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Christmas in July - Revitalizing the Holiday Feast

Every Thanksgiving, many of us set down in front of a feast featuring turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and other delights. Interestingly, less than a month later we find ourselves in front of tables featuring a very similar meal in celebration of Christmas and other December holidays.

The traditional holiday meal is hard to beat, so it’s no wonder that we tend to repeat it. However, one might consider the advantages of doing something a little bit different for the December holidays. Although duplicating a popular menu may guarantee no one will walk away from the table hungry or dissatisfied, there are a host of other options one can pursue to reinvigorate the holiday feast.

Main courses can be varied considerably. Although few of us still dine on the traditional Christmas duck, it still presents a viable option. Hams, a staple of many family gatherings, is also an option. Options like these, however, only scratch the surface of available options. Have you ever considered a special lamb recipe for you holiday meal? Or, perhaps a feast centered upon a prime cut of beef? The options, really, are limited. Interestingly, there are many traditional holiday meals that are no longer in widespread use that feature alternatives to the somewhat tired common turkey or ham meals upon which we often rely. We can consider the menus enjoyed during the holidays by the people of other cultures and countries, too.

Side dishes offer a spectacular opportunity to elevate the holiday feast. There are many exciting alternatives to our traditional “potato and a vegetable” strategy. Tasty recipes make use of seasonal vegetables or can bring a touch of international flavor to your holiday plate. Instead of serving up the expected, one can supplement a great main course with inventive sides that will make the holiday meal a feast to remember.

Of course, the holidays are known for their sweets. Cookies, candies and pies are a significant part of most families’ holidays. There are literally thousands of ways to either supplement or replace commonly found holiday treats with something interesting, memorable and amazingly tasty! Any chef should consult collections of holiday recipes to find new ways to tantalize the taste buds of their guests.

One can supplement the holiday dinner with unique salads and soups, too. By adding even a few new touches to the holiday dining table, the event can be made even more special.

Imagine a table featuring an attractive array of interesting main courses and sides. The table could be based upon a theme—perhaps an “Italian Christmas” or “An Old European Chanukah.” Or, the meal could simply be an opportunity to explore a variety of new flavors and recipes. In any case, one can really reinvigorate the traditional holiday feast and produce a family event that will long be remembered.

We all love our traditional Thanksgiving dinners. Apparently, we love it enough to often do it all over again a month later! Repeating that traditional feast is unlikely to disappoint most of those gathered around the dinner table. However, it is possible to add something to remember to the December holidays by experimenting with alternative menus and/or adding new dishes and experiences to the table.

Making a great Christmas dinner doesn’t always mean finding a good turkey and making enough potatoes. It can be something different, fun, and tasty. You may be able to develop your own family holiday food traditions by experimenting with something new. All one needs to reinvigorate the holiday feast is a willingness to do something new and to review a strong collection of fantastic holiday recipes.

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