Want to be fluent in a variety of traditions on this Christmas Day? There’s no better place to start than at the dinner table! This day has special meaning around the globe. And it’s the ultimate family holiday when it comes to tradition and mealtime. This means there is a wide, and sometimes surprising variety of Christmas foods served in celebration.

It’s like each culture expresses their joy for this holy day with with a language of unique flavors and textures. No other holiday holds a candle to Christmas foods. Here are just a few examples:


Christmas Foods that Reflect the Culture

In Poland, they serve a meatless dinner built around 12 dishes representing the 12 Apostles.

They include foods like borscht, dumplings, carp, potato salad, and pickled herring in the repast.

Scandinavians, including Norwegians, share a protein-rich meal of pork sausages, lutefisk, and steamed lamb’s ribs.

Sweet and sour cabbage, and a specially brewed non-alcoholic Christmas soft drink are also included.


Warm-Weather Christmas Foods

In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s a warm-weather yuletide.

South Africans, New Zealanders, and Aussies typically grill meat outdoors.

But other dishes are very traditional sounding, including ham, turkey, mince pies, and Christmas pudding.


Christmas Foods: Tamales Edition

Of course, here in the Southwestern United States it wouldn’t be Christmas without tamales.

Pork, beef, or chicken wrapped in a corn husk with masa is served in many households.

And what would Christmas be without a fruitcake for dessert?

While many turn up their noses at these liquor-soaked cakes featuring dried fruits and nuts, they are very traditional gifts and at one time were a way of showing and sharing wealth.


Japan and Kentucky-Fried Chicken

And Japan? Well they take the cake, so to speak.

Surprisingly, their favorite Christmas foods celebration feast is around a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yes, and they take orders for their KFC barrel of chicken months in advance.


What Will You Add to Your Table?

How ever you choose to populate your Christmas dinner table, let it speak your unique language of traditions, tastes and textures.

Whatever you choose to serve, remember to enjoy your time at the table.

No matter the size of your table, the length of your guest list, or the abundance of food on your menu, we spend the best times of the Christmas season together with those we love.