Christmas Memories and Favorite Recipes

Make Memories of Your Own

Rosettes
Rosettes. Linda Larsen

No matter where you live or how old you are, Christmas memories from your childhood have a special glow about them. Perhaps you remember a longed-for gift you finally received, or gave to someone special. Christmas ornaments and decorations, the songs you play and sing, and even when you open your presents all form lasting memories and traditions. Food always plays a part in these memories; here are some of my favorite recipes for the holiday season.

Many families have their own food traditions that are recreated every year. If yours doesn't, consider starting one! A tradition doesn't have to be complicated. Talk to your friends and relatives and see what they do for Christmas. They may make a special food, or they may try a new recipe every year. 

Some families prefer to have something special for holiday dinners, or they may splurge and have an indulgent food, such as caviar, or lobster, or steaks. Steaks were our special food for celebrations; we didn't have them often, and when we did, they were a wonderful treat.

Think about what your family enjoys doing and their favorite foods. Incorporate those activities and those recipes, or similar ones, into your own celebration. Before you know it, a tradition will be born!

My Family's Christmas Eve Menu

No matter how Americanized your family is, you probably have special recipes that reflect your heritage and ancestry. My maternal grandma's fabulous Parker House Rolls are a must each holiday season. Made from scratch, they are tender and fluffy. Now my nieces and nephew look forward to their appearance.

My paternal grandmother made the most wonderful lefse. Lefse is a Norwegian potato pancake that we always served spread thinly with sweet butter and sprinkled with sugar. When properly made, it is melting, tender, nutty and slightly sweet. Her cookies were the most tender and melting I have ever tasted. It's important that your traditions and the recipes you choose are ones you enjoy making and that you have made successfully in the past.

If your family doesn't have Christmas traditions, create your own! Borrow my traditions, browse through holiday books, think about serving one of my Alternative Christmas Menus and research your ethnic past for inspiration. You can build your own wonderful memories that your children and grandchildren will recreate with smiles.