The Most Important Meal of Christmas, the Dinner

Gustavo Damian Danemann Soto, Features Editor

   Think of the smell of delicious side dishes. Hear the sound of loud carols and even louder aunts, and envision your mom stressed out about the food all being done at the same time. It’s Christmas dinner!

   Every family that celebrates Christmas has its own special traditions, but what’s never exactly the same regardless of the household are the contents of the Christmas dinner. Serving as the final crescendo after the stressful planning of the days before and the opening of presents, Christmas dinner is the unsung hero of the celebration.

   According to the BBC, the origins of Christmas dinner go back to the Victorian Age during the 1800s. Some people even credit Charles Dickens as the one who spread the idea for the Christmas dinner we all know today (

   According to a survey website, 60 percent of people 18 and under eat mashed potatoes during Christmas. 51 percent of those interviewed have turkey, and half of them have a pie on their dinner table (

  “We always eat mini pecan tarts, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce,” said Junior Rachael DeBraal.

   According to ABC News, the average American Christmas dinner racks up to about 1730 calories, and the appetizers alone total around 1190 calories (abcnews.go).    

   UC’s sophomores eat a variety of meals to celebrate Christmas. “One traditional Mexican food that I eat for Christmas is Pozole,” said Sophomore Ashley Garcia. “I eat tamales and champurrado. It’s something my grandma taught my mom to make when she was little, and now she makes it for us every Christmas,” said Sophomore Tammy Nuñez-Curiel. 

   Some families have a tradition for Christmas Eve also, and some celebrate Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. Some families go out for Chinese food or order it in to celebrate Christmas Eve. Italian-American families have lasagna for Christmas Eve or Christmas day dinner (

   Christmas dinner may seem like merely another excuse to gain a couple of pounds during the winter, but it is an important part of the holiday. This meal is the moment when all the guests are gathered in the same place. It may have been years ago that you last saw many of those sitting around the table, but for this meal, time stands still. Only family and delicious food matter.

   Because of the overwhelming nature of Christmas morning, dinner may not be as remembered as opening presents or dancing to “All I Want For Christmas Is You” when looking back on Christmas highlights. However, that doesn’t make it any less valuable. 

   With our country’s wonderful diversity also comes a variety of traditions, including what to eat for Christmas. No matter what you relish for this special occasion, enjoy the company of those you’re spending it with.