HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Help with *Fun* Xmas eve menu for a mixed group of 4 kids, 6 adults, 2 vegetarian

Hi there,

I could use some help developing a fun menu - i'm thinking heavy finger foods that will fill everyone up -the trick is there will be 4 kids under age of 6 (it's my son's birthday and happens to be christmas eve), and 6 adults--2 of whom are vegetarian. We do not need to eat traditional Christmas eve fare, but rather I want everyone to LOVE the food, and have fun eating it.

here's what i have (i know it seems disjointed)
-Shrimp Cocktail or a crab ceviche?
-Truffled Deviled Eggs
-Pizza: white 4 cheese pizza
-Spicy Pizza-eggplant, zucchini, onion, red pepper, fontina (for my dad who prefers this type)
-Mini Grilled Cheeses (lots of good cheese and butter)
-Baby Lamb chops
-Pigs in Blanket
-Birthday Cake

Thoughts? ideas? i am feeling a bit overexcited and lost at the same time : )

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hey, Lotus,
    Are they total vegans? Or do they do dairy?

    1 Reply
    1. re: MartiniGenie

      Dairy is fine--problem is 3 people LOVE meat, and 2 are vegetarian (eat eggs, cheese). And of course it's important we please the kiddos too--ideally adults will like their food and vice versa.

    2. We always do cheese fondue on Christmas eve. I think the jury is out about wether you can boil all the alcohol out of the wine before you use it in the fondue, but the kids don't eat that much of it. And we set out huge platters of pickles, ham, cocktail sausages, cherry tomatoes, green salad etc to go alongside it. And of course there's all that bread that the kids et mostly plain.
      You could end with chocolate fondue....

      1. You might want to take a look at The Adaptable Feast by Ivy Manning. It has recipes for making dishes that can be divided into vegetarian and meat portions, both with something extra so nobody feels left out.

        Also I'd imagine a Buche du Noel would make a fantastic birthday cake!

        1 Reply
        1. great idea waver...

          Chocolate fondue would be a huge hit with kids and the fruit for dipping a great addition to your menu. They would have a lot of fun with that, especially if you lay out a variety of fruit.

          Pizzas and grilled cheeses are both excellent for kids. Shrimp cocktail or ceviche and lamb chops are more iffy. If it were me I'd probably keep the seafood dish for the adults but swap out the lamb chops for a well seasoned meatball.

          1. Our Christmas Eve tradition has morphed over the years, but started out (when I was quite young) as a pic nic in front of the fire place. So, every year I still include some tea sandwiches, usually egg salad, ham and rolled peanut butter and banana. Even if my kids aren't digging into everything else then these fill them up. We also include a cheese platter, and some hot hors d'oeuvres (from frozen) and for my brother always some salami wedges, layers of sliced salami spread with cream cheese and stacked together.
            And I also recommend a chocolate fondue, another one of our traditions.

            1. What about a make your own taco bar? Everyone usually loves tacos! And you can have beef and chicken for the meat eaters, then grilled veggies for the vegetarians.

              We have a holiday party every year and have a few vegetarian friends. We usually make a vegetarian chili and pulled pork for the meat eaters, plus lots of appetizers.

              1. What about mugs of a nice creamy tomato soup to dip those grilled cheese sandwiches in? Another thing that might be fun for the kids is to make their own pizza. You could have the rounds of dough and toppings set up in advance and let the kids make their own (with adult guidance, of course! :-)

                1. Lotus, that menu sounds like waaaaaaaay too much work to me.

                  I had a similar eclectic mix for Xmas Eve a couple of years ago, and I made it a pizza party. I made a Stuffed Broccoli Pizza (red white and green, it looks SO Christmas-y!) a Pissaladiere Nicoise (anchovies and all) on a (frozen) puff pastry crust, and a whole wheat-crusted artichoke and spinach pizza with fresh Mozzarella. They were all made up ahead of time and waiting to be baked off as needed.

                  Everyone loved them, had a great time, (including the cook!) and it didn't cost an arm and leg.

                  That's my advice. ;)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ChefJune

                    yes, reading the menu again made me tired : ) it's too much, and i want to enjoy the party as much as possible. trying to please my parents' indian palates, kids' pickiness, husband, etc is too much!