Christmas dinner is a large meal served on the 25th of December, Christmas Day. It is usually called "dinner" no matter at what hour it takes place. Due to the vast amounts of food normally prepared, there is usually only one main meal on Christmas Day, with snacks or little meals at other times of the day.
This article will describe the British meal, its variants in the Commonwealth and the United States, and include Christmas food traditions from around the world.
When it is eaten
Usually, the main meal of Christmas takes place at any time following the usual hour for church services on Christmas day. Many Britons have “Christmas Lunch”; Americans are more likely to have “Christmas Dinner”.
In some countries or communities, it is traditional to have a large dinner on Christmas Eve, generally after returning from church services.
History of the Christmas dinner
The modern Christmas dinner
An old Christmas ditty states “Christmas is a-coming and the goose is getting fat”, but the centerpiece of the modern Christmas dinner is more often baked turkey, stuffed or accompanied by a pan-cooked stuffing, potatoes, a green vegetable, bread or rolls, and with a dessert; a pie or pudding of some sort.
Many families go “all out” for the main Christmas meal, with more than one roast, side dish, vegetable and dessert. A variety of condiments are presented with the meal. In addition to turkey, common dishes are:
One of few times during the year when an ordinary family might serve a fish course in addition to the main roast.
In Australia, where the climate is hot at Christmastime, fish salads are popular.
- potatoes – roasted, baked or mashed
- sweet potato
- pasta – served as a side dish in families of Italian descent
Just about everything, and plenty of them