Every family has delightful and unique Christmas traditions. Indeed, our traditions evolve and respond to our everyday needs. A small family, for instance, will tend to focus on extravagant dishes and decorations. On the other hand, a large family prefers to keep things practical, manageable, and fun for everyone. That’s why many big families choose a Christmas brunch buffet display so everybody can find their favorite snack and treat easily. Less hassle means there’s more time to enjoy our togetherness. Yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t try anything new. After all, after over a year of pandemic staycation, it would be fun to turn your Christmas feast into an excuse for travel. 

An Italian Christmas

Christmas is deeply engrained into Italian culture. Indeed, as Italy is one of the countries with the most beautifully designed and decorated churches in the world, it makes sense that the population would know how to make the Christian celebration truly magical. Yet, an Italian Christmas is all about celebratory dishes that are accessible to everyone. Recipes are neither difficult nor do they require luxury ingredients. On the contrary, if you try this recipe for deep fried baccala fish, you’ll soon realize that the Italian Christmas emphasizes simple and social togetherness using everyday ingredients. 

Beef and kimchi in Seoul

In Asian countries such as South Korea, Christmas has taken a new meaning. Korean culture turns the holiday into a romantic celebration where couples spend the day and evening together. The typical Christmas dinner in Seoul includes a nutritious beef dish, noodles, and spicy fermented cabbage (kimchi). More importantly, it is a celebration of love which means you spend the day with your significant other rather than inviting your distant family. Single friends get together around chicken and beer for the evening, while couples share a meal with delicious side dishes. 

A West-African stew for Christmas

Contrary to common belief, Christianism also exists in African countries, especially West African regions, as a result of European colonies. African dishes are an integral part of the Christmas dinner, including a spicy chicken stew, a goat curry, a carrot pineapple raisin salad, and deep-fried dough balls. Unlike the South-Korean culture that encourages romantic parties, West-African Christmas dinners are made with sharing in mind. They offer a unique opportunity to invite the whole family and even lonely neighbors around the table. The African culture loves large buffets that can feed a large community. 

Surprise everyone with an Icelandic Christmas

We tend to associate Icelandic cuisine with rotten fish, but people in Reykjavik also know how to make Christmas magical. Truth be told, you will find fermented skate, which is a type of fish. But you can skip on this tradition to try your hand at some of the most exciting baking recipes, leaf bread. Leaf bread is a thin and crispy flatbread that is typically decorated with leaf or other designs. You can also add Christmas cookies, such as ginger snaps, jam preserves cookies, and spiced dough with white frosting. 

This year, why not travel the world through your Christmas dinner? Whether you opt for a traditional Italian recipe or an exciting West-African one, welcome these new flavors into your Christmas tradition.