Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Your Favorite Holiday Food Tradition

By Elizabeth Beal, December 12, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Beal
No other time of year is so richly steeped in tradition than the holiday season, and lucky for us, lots of those traditions involve cooking, eating and sharing great food. We’ve all got memorable dishes and must-make recipes connected to this time of year. Maybe it’s Uncle Charlie’s extra-strong eggnog or Grandma Ruth’s red cabbage sauté. How about your own famous scalloped potatoes or a special-batch baklava you make every New Year’s Eve? We want to know about your treasured holiday food tradition. Tell us about it in the comments section below by December 21 and we’ll pick a winner at random to receive a $50 Whole Foods Market® gift card. To get in the spirit, we asked some Team Members to share their favorite food traditions. From Mara: "Our family is part Puerto Rican and we celebrate Christmas each year with paella. My mother-in-law spends the entire day cooking and makes her own sofrito as the base seasoning for the rice. While I love Christmas dinner, my favorite is leftover paella — it seems to even be more flavorful the next day." From Anna: "When invited out on Christmas I ALWAYS bring a huge green salad with lots of crispy fresh veggies with mandarin sections and dried cranberries. I use a light lime dressing. It is a tangy wonder that offsets all of the heavy food we love to eat this time of year." From Jennifer: "The children in our Chinese-American family insist on traditional holiday food – stuffing, ham, turkey, cranberry sauce, casseroles — the works! A few years back, one of my cousins who isn’t big on cooking ordered noodles from a Chinese restaurant as his contribution. Now our holiday meals aren't complete without some takeout Chinese noodles — it's the one dish at our table guaranteed not to have any leftovers." From Elizabeth: "For the past four years, my nephew and I have baked molasses cookies while listening to the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack. The cookies have gotten tastier as he's gotten older, and now we know the songs by heart." From Betsy: "It's an unofficial Jewish tradition to go out for Chinese food on Christmas, so last Christmas Eve, my husband, in-laws and I decided to try a hole-in-the-wall Chinese barbecue joint. We enjoyed an amazing feast of Peking duck, hot and sour soup, fried rice, Chinese broccoli and all of the fixings. It was so good we now plan to ring in Christmas every year with Chinese barbecue." From Allison: "My husband’s family in Houston does tamales and chili every Christmas Eve. My mother-in-law makes the chili and the tamales come from our favorite Mexican restaurant down the street, and we open presents with plenty of hot sauce on the side." What’s your favorite food tradition of the holiday season? Share it with us by December 21 for the chance to win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card. We can’t wait to hear about your festive feasting traditions! The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends December 21, 2011. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.
Category: Contests, Holidays 2011


1 Comment


Alison says ...
I enjoy making and eating the dressing recipe handed down from my grandmother.
12/12/2011 3:23:07 PM CST
maria says ...
I am from Poland and we celebrate Christmas Eve with 12 dishes. It has to be seafood and anything without meat.Everything light as well.
12/12/2011 6:52:12 PM CST
Hillary Valentino says ...
Making apple pie with my mom!
12/12/2011 7:24:11 PM CST
Kat says ...
We have "orange juice rolls" we our holiday meal. A family tradition.
12/12/2011 7:37:05 PM CST
Megan says ...
We always have lefse (Norwegian potato bread) every year. It was harder to get once we moved from Minnesota to Nebraska but worth the extra work. I like mine best with butter and brown sugar, but my grandma is a purist and says white sugar is the only way to go.
12/12/2011 7:37:09 PM CST
Elizabeth says ...
My mom has the best sugar cookie recipe, which I now make every year to give away. People love 'em!
12/12/2011 8:55:28 PM CST
Elizabeth says ...
Growing up my mom and aunt would make an old family recipe for cheese pierogis- fry them in butter and onions, yum! Christmas was typically the only time each year we had them so it was a real treat. It's hard to find the right cheese these days, so the tradition is fading, but the memories are still so vivid.
12/12/2011 9:26:36 PM CST
Karen604 says ...
Christmas Eve Dinner always has needed to be something that will keep everybody going through last minute wrapping of gifts, possibly some snow shoveling and even midnight Mass. Dad, although not Italian, was influenced by the North End of Boston so Christmas Eve Lasagna is a multi-generational tradition. The recipe changes to accommodate diet specifications and regional availability of ingredients, years ago in Texas we could not find Ricotta Cheese, but it is still lasagna. Good wine, good food and good friends the best of the Christmas Spirit.
12/12/2011 10:13:45 PM CST
Sarah says ...
I usually make LOTS of oreo truffles to give away. They are delicious and surprisingly simple (though time-consuming) to make. It is so much fun to give them away!
12/13/2011 8:13:51 AM CST
Brittany says ...
Every year we make a buche de noel - and every year, it tastes fabulous!
12/13/2011 8:51:35 AM CST
Karen MacDonald says ...
baking cookies with my mom and grandma - this year because we are apart, my mom and I had a baking contest and would email each other when a different batch was complete
12/13/2011 9:33:02 AM CST
Chelsea says ...
Ever since I was a little girl...my favorite Christmas tradition was to wake up Christmas morning and open our stockings while making homemade pizza from scratch! Over the years I have been able to convince my family to stray from the traditional pepperoni and cheese to some of my favorites like pesto instead of tomato sauce...spinach...feta cheese...and more!
12/13/2011 9:33:35 AM CST
Donna says ...
We proudly uphold our Polish Tradition...a few years ago I bagged the canned mushroom soup and made my own! Its the best part of our dinner along with fresh fish, pierogies and more!
12/13/2011 9:33:38 AM CST
Dana Marie says ...
My favorite holiday tradition is Irish Soda Bread! We have a family recipe and it is delicious!
12/13/2011 9:33:57 AM CST
Hannah says ...
My mother makes cream of chestnut soup every year for Thanksgiving. It's the only time of the year I have it, and it's SO good. T'giving wouldn't be complete without it!!
12/13/2011 9:34:27 AM CST
shannon says ...
Making peanut butter roll - a very "southern" handed down recipe from my grandmother.
12/13/2011 9:34:34 AM CST
Eileen says ...
Drinking egg nog, the best egg nog I can get locally is Promised Land's egg nog. The best hands down. I am sure there may be better organic brands out there or just making it yourself but for now Promised Land's brand rocks! I look forward every year during this time to have at least one bottle of egg nog. I don't even drink milk throughout the year.... go figure.
12/13/2011 9:34:42 AM CST
nancy prykryl says ...
My favorite holiday food Tradition is making and eating christmas cookies. I get the recipe from my mom's mom.
12/13/2011 9:34:43 AM CST
Sonya says ...
I love eating my mom's mac and cheese during the holidays - she always kicks it up a notch with extra cheese, seasonings and cream of mushroom soup. Then finishes it off in the oven so it's nice and bubbly....YUM!
12/13/2011 9:34:47 AM CST
Bea says ...
A Big Pan of veggie lasagna is the highlight of our meal every year. One year my family was teasing me about how much lasagna we made, so we put it pan on the scale. 20 pounds!
12/13/2011 9:35:33 AM CST
Bianca Smith says ...
I loved stuffed mirlitones as a child. Growing up in New Orleans, my grandmother made them with such great care. We also had a side of red beans and rice, New Orleans' world famous!! It brings a smile to face. Such pleasant memories!
12/13/2011 9:36:02 AM CST
Sarah says ...
My mom's latkas, she never uses a recipe and they are always so delicious. She is such a wonderful cook!
12/13/2011 9:36:11 AM CST
Laura Schofield says ...
I absolutely love spending an afternoon with my kids making spritz cookies with the cookie press. Its not particularly the taste that makes me love these so much. Its more the fun memories - and I just can't imagine making spritz cookies at any other time of the year (although maybe I should try making some at a totally random day in the future!
12/13/2011 9:36:25 AM CST
Christina says ...
This is our first Christmas as a family, we have been debating over and over what we are going to do, but it has come down to me making a home made meal of tamales (hubby's grandma's recipe) and inviting over a family from the church that is less fortunate than us to bless them with a home made meal and some small presents from us!
12/13/2011 9:36:27 AM CST
Heather Asplund says ...
My most favorite food tradition for the holidays is by far is the lefsa that appears at the table every year. My grandma always made it and served it buttered with cinnamon and sugar. I never realized that not every family has that, until I grew up and visited my husbands home for the holidays. I was shocked to not see it on the table and ever since I make it and display my Norwegian heritage proudly :) I always get goosebumps when I unwrap it and my dad and brothers and sisters smile. It starts a wonderful conversation about my grandparents and teaches my children about the importance of family.
12/13/2011 9:36:39 AM CST