Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas Theme Dinners

Who says that Christmas dinner has to be the same each year? Sure the family gets together and great time but it can always be better. This year, think about ideas for a holiday them dinner.

What is a theme dinner? You’ve heard of murder mystery cruises before. This is a variation on that theme. Instead of everyone just coming and sitting at the table, they have to think a bit about how they will appear at your door.

Theme dinners can begin an entirely new tradition in your home. The dinners can revolve around a theme based on:

  • Holiday movies
  • Holiday recipes
  • Family history of holiday meals
  • Regional foods
  • Spiritual themes

Let’s start with holiday movies. Take your favorite movie and use that as a starting point. Use the time period and any mention of food in the movie to set up your menu and what the attire will be for the evening.

Holiday recipes come from all sorts of cookbooks. You may decide on a down home Christmas meal or eat dinner as the Pilgrims may have enjoyed it with pheasant instead of turkey as the main dish. Try a recipe book based on holiday songs or poems. You’ll find a lot of references to meal ideas with those.

Think back in your own family history. Maybe your family is of European, Asian or African descent. Fill the table this year with foods that reflect what would have been eaten by your family members hundreds of years ago. Research the traditional dress of the time so that everyone can look the part.

Regional themes can reflect the variety of traditions in different corners of your own country. How about a traditional New England feast or a Southwest meal? Go down south to Texas and you will find some other favorites you may not have thought to add to your Christmas meal before.

Christmas is not just about spending time together but the spiritual significance. Everyone could dress as the people did in biblical times and enjoy foods prepared as they would have been enjoyed in the New Testament around the time that Jesus was born.

The field is wide open. If the family is looking for something else to do this year to make their holiday special, suggest that everyone try a Christmas theme dinner. Be sure to decide early so family members have time to get their garb and their food together for the celebration.

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