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Christmas is about brunch in my house, so what's for dinner?

I need some help! We host a Christmas brunch at my house. It's totally casual with tons of food. By the evening, once our family/friends have left (and only those out of towners are staying over), we always want something different to eat than the brunch leftovers. Not a huge Christmas dinner feast, but somethiing. We ended up just ordering Chinese last year! Any suggestions for something to serve this year? FYI....Christmas Eve dinner will include pasta, so that's out.


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  1. How about tacos or fajitas, guac, etc.

    1. Something that is very easy would be to make individual pizza's on pita's or store/pizza parlor bought dough. They can be done in the oven or on the grill and topped to each person's preference. Serve with a mixed green salad and dinner is done in no time. A veggie heavy stir-fry might also be nice after all of the Christmas eating.

      1. We are a family of 3, living far away from relatives. We used to like to go to the movies on Christmas Day and have Chinese for dinner. Then my husband started worked for a chain of Chinese restaurants and, as you can imagine, the last thing he's interested in having on a day off is Chinese.

        Cold meals like ham or fried chicken, potato salad, deviled eggs, etc would fit the bill you're looking to fill. Or you could do a nice soup, salad and bread meal and top it off with Christmas cookies.

        1. We do the same thing--big brunch on Christmas day w/ inlaws and a big Christmas Eve dinner. So, Christmas night, we go out for Chinese. I love it.

          If not, you can make and freeze stock and then have a big pot of soup and no-knead bread.

          1. Pizza on the barby over coals of chunk oak hardwood (not briquettes), flavor is amazing!

            1. On X-mas eve (anticipating the huge breakfast and lunch the following day) our family always had a cheese dinner. We would have a big salad, good baguette and a wide variety of cheese. Variations of this included a cheese souffle (really easy) and cheese fondue. This might work for your x-mas night.

              1. My family has a tradition of eating cheese fondue, bacon-wrapped shrimp, and various other snacky foods on Christmas Eve. This seems like a good option for a post-brunch dinner for you, because it's easy to put together and those who are still stuffed from brunch don't have to confront a full plate of food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mordacity

                  my family has the same tradition, and it's one of my happiest childhood memories. I always opened a gift (always a board game) and we'd play it around the fire while grazing on fondue. Now roles are reversed. i do the cooking and I give my mom a board game, which we still play. You can be as fancy or as generic (my childhood favorite was tostino's pizza rolls!) as you want, and include a crudite tray to get some roughage in, which I know I always crave after an earlier, bigger meal.

                  That said we do an early afternoon dinner for thanksgiving and christmas and then just have a big, guilt-free dessert for "dinner" those nights. But I'm thinking that won't work with brunch, which probably has some sweets added in already.

                2. I'd say soup, bread, salad.

                  Or maybe a vegetable braise with dumplings?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: piccola

                    I agree. Soup and salad is the way to go after a big, heavy meal. My grandmother always used to make corn chowder after the Thanksgiving meal and it worked very well (for anyone who was hungry again). I suppose corn is out of season now, so maybe a split pea soup with arugula salad is the thing to make.

                    Let us know what you do.


                    1. re: Euonymous

                      All fabulous suggestions! I need to mull this over....

                  2. what about a "make-yer-own" sandwhich bar with roast tenderloin, horseradish cream and mini-buns and little shots of hot soup? You can do up the tederloin/cream ahead of time and chill with the folks during dinner.

                    1. We often order cold cut/cheese/antipasto platters and throw in a shrimp ring for good measure. We pick them up early Christmas eve morning. They're great for snacking. People pace themselves so they work well for hearty, picky or "I can't believe I'm still eating at 1am" appetites. :-} We use good quality festive holiday paper/plastic goods and plastic cups so there is essentially no cleanup.
                      It's the way to go because, honestly, aren't most of us all 'cooked out' by then?