Our “Around the World” Christmas


My favorite Christmas tradition is…our “Around the World” Christmas Dinner.

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. That’s too much, 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). My contributions will be diet coke (U.S.), clam dip and chips (U.S.) and a giant chocolate chip cookie (we’ll say France).

————–

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?


This post is part of Finish the Sentence Friday.

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Comments

Our “Around the World” Christmas — 40 Comments

  1. Your dinner sounds awesome and seriously not boring at all, but I will tell you the way you are with Elf is how I am with Christmas Vacation. I found it on ABC Family again tonight and just couldn’t resist watching it for the 1,234,567.890 time now!! So, totally get it :)

  2. First of all, that is a straight-up awesome tradition. I have nothing that meaningful, educational, or creative that we do. Ours are kind of generic and predictable. Just sayin’. And I drink at least 4 Gingerbread Lattes a week and complain about my weight. So, yeah.

  3. HAHA to your and Steve’s conversation. He’s much more helpful than my hubs is! Also the Around the World thing sounds awesome. Having flunked “holiday meal” day at Tucker’s preschool by bringing last-minute pre-made stuff, I’m impressed by the coolness of Ikea and Trader Joe’s!

  4. LOL! At least Steve had an idea! Good GRIEF you got loads more out of him than I ever do out of Husby! Good for him!

    And I still read ‘peppermint mocha’ and think back to the one where I thought you said ‘peppermint pants’ and want you to get some so I can find out what they’re like.

    Very cool tradition though, and a great way to split the hassle and effort of creating the Christmas meal. I like it :)

  5. What a great idea! Christmas Around the World Food sounds fun as well as broadening the children’s minds.

    And final note, Kate: your posts might be many things but they are never boring!

  6. I love the idea of Christmas Around the Wold! I also loved your conversation with your hubs. They always tend to put things into perspective don’t they?

  7. Home Alone movie marathons with my son as we walk around saying “You filthy animal.” I mean we say, “Merry Christmas.” Or what I really mean … “Merry Christmas, you filthy animal!” Take a shower would ya? I’ll still wish ya a Merry Christmas, you filthy animal. (Had to get one last one in.)

  8. What a great tradition! Your husband sounds like a man I’d enjoy sitting on the couch and drinking beers with. God, how fun would it be for you if we did that? We could both heckle you unmercifully. Maybe someday. I’ll bring my own PS3 controller even.

  9. Delicious! What a brilliant idea. I’m thinking perhaps your sister will be kind and not serve up kangaroo or wallaby but perhaps cheat a bit and do a New Zealand pavlova.

  10. I’ve never tried a gingerbread latte. I have some gingerbread K-cups in my pantry that we got as a gift last year and have been afraid to try. I don’t what’s holding me back. It’s just water I’ll be using to drink them. I’m trying one this weekend!

  11. That sounds like a great tradition! Even though I’d like to add that Caprese salad is Italian, not Greek :-)

  12. I had to stop at “drinking chocolate,” because OH MY GOSH THAT STUFF’S AMAZING AND WE DRINK IT EVERY NIGHT DURING DECEMBER! Ahem. Going back and finishing the rest of the post now…

  13. Sounds like your husband is an honest guy! And funny! I love any tradition that involves a lot of food. I have to look into this drinking chocolate….or maybe I shouldn’t. Could cause a problem!

  14. Love the around the world theme.. would be great fun for any time of the year! Your husband is funny.. but truth can be funny… I hear they have a 12 step program for drinking chocolate.. haha.. it sounds scarily addictive!

  15. Diet coke and chocolate chip cookies!! LMAO! This sounds like a yummy tradition. If you see my family, tell them how your family brings a dish to share instead of showing up empty handed or canceling 2 hours before the meal. I digress. Your famil and your tradition are awesome. Steve’s comments are Hilarious!!!!

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