HK's in writing, so as not to disrespectfully use a mantra of their's in writing.

For many years I wrote X-mas and X-tian as I was taught the X represented the cross, the most holy symbol in Chr-stianity. I have since heard that it is also a way of designating the Greek name for JC. No disrespect was ever intended on my part. But, many people do not know either of these reasons for using the X, and saw it as 'removing the reason for the season.' So, I switched to leaving out a vowel, consistant for the different names I remove the vowel from when I write them multiple times.

I am usually asked at least once around this time of year why I do it, and so far have never had anyone claim they continue to find it offensive after I explain my reasons. They may not understand, but they no longer find it offensive.

#10 Jennifer0530  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 2:28 pm

I'm sorry if I'm wrong on this and I don't mean to be offensive but then Why do you celebrate Christmas? I was always taught that the Jewish do not celebrate christmas and doing so goes against your beliefs. If you are going to go against your beliefs on that then why not write out Christmas. How can putting a vowel in a word be worse than actually celebrating a whole day?! Again no offense, I just don't understand how one can be worse than the other.

#11 Illinoismom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 3:57 pm

I'm sorry if I'm wrong on this and I don't mean to be offensive but then Why do you celebrate Christmas? I was always taught that the Jewish do not celebrate christmas and doing so goes against your beliefs. If you are going to go against your beliefs on that then why not write out Christmas. How can putting a vowel in a word be worse than actually celebrating a whole day?!

Again no offense, I just don't understand how one can be worse than the other.


I beleive she doesn't celebrate it, her father in law does, as he is not Jewish, In the Jewish tradition if the marriage is of mixed faith, they follow the Mother, In this case Pam is Jewish.

#12 glitterstarr  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 5:34 pm

Yep that's my understanding also that her FIL's belief is different than hers and she is doing for him in what his beliefs are which to me shows she has respect for others beliefs along with what her beliefs are. In other words just what being a family is all about "compromising".

#13 Gator Pam  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 8:31 pm

Aww...thanks all. Yes, we celebrate FIL's holiday, and we only celebrate it at his home. If he came to our home that day would pretty much go by without recognition. We would probably try to find a nice restaurant to eat dinner at or something. But, I also blatantly admit that I live a life of contradiction. I don't keep kosher, or even attempt to keep kosher. Yet I prefer going to the most observant shul in town (the Lubavitch Center) for worship. So, leaving out a vowel in a name for HaShem for me is more important than any censure I might receive for celebrating the holiday of another's belief. However, celebrating the holoday the way we do, in a totally secular way with Santa, gifts, stockings, tree, but no prayers that invoke JC does not go against Judaism in anyway that I know of. It's a celebration of winter more than a religious holiday for us, yet keeps FIL happy.

#14 Gator Pam  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 8:32 pm

Yep that's my understanding also that her FIL's belief is different than hers and she is doing for him in what his beliefs are which to me shows she has respect for others beliefs along with what her beliefs are.

In other words just what being a family is all about "compromising".


There's a Hebrew phrase for that.

Shalom = Peace
Babayit = Home

Shalom Babayit = Peace in the Home

#15 amyers12345  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 8:43 pm

I think this is a great discussion, I am finding it very informative!! But, to share our traditions, we always order in fresh gulf shrimp from Joe Patti's in Pensacola for a Christmas eve fish fry/shrimp grill!!! then on Christmas, eat breakfast all day with mom's special coffee cake, and always ham sandwiches on homemade rolls at grandma's that night.

#16 christib327  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 10:12 pm

Since I got married we've had lasagne for dinner on Christmas day. I'm not sure why. It's just something my husbands parents had done for awhile and I love their lasagne, so when they ask what we want to have, we just stick with that :)

#17 Sunshyne  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2006 - 10:34 pm

My dh is never off enough time for us to go to see his family, and my mom does not celebrate Christmas. I grew up without it too...probably why I go so overboard now...but anyway.. it's just me, dh and the boys. On Christmas, we either have turkey or lasagna. Since this year we had turkey on Thanksgiving, we will have lasagna (or some other Italian thing, dh gets to choose) on Christmas. Although, I think since dh will be off on Christmas eve, I will make it that day instead. Then, on Christmas, I think I'll take a nap in the afternoon since I am always so tired from getting everything ready the night before. lol Probably make something easy like tacos or cheeseburgers. I really *hate to cook.

#18 Jennifer0530  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2006 - 4:51 am

Yes, we celebrate FIL's holiday, and we only celebrate it at his home. If he came to our home that day would pretty much go by without recognition. We would probably try to find a nice restaurant to eat dinner at or something.



That is really sweet that you celebrate your FIL's holiday! Again I didn't mean any offense, I was just confused. These may be stupid questions but does your FIL buy christmas presents for everyone? If your husband wanted to since he is not Jewish would you be okay with him buying you and your kids christmas presents?

I will agree with the one above poster, this thread is very informative!

As for my family we (23-25 of us) always celebrate Christmas on the Day. I always get up early 4 a.m. to start dinner. We have Turkey, Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Green Bean Cass, Stuffing, homemade gravy, deviled eggs, veggy tray, cheese and cracker tray, pumpkin pie, sugar cream pie, apple pie, cherry delight and so other stuff I can't seem to think of right now. Almost everyone is at my house by noon.

#19 Guest_JeepMom_*  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2006 - 5:26 am

I'm hosting my entire family this year on Christmas Eve. I have no idea what make. I figure a ham but in our family we usually have more than one meat choice. No turkey as everyone has a long drive home.

#20 Illinoismom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2006 - 5:49 am

I'm hosting my entire family this year on Christmas Eve. I have no idea what make. I figure a ham but in our family we usually have more than one meat choice. No turkey as everyone has a long drive home.


Pasta is good for feeding a large family

Here is a good websire for feeding a large group of people

http://www.angelfire...fiftyindex.html

http://www.recipelin...rd_4/tklcc.html

These may help you alot

#21 Kat07  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2006 - 6:29 am

When we go to my inlaws for Christmas Eve. Dinner is baked ham(regular or Spiral) & roasted pork, lazy pierogies, scalloped potatoes, different veggies. Then a bunch of desserts. Christmas Eve at my family's is just appetizers. Strombolis(calzone), Stuffed Mushrooms, Veggie & meat and cheese/ cracker platters w/ snowflake rolls, Deviled Eggs, Bacon wrapped Scallops, Chips & Dips, Taco Salad, Shrimps, Spinach Avacado Dip and Tortillas. My mother makes this awesome homemade Eggnog. Christmas day at my family(mom's house) is Turkey, Stuffing, Potatoes, Squash, Turnips, Green Bean Casserol, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, Asparagus. Dessert is any possible pie you can imagine. My mother makes about 12 different ones. And she always make her Hot Apple Cider that she boils with secret spices and oranges Mmmmmm

#22 fairydustcrissy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2006 - 6:35 am

We have dinner with my family on Christmas Eve. We used to visit the in-laws on teh 25th, but we havent in 2 years now, since we don't speak anymore. SO, Christmas day for us is a Sunrise Service, then a nomal breakfast (cereal, oatmeal, whatever). I usually do the appetizer thing for dinner. Everyone gets to try alot of different things, and you aren't stuck if you don't like it! lol.

#23 Gator Pam  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2006 - 7:43 am

That is really sweet that you celebrate your FIL's holiday! Again I didn't mean any offense, I was just confused. These may be stupid questions but does your FIL buy christmas presents for everyone? If your husband wanted to since he is not Jewish would you be okay with him buying you and your kids christmas presents?


We all do presents and stockings on Chr-stmas. But instead of signifying the three kings gifts to the Chr-st child, they're mostly Santa and gifts to one another.

But, we also give Beorn one gift for each night of Hanukkah.

I'm hosting my entire family this year on Christmas Eve. I have no idea what make. I figure a ham but in our family we usually have more than one meat choice. No turkey as everyone has a long drive home.


We love our standing rib roast and yorkshire pudding.

Or, you could alays try a Chr-stmas goose instead of turkey.

#24 decafmom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 10, 2006 - 5:57 pm

I always fix beef tenderloin, creamed spinach and homemade yeast rolls on Christmas Eve. I would love to add lobster tail this year. Does anyone have experience ordering them online? What about cooking them? Are they really easy to fix? I would love to surprise my parents and ILs with this at dinner!

#25 cotejb  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 10, 2006 - 6:30 pm

I'm glad you explained that b/c I also was wondering why the "i" was missing. Very informative ! Thanks for telling us about it.

#26 mollannie  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 11, 2006 - 2:01 am

On Christas Eve, we celebrate a polish tradition tradition called "Wigilia," pronounced Vigilia. Before dinner, everyone receives a portion of an Oplatek (it's like a communion wafter) and wishes each other happiness in the upcoming year. The dinner consists of mushroom soup, fish, homemade pierogi, cucumbers and cream, vegetable and dessert. This year my in-laws are coming in from Arizona and we'll celebrate Christmas dinner with a pork loin, chicken, and many, many side dishes. I start planning my menu in early December and tweak it daily. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!!!!!

#27 Gator Pam  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 11, 2006 - 7:32 am

How cool, Mollannie! So the word is pronounced the same as the Italian fish feast? It sounds scrumptious.

#28 Gator Pam  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 22, 2006 - 7:38 pm

Posted Image

Well, plans have really changed...

This year Paul will not be joining us for our celebration, and FIL barely eats due to his appetite being suppressed from his drinking. :-(

FIL can not join us until Tuesday afternoon, so since Beorn and I celebrate the holiday to honor FIL, we'll postpone the whole thing until Tuesday night/Wednesday. I even found an email Santa site and sent Santa a request to please come two nights later (Beorn still enjoys the game).

Beorn doesn't enjoy many appetizers yet, and FIL would fill up on a single serving of an appetizer (or at least claim to do so), so I'll skip them this year. Beorn would also prefer bacon and eggs to our traditional French toast casserole, and FIL's breakfast on a holiday would be Tanqueray and water on the rocks, so I'll skip that as well. :-(

The menu will be very basic, but still festive and yummy.

'Aged' standing rib roast per AB
Diane's Yorkshire Pudding
Garlic mashed potatoes
tossed salad
southern style green beans
roasted asparagus
Chicago-style hard rolls from Publix
KerryGold Irish Butter (the one time of year we splurge on it)
Home made chocolate layer cake with buttercream filling

Since Paul is the eggnog fan, I'll save the home made eggnog for NYE when we'll be back home. Whether that will be in the Village or the duplex will depend on how much moving Paul gets done while he's off from the post office Sunday and Monday this week.

#29 biomajor  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 22, 2006 - 7:47 pm

Since I got married we've had lasagne for dinner on Christmas day. I'm not sure why. It's just something my husbands parents had done for awhile and I love their lasagne, so when they ask what we want to have, we just stick with that :)


I make lasagna too--except when my FIL comes to town because he wants the traditional Christmas ham or turkey takes all day in the kitchen so I don't get to have any fun with the kids meal. Luckily this year, he won't be here for Christmas and I can make my lasagna and spend time with my kids!!

#30 nick_jenni_jocelyn  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 22, 2006 - 8:22 pm

since christmas eve is my bday, we usually go out somewhere for it, in-laws treat, lol. then for christmas, we make several snacks for teh early daytime and then for the main meal, we have ham. something I have noticed in the south... for thanksgiving its ham, for christmas its turkey. We always have turkey on thanksgiving and ham for christmas. several of dh's co workers told him that the opposite is how its done here, lol. is this true, or just depends on the how each person does it?




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