For the past six years, we’ve gotten together with my sister’s family to do an “Around the World” Christmas Dinner where we cook and eat entrees from different countries and let the kids open presents from each other.
The first year, we were really elaborate and had a map on the wall with tags indicating the country each entree was from.
We had 12 entrees and desserts, including Caprese salad, stuffed grape leaves, Mexican corn bread, fruit salad in a hulled-out pineapple, curry chicken, and hand-wrapped wontons. There were seven of us – 12 entrees and desserts for seven people…three of which were kids. We could have invited the Duggars over and still had left-overs.
|My niece at our first
Christmas Around the World, six years ago.
We toned it down the next year to nine entrees and desserts (still too much). The three desserts were all chocolate and we called them French. One of the items was drinking chocolate. Have you had this stuff? We got it at Trader Joe’s. Holy Crap! It’s heaven in a cup. Pro-tip: Don’t fill your coffee mug to the rim with drinking chocolate. You’ll get sick.
Over the years we’ve gotten lazier smarter and scrapped the map, reduced the number of entrees to five or six, and started buying items that are pre-made: Ikea meatballs (Sweden), Trader Joe’s Pot-stickers (China), Pre-made tamales (Mexico). This also meant we could keep the drinking chocolate (France).
My sister is carrying us this year and will bring foods representing Sweden (Ikea meatballs), Mexico (guacamole), Italy (Caprese salad), and Australia – I have no idea what she’s bringing representing Australia, I asked her and she didn’t respond. I’m a little nervous. My dad and step-mom are flying in, expanding our group to 11, and will be making red lentil dahl (sounds Indian). Mycontributions will be diet coke (U.S.), clam dip and chips (U.S.) and a giant chocolate chip cookie (U.S.).
I thought this post was boring, so I asked Steve if he could think of anything funny about our Around the World Christmas dinner tradition.
Me: My post is kind of boring tonight, can you think of anything funny about Around the World Christmas?
Steve: Other than the fact that you’re writing about it?
Me: What do you mean?
Steve: There’s nothing funny about Around the World Christmas.
Me: But I have to write about my favorite Christmas tradition.
Steve: Then why don’t you write the truth?
Me: What do you mean?
Steve: Why don’t you write about the movie, Elf, and how many times you watch it? Or the John Denver and the Muppets Christmas CD you listen to over and over again every year.
Me: Ok, hold on, let me write this down.
Steve: Or the fact that we stand in line enduring two hours of torture to eat around the tree at the Walnut Room every year? Or sucking down Peppermint mochas every day while complaining about our weight?
Me: Maybe you should write this post.
Steve: Nah. I’m just inspiring you.
And there you have it, folks, a few more of my favorite Christmas traditions.
What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?