Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Your Favorite Holiday Food Tradition

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.

Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.

1104 comments

Comments

Stefani says …

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie, for sure! It's the only time of year I make or eat this pie, because it's so rich and high in calories - but so, so worth it. Crust is always homemade, and the chocolate is a mix of milk chocolate and dark chocolate. I've done my best to make it healthier with whole wheat crust, and organic sugar and eggs. Corn syrup is a must though. A guilty treat for the holiday season!

Heather Ebright says …

Christmas and the Holiday Season would not at all be the same without my mom's homemade clam dip. In fact, this last year i could not make it home for Thanksgiving, i now have started making it for my family and friends. Not exactly my moms, but a second close for sure!!!!

keith says …

Springerles, which are rectangular anise-flavored cookies popular in Germany and Austria. To make them you need a carved rolling pin (authentic ones have animal or elaborate ornamental designs)-- it embosses the dough. Takes a while to make them, therefore a special treat you will find only during the Christmas season. A bit too much sugar for me these days, but schmeckt gut!

Mary Kay says …

A no-oil added vegan green bean casserole is a new traditional side dish.

Mary says …

Every Christmas Eve morning, my dad & I (he is full blooded Italian) head to the local fish store to pick out 7 types of fresh seafood for our annual cioppino. When my parents head off to their Christmas Eve mass, I make the soup - tomato based fish soup with anchovy, shrimp, scallops, oysters, clams, calamari, and usually cod. The soup is flavored additionally with bay and red wine. We dine fashionably late, but in time for me to make my Christmas Eve mass!

Ximena says …

My favorite food holiday is the 15 of september. This holiday is in Costa Rica and its Costa Rica's independence day! We it all kinds of tipical food. GallopInto: rice with beans, empanadnas de platano maduro: the outside crust is made of plantane an the inside you can put eather cheese or beans or both.

Diane Waller says …

My birthday is 12/21 - the first day of winter, and sort of the unofficial start to the family Christmas celebrations that I remember as a child. On the shortest day of the year, and often the coldest Minnesota night, our dinner tradition was Oyster Stew. My mom made it with whole milk and a couple of sticks of real butter. It was years before I could actually bring myself to swallow an oyster whole (the only way I could get it down), but I always loved the stew with lots and lots of oyster crackers. It's a tradition I carried on in my own family. They learned to like it. :)

Karin says …

traditional, mushroom, & chocolate fondue on New Year's Eve!

Jule says …

The holidays are all about quality family time for us. Nothing fancy, just relaxation and lot of love. We always bake Zimtsterne, a traditional cookie from our native Germany, spread out blankets in the living room, and listen to a great audiobook (Lord of the Rings) whilst sipping hot chocolate, extra whipped cream. Unlike in America, we exchange presents Christmas Eve. Since the budget has been tight the last few years, we've all agreed to only buy one present, secret santa style. It's great fun and it turns the attention off the materialistic holiday atmosphere and highlights the importance of just being together! Happy Holidays!!!

Grace Sherry says …

My family food tradition is pretty simple. My parents never wanted to spend Christmas day cooking, so on Christmas Eve night we have an amazing steak dinner with all the fixings, Then, on Christmas morning we all eat breakfast together. Every year, my dad makes his famous "Mother and Child" (terrible name, I know) of chicken and eggs with all kinds of spices - tarragon is the only one I can remember right now. We usually play some sort of game to see who is served breakfast first, then all eat together before opening presents. Then, for the rest of the day, no one cooks. We just eat cheese and meats and crackers and candy and enjoy each other's company!

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.

Kat says …

We have "orange juice rolls" we our holiday meal. A family tradition.

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.

Robin Laird says …

Our family tradition began when the children were young and we lived in New Mexico. I make a large pot of posole and we eat it with tortillas! We still love it to this day!

Hanna says …

Our Family makes a bunch of appetizers for christmas day so we can snack all day and enjoy each other without worrying about cooking. The favorite appetizer by far is my moms homemade cheesepuffs. She only makes them on christmas and we're always fighting for the last one!

David says …

My family and I picked up a wonderful tradition after visiting Venezuela some years ago. We make hallaca every year, which involves a mixture of beef, pork, chicken, capers, raisins, and olives wrapped in maize (cornmeal dough), bound with string and plantain leaves, and boiled or steamed afterwards. Also, mulled wine at night...mmm...

Cat says …

One of my favorite holiday food traditions is our Christmas Eve oyster stew. My father used to prod us to eat the oysters in mom's buttery broth by wondering aloud which oyster would have the pearl. We all wanted to find a pearl, so we greedily filled our bowls with oysters. Sitting around the festive table glowing with candles and our expectant faces hoping for a pearl was the best part of Christmas. I believe that oyster stew sums up life perfectly: it's the hunt, not the prize that matters most.

john c says …

beans brown rice and oatmeal

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!

amelia says …

my favorite turkey roasted in the rosterie

Beth M. says …

My favorite food tradition when I was a kid was making Jesus a cupcake to blow out to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We plan on starting that tradition this year with my daughter, but a new tradition her and I have started is making Santa's cookies new years eve. It's fun and a great time to bring us both together.

Bonnie says …

We have sushi and teriyaki steak. All the "white" sons in law and grandkids love the food and look forward to this meal all year!

Mimi Whitney says …

Since I was a little girl, my family always had hors d'oeuvres on Christmas eve, with everything from meats and cheeses, to sweet & sour cocktail meatballs, to fresh, crispy veggies & dips, and of course, cookies and whatever candies we could make. The most memorable are the cocktail meatballs though, made in a very simple, but much loved sauce, and my mom made them every year, no fail. Even though my parents are no longer with me, I've carried on this tradition with my own children and they look forward to it and ask for it every year.

Greg says …

My favorite holiday food tradition is turkey and cheesecake (gluten free for me now). My mom cooks her turkey over night on a low setting and by the time it is time for lunch it is absolutely yummy and practically falling off the bone with a wonderful flavor.

Kim Whitaker says …

On Christmas Eve our family bakes bake all kinds of sugar cookies with cool designs and Chocolate Chip cookies to make sure Santa has some variety on his plate when he brings the Christmas gifts.

Lyzz Stauffer says …

LUMPIA aka Philippine egg rolls. My family gathers around to make them. We create an assembly line. Some separate the lumpia wrappers. The next station places the mixture on the wrappers. The last station rolls the paper into a roll. It's just as enjoyable to make as it is to eat!

Anna says …

Homemade bread, banana or pumpkin, baked in recycled tin cans.... like green bean or corn cans. It's on old family tradition and it wouldn't be Christmas morning without the original oblong shape of the bread baked in a can!

Jess Geier says …

My mother makes her dutch shortbread every Christmas. It is sweet, buttery, and a little flaky. The perfect desert! Or breakfast!

Ilona t says …

Cookies!!!!

Carin says …

German stollen and lebkuchen remind me of Christmases spent there.

Laurie K says …

I have to make my mom's green jello mold salad. We've been having it for so many years, it would be strange not to have it on Christmas.

Ryan Carteret says …

I always make mulled cider and German Pfeffernüsse cookies on Christmas Eve, it's nice to enjoy them while sitting by the fireplace and eating chestnuts.

Brittany says …

Every year we make a buche de noel - and every year, it tastes fabulous!

Jennifer says …

My favorite holiday food tradition is the Christmas cookie. My family makes a TON of cookies in one weekend and freezes them for eating throughout the holidays, and it is amazing. We even had a cookie buffet at our wedding years ago with all the family cookies.

Christina says …

I guess our favorite holiday tradition is eating brunch in our Christmas PJ's after our first round of present giving. It's one of the best breakfasts of the year.

j.J. says …

I'm trying to revive a Christmas tradition. My mom was raised in a Polish household where they had a fully traditional Christmas meal. But she didn't like cooking, so that fell by the wayside. I may not want to replicate the entire meal, but I have started to make pierogies for her for Christmas. She gets a kick out of it.

sheila says …

Mine is the Christmas cookies!

Marianne Griffith says …

One of our family favorites for Christmas Dinner is to eat by candlelight and sip champagne. Our main course was always roast beef and delectable yorkshire pudding! For dessert we would have flaming cherries jubilee!

Kristin says …

Our Christmas Eve always consists of a fondue. Whether it's a cheese or oil fondue as part of the main course or a yummy chocolate fondue for dessert, it has been a long-standing tradition in my own family and has since carried on with my husband and his family!

Catherine says …

My mom loves to make stuffed duck with sweet rice... and I love eating it!

kristina says …

I always make my mother's spiced walnut recipe. They are to die for.

Harry says …

"Yum Yum" Cupcakes. Baked every holiday season with love by my 80 year old grandmother. Enormous chocolate cupcakes with holiday spices, raisins and a home made creamy chocolate icing. Grandmother was so proud to deliver "Yum Yum" Cupcakes to our holiday table.

Dana says …

My husband is from the south and has always raved about his aunt's oyster dressing. Being from Maine i had never had it so one year I made it with fresh loca (Maine)l oysters and it was so easy. It's become a holiday staple ever since.

Naomi says …

We always had latkes growing up, but my favorite tradition started just within the last couple of years. I introduced them to my husband, and last year to our new daughter. This year my husband asked, "when does Hannukah start?", which made feel so wonderful. Now latkes will be a family tradition in this household, not just a memory from my childhood.

Dawn Rosner says …

I grew-up baking dozens of cookies with my mom - to be gifted to friends, family and neighbors. Russian teacakes were probably always my favorite-buttery little pecan balls. Mom is gone now. The sweet memories are passed-on every year to my children as we bake our favorite - Russian teacakes remain in the mix.

michele blinder says …

We make our family's antipasto. with genoa salami, itlian ham cheeses, veggies, olives and don't forget the anchovies. please email me for some pictures. I did not see a way to upload any. thank you michele

Wendy Beswick says …

My mother makes a favorite family tradition cookie called fig cakes using my great-grandmother's recipe. We all get together and bake cookies the weekend before Christmas. The fig cakes are always my favorite and take 2 days to make: little pockets of thin dough filled with cinnamon, pecans and fig preserves topped with a thin powered sugar frosting. I can't wait! We're baking this weekend.

Becc says …

Honey and fresh baked bread is always on our table. Living in Florida, there are so many local varieties of honey to chose from, so we always put out at least 5 different kinds for everyone to munch on all day long! Yummy!

Barbara says …

My family gets together on Christmas morning for bunch. Breakfast casserole, cream cheese Danish, and other traditional foods. The kids love it.

Meghan says …

We always have tamales on Christmas Eve and nothing is better the next day!

Pages