This year, I decided I was not cooking a huge turkey dinner for Christmas. My reasons were:
1. It takes too long to cook and clean up when there are better things to do.
2. We're having a big dinner at my parents' place this Saturday where we will have our fill of turkey and trimmings.
3. I was up for something different.
Our married children arrived around 12:00. I had a beautiful table set (by our youngest daughter) and we enjoyed locro, a potato soup from Ecuador and shrimp ceviche. Later, for dessert, we had the buche de noel.
After opening presents and taking a walk I set up the kitchen table and counter with various appetizers - spanakopita, cheese, fruit, crackers, stuffed mushrooms, artichoke dip, vegetables, cold cuts, etc. Our son is turning into quite a cook and brought some delicious blackened chicken calzones to add to the table. Dessert was Christmas baking and hot apple cider served from the crockpot.
I didn't use the dining room table because it was occupied by board games - Settlers and Ticket to Ride.
Would I do this again? I think so. I had a hard time the day before thinking that I should be cutting bread for stuffing and making the side dishes to go along with the turkey. Once Christmas Day came, all was good. The meals were delicious but didn't take all day to prepare and consume.
I like doing big dinners - serving the various courses and spending lots of time at the table. But it seems that the dinner is not necessarily the main event at Christmas time, so why spend the effort then? I'm already planning an elegant, sit-down dinner for my family in January or February.
Last year, after the big dinner and the gifts, we clustered around the fire, playing games, talking, laughing. And our eldest daughter said, "This is the best time, just being together.
For more non-traditional Christmas dinners, check out this blog.