The day following Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas season which means tons of traditional Christmas foods. Specialty drinks, treats and edible works of art all lead up to the much anticipated Christmas dinner. Every family and circle of friends will add their own variations and flavors to these traditional foods but at least some of the dishes are common to all.
Christmas cookies are one of the signature Christmas foods that inspire the holiday spirit in young and old alike. Sugar cookies are easy to make and are just as much fun to prepare as they are to eat. Children love to help mix the dough, use Christmas themed cookie cutters and decorate them with frosting and sprinkles. Other popular holiday cookies include gingerbread, mint cookies, stained glass cookies and gourmet cookie confections that require special preparation.
Along the same line as gingerbread cookies, gingerbread houses are one of the most celebrated holiday dishes. Constructing a house out of gingerbread with frosting, candy and more, the baker becomes an artist leaving a tempting work that is just waiting to be devoured. Certainly some gingerbread houses are too elaborate to be eaten and are designated and preserved to become a part of the Christmas decor for years to come.
Eggnog is a favorite Christmas beverage that can be served with or without a punch. Some people like to add spiced rum, whiskey and even wine to this drink to create a warming holiday cocktail. The same also goes for hot apple cider which is a must among holiday foods and is great with or without the added alcohol. Hot chocolate is also a popular Christmas beverage that goes over well with countless children and adults, especially when warming up from outdoor play on cold and snowy days.
All of these Christmas foods are enjoyed up to and at the big Christmas dinner. However, the foods that are normally reserved for the big day are a much anticipated event. Traditional Christmas dinners will likely have a meat like turkey which is the most common, ham, roasted duck or goose to a lesser degree. Along with the meat, Christmas foods found at the traditional dinner include stuffing which is also called dressing, and a number of different vegetables like corn, creamed onions, broccoli, squash, potatoes and cranberry sauce.
Every Christmas dinner worthy of its name will also have a variety of enticing deserts. Spread out in front of all the diners will be Christmas cookies, fruit cakes, figgy pudding, pumpkin bread and an assortment of pies. Some of the most popular types of pies are apple pie, pumpkin, mincemeat, chocolate and lemon meringue pie. Desert is incomplete unless it is accompanied by coffee, tea, eggnog and any variety of after dinner liqueurs.