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

Miguel Gonzalez says …

Turkey and Greens! Although I am Puerto Rican (PR), my stepfather was from Texas. Holidays at my house were traditional American fair with a few Southern and PR dishes thrown onto the menu for the sake of my families varied taste buds. Turkey is without a doubt my favorite holiday food. For me, it begins the holiday season (Thanksgiving) and prepares my stomach for the ham on Christmas. Greens, on the other hand are something very special and where only made in my household during traditional holidays so it is extra, extra, special dish. To be frank if we ate only Turkey and greens for the holidays...that would have been fine with me...thank God I married an African -American woman who makes greens with the best of them... and today I can have them whenever I wish!

Sally F. says …

Russian Tea Cakes http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/russian-tea-cakes/3af8664b-6c3e-4022-b686-cd961521e59b

Vicky McDonald says …

When I think of Christmas, I think of my Grandmother who was the most loving person, not only to my family but to others! She did not ever judge anyone she just always wanted to feed who ever was hungry! She was an amazing cook, she cooked everything from scratch and was also an amazing baker! She loved to cook and bake,it was not a duty to her, it was a gift she gave from her heart to all those who sat down at her dining room table! We did have the typical course after course of Italian food,there were pastas, meats, cheeses, fruits,home made pies, cookies... so much delicious food and such wonderful aroma's all around! I was in awe of my Grandmother who did all of this with such love and grace! She was and is my inspiration to this day, for welcoming anyone who may not have a family to share a meal with, especially during the holidays, she is my inspiration to find joy in cooking and baking... which I do regularly and I am so proud to pass along some of her traditions at my own dining room table as often as I can!

Mary Kay says …

A no-oil added vegan green bean casserole is my new tradition :)

denise petersen says …

red cabbage. and i always make hoppin john for new year's.

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!

nancy prykryl says …

My favorite holiday food Tradition is making and eating christmas cookies. I get the recipe from my mom's mom.

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

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!

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!

Dana Marie says …

My favorite holiday tradition is Irish Soda Bread! We have a family recipe and it is delicious!

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!!

shannon says …

Making peanut butter roll - a very "southern" handed down recipe from my grandmother.

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.

Sam says …

Every year at Christmas, everyone in my big Italian family helps to put together the antipasta. We make an event out of it, with everybody delicately placing each ingredient perfectly on one large glass dish. From the meats and cheeses to the olives and vegetables, they are all laid out in a beautiful pattern. Then, adding in that weird twist my family is known for, we have the antipasta dance, where we all line up in a conga, sing, and parade the finished dish around the dining room table. I have no idea how it started, but it's our favorite tradition. I love seeing how the line has gradually gotten bigger over time too, as the younger nieces, nephews and cousins grow up, get married, and have children of their own.

Teresa says …

On Christmas morning, our oldest child gets up early and makes a large pancake breakfast usually with chocolate chips and other add-ins. We have pancakes and orange juice BEFORE we open presents.

Phyllis K Boyajian says …

My family is Armenian by ethnicity. My father made the best lamb shish-ka-bob any one ever tasted. He cut the meat, marinated it and cooked it. We always had that for Christmas dinner along with my mom's rice pilaf. Both of my adult children learned to do the shish-ka-bob from my dad before he passed away at the age of 98. They and I also learned mom's pilaf so that is what we still have for Christmas dinner when we all get together. My 6 grandchildren are learning that tradition now. Two of them already can make the pilaf like my mom did. They will carry on the tradition.

Patti says …

My favorite Christmas tradition will begin when Whole Foods opens their new store in Tidewater/Hampton Roads. I will arise early and arrive at the store just as it opens. I will leisuerly stroll the aisles selecting everything "just right" for my family for Christmas dinner. I will know my produce will be the freshest and my meats trimmed perfectly. I will not have a problem finding quality products because I will be shopping in Whole Foods. My family will truly enjoy the bountiful offerings I have prepared and we will be thankful for our new quality grocery store.

Sandy says …

Instead of sending commercial gifts, we send out homemade ginger spice cookies (special ingredient...black pepper!) along with local coffee and a small jar of homemade preserves. I wish someone would send me THAT for Christmas!

sharon c says …

I think my favorite is the vigilia meatless meal on Christmas Eve...It is a Polish tradition, to have a meatless meal, with fish only. We also exchange the Oplatki, blessed wafers, with each other and wish Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and much love...wonderful tradition that I loved growing up!

Christine Mahar says …

My younger boy cousins and my 3 younger brothers...all terrible pests, would hover around the "little Smokies with BBQ sauce" concoction which my Mother kindly placed in a chafing dish for them. Now trying to duplicate that favorite for my grandkids using healthier foods is a big challenge....any suggestions?

Michelle Terry says …

Our family tradition is making white hot chocolate on Christmas morning. My husband and I make it from scratch and try different ingredients each time. It started out as a silly treat that I made for him one year, but now its a must have and one of the many things we both look forward to on Christmas morning.

Alison says …

I'm usually in charge of a side and dessert, and for the past several years, I've had fun trying new recipes that satisfy each of my family member's tastes - quite a challenge!

Terry Gardezy says …

Well, our tradition is relatively new, as it started when my son married my daughter in law. Now the tradition is that we go to their house for breakfast and gifts. She always makes a breakfast casserole that she grew up with, you soak the bread in the eggs all nite, and it has sausage, and all kinds of good things in it, she makes a gorgeous fruit salad with a sweetened sour cream drizzle, and I bring homeade cinnamon rolls and grandma brings Mimosa's. This will be our 5th year with the same tradition and we cant wait!!!

Maureen Bosco says …

Our Grandmothers traditional New Year's Eve is to have the entire family together and any other friends that need a family to spend the holiday with. We all bring our favorite Italian dish and she makes homemade pizza, cod fish, octopus, and other fishes for a total of 7 fishes. A wonderful tradition and great time for all ages.

Steve Croyle says …

My favorite holiday food tradition comes on Christms Eve. We have a small informal gathering of family and friends at the house. We have a few drinks, maybe watch a movie and then we wrap the presents for the kids in the wee hours of the morning. To keep things simple, we do finger foods but I like to step it up a bit. I stuff red and green chili peppers with chorizo and cheese, shuck a few oysters, and make a batch of bacon-wrapped shrimp. I also tend to add something different to the lineup each year. This year I'm torn between curried egg salad stuffed into cherry tomatoes and chicken satay with a nice peanut sauce. It's always fun to make something special for the people you care about.

Rhia R. Drouillard says …

A family favorite for the past 100 years is pickled eggs. We have Mennonite/PA Dutch in our background. You can't belong to the family if you can't eat a pickled egg. lol I use one can of beats, vinegar, a pinch of sugar and water. Add boiled, peeled eggs into the mixture and let stand in the fridge for at least 4 days before eating. They keep up to three weeks in the fridge but they never lasted that long around our house. :-)

Ann E. says …

My daughter and I will bake holiday cookies while listening to a Christmas music list my hubby and I started when she was born. Every year, we each add a few new tunes to that list. We all sit together and decorate the cookies for Santa and our friends.

Whitney says …

My favorite holiday food tradition is on Christmas morning when my sister makes the best christmas sweet rolls ever!!! They are made out of sweet dough and are lightly browned in the oven and before baking them she molds them into different shapes like Christmas trees and wreaths. Once they are out of the oven she drizzles a sweet powdered sugar icing on top and finishes them off with holiday sprinkles! To die for! Simply irresistible and has been the highlight of our families Christmas morning for years!!!!

Kim says …

Experimenting with new recipes is my tradition. I'm not fond of repeating recipes when there's so many to try!

Veronica says …

I've got to have ham, scalloped potatoes (my aunt's recipe) and pumpkin pie.

Bree Zumoff-Mosley says …

My mother makes cioppino (Italian fish stew with tomato sauce) every Christmas Eve. It's delicious and full of mussels, clams, crab, and lobster. So amazing with Whole Foods' crusty sourdough bread!

Donna says …

Baking rugelach!

sherree says …

My family is a traditional ham, turkey kind. Except that I am now a vegan! So my new tradition is Tofurkey with sweet potato cakes and baked apples.

Mary N. Long says …

Cranberry Sauce Turkey Backed Ham Lamb Roast Mac and Cheese Green Bean Cas Asparagus Mashed Potatoes Greens Sliced tomatoes Cucumber Salad

Monique B. says …

I'm Swiss, and we always make a big pot of Cheese Fondue, with authentic cheeses from Switzerland - purchased at Whole Foods, of course! With kirsch and cornichons on the side, and some wonderful bread for dipping - it's my favorite holiday food tradition!

Rachel Kaufman says …

Each Christmas my nephews Benjamin and Craig spend a weekend at "Gammie's". The weekend is not complete until we have decorated pre-baked Gingerbread Men. What fun it is to decorate them and then to eat them! Happy Holidays to all!

sandra says …

my favorite memory of the familly christmas dinner is sweet potatoes and apples which grandmother made with netmeg and cinnamon and cooked in the oven. i love it just as much this time of year as i did then. thee love and the spirit of joy always arises in my family at this time.

Sandra LaFleur says …

This pretty salad works great on Christmas. It is red and green, and helps balance out the rich foods that sometimes weigh down the holiday. To one bowl of spring greens, which should include something like baby arugula, and mache is nice too, add 1 box of raspberries and 1/4 c. dried cranberries. Sprinkle about 1/4 c. of shelled unsalted pistacio nuts on top. Dress with a raspberry vinaigrette. Or use this recipe. 1/4 c. of the best raspberry vinegar you can find, 2 T honey 1/4 tsp salt or salt to taste, pepper, and 1/2 c. a light olive oil, or your choice of oil, and whirl in a mini processor. Dress the salad, and squeeze a small piece of lime over the raspberries for extra aromatics. Make sure the raspberries and nuts are sitting on top, because they are beautiful, and toss just before serving.

angela says …

My daughters and I snack on stuffed mushrooms and savory shrimp dish. With sparkling grape juice.

Vicky says …

baking and decorating cookies with my friends!

Katharine K says …

We have the best homemade scratch family recipe for coffee cake...always eaten right after opening Christmas stockings, but before the main event of presents!

Holly B says …

Lots of egg nog- just like Grandma used to make!

Leila says …

I grew up in South La.: Christmas Eve was seafood gumbo. My husband grew up in West Texas: Christmas Eve was tamales. So we now eat both.

Jean D. says …

My kids and I make homemade salsa to give as gifts to friends.

Robert Pratt says …

My wife makes a gingerbread house and the grandkids decorate it and then eat it on Christmas Day.

Mike L says …

Turkey

Robyn says …

Since I now have my own family- and we have more than enough to sustain ourselves and many others- we go out for a simple meal and then spend the Day helping with charity services. Our evenings our usually spent noshing on favorite snacks we prepare only at the Holidays!

Donna C says …

My favorite holiday tradition is roasting chestnuts in the oven. There's nothing like peeling and eating a warm chestnuts on Christmas eve. Oh and the egg nog. Merry Christmas everyone.

Allysson McDonald says …

I normally don't bake very much, but a few weeks before Christmas I always make my mother's fruit cake recipe - one she adapted from a Canadian Robin Hood Mills holiday flier back in the 1960s or 70's. Her version has coffee, crushed pineapple, candied ginger and lots of spices along with the standard raisins, nuts and candied fruits. The whole house smells like Christmas and puts me in a holiday mood! I've learned to make 2 or my husband gets mad when I start handing out samples to friends and giving away big pieces as gifts.

Pages