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What are your holiday dining traditions?

a Japanese steakhouse is my family's tradition

a Japanese steakhouse is my family's tradition. (Photo Credit Alexa Lampasona)

The holidays are a time for tradition. Regardless of how each year is celebrated, one of the lasting memories that lingers long after the presents have been unwrapped and the decorations have been packed away is the food. There is something comforting about knowing that once a year, you can count on a meal rooted in tradition.

For more than ten years, my family has gone to a hibachi Japanese steakhouse on Christmas Eve. This was not an experience like Chop Suey Palace from the movie “A Christmas Story,” where the waiters “ra ra ra ra ra’ed” and beheaded a smiling duck. No, but I could always count on attempting to catch shrimp in my mouth and seeing a flaming onion tower. I still wonder how we came up with the idea, but it is as much a necessity each year as driving around the neighborhood to look at lights.

I’m curious to know what special dining traditions you do during the holidays?

Christmas movies are notorious for creating a dining scene that lasts in the viewers mind. Besides “A Christmas Story,” I always remember the over-done, dry turkey from “Christmas Vacation” and Buddy’s maple syrup loaded spaghetti in “Elf.”

What other movie dining scenes stick in your mind?

-By Alexa Lampasona for the Food & More blog

11 comments Add your comment

Ned Ludd

December 23rd, 2013
1:47 pm

Has to be slaw dogs on Christmas Eve. First married Christmas made it home after church and that was all that was in the fridge. It was late and we had to be up early in the morning to spend time with family so that was all we had. Sounds silly but it stuck, may have been glorified somewhat as the years went by and kids came and went but the love of friends and family stayed. Countless folks have joined us over the years. It is not always what or where but sometimes it’s what’s in the heart.


December 23rd, 2013
3:26 pm

Christmas morning has always been (since the early 70’s) Goetta. Prepared the day before, it is a long process if you grind your own meats. Sunnyside egg on top and fried med crispy. Have already bought the pin head oats, so I guess we are having it again this season. Can’t wait!!!!!


December 23rd, 2013
3:56 pm

family traveled from all over to gather at my aunt’s house in south Carolina. the Christmas eve dinner was always a rich oyster stew, with perhaps a slice of the holiday ham. Ummmm..


December 23rd, 2013
4:01 pm

Portuguese and Catholic meant 2 traditions: Bacalao (codfish fritters on Christmas Eve) because we had to fast from meat on Christmas Eve and Linguisa for breakfast on Christmas morning. Everything else was just fluff…but I still do these. I have to import the linguisa from East Bay in California. And the Bacalao takes 2 days but just one whiff and I am a child again with my grandparents, parents, brother, aunts, uncles and cousins. Almost everyone has departed the planet but I still have the memories.


December 23rd, 2013
4:36 pm

Oyster stew for the grown-up’s and chili for the kids. I always loved putting those oyster crackers in the chili. Nowadays it’s usually one or the other. And oh yeah, a bourbon and egg nog left out for Santa. Funny thing, he still leaves an empty glass every year… ;>) Merry Christmas to all of my fellow Foodie bloggers. I am thankful to “know” you!


December 24th, 2013
9:05 am

Christmas eve seafood feast, including lobster, swordfish, shrimp, scallops, mahi mahi, etc. It started with my grandparents when I was a kid, but since I didn’t really know what great seafood was at that young age, I got fishsticks….mmmm (not).


December 24th, 2013
9:53 am

Honey baked ham, fresh green beans, potato salad, veggie casserole,deviled eggs, fresh rolls and whatever ma in law made for desert. yummy.


December 24th, 2013
1:00 pm

We have a Christmas breakfast tradition that I’ve never heard of anywhere else. We line a baking dish with thick slices of sharp cheddar cheese, dust it with granulated sugar and melt it under the broiler. It’s delicious! It comes from my father’s mother, but she died when he was 16 and nobody knows what its origin is.


December 24th, 2013
4:22 pm

Bob…..cheese and sugar. Your family is very lucky. Now a must try at our home.

Doc Holidawg

December 24th, 2013
8:42 pm

Prime Rib, mashed potatoes and for desert, peppermint ice cream.


December 26th, 2013
3:08 pm

After we’d eat the traditional baked ham for Christmas lunch, my mom and I would go to some hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant for supper. This year I think we started a new tradition: We will cook Chinese at home and have a Honey Baked Ham for New Years.