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Suggestions for starting a christmas eve tradition for my 2 year old daughter and inlaws...

I would like to start a christmas eve tradition w/ my family --- something that I would only make for this occasion --- I saw an English woman make a beautiful standing rib roast w/ yorkshire pudding on Martha Stewart and it looked amazing, but w/ working full-time as well as taking care of an active 2 year old --- I'd need something a little easier. Any suggestions/recipes that will help build a wonderfully warm memory for my daughter when she grows up and thinks of Christmas?

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  1. I've taken from my family's tradition of Swedish meatballs on Christmas Eve, and a rib roast on Christmas Day (our tradition we started when we started our own family). The meatballs can be done ahead, then put into a slow cooker to hold for when you are ready for them. My kids look forward to both meals every year.

    1. does your tradition have to be the main course? What about chocolate fondue? Fruit, pound cake (store bought, if you want), chocolate and long skewers. Fun for all ages.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jessinEC

        Thank you so much for your fondue suggestion! My sister and I had a fondue dinner years ago that we still talk about. We sat there for hours catching up on stories and what's been happening since we last saw one another...What I LOVE about your suggestion is that all the prep is done before friends and family arrive and I will get to enjoy their company instead of being a chef/waitress which normally happens...THANK YOU AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

      2. Unless you're working Christmas Day, a standing rib roast and Yorkshire pudding are pretty easy to produce: Throw the meat in the oven, while it's cooking, mix up the batter. While the meat rests, bake the pudding.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pikawicca

          Only if you're an accomplished cook is roast and pudding "pretty easy to produce." There's the timing on the meat--and seasoning--getting the pans prepped correctly and then having it all come out right at the same time. Not an easy task if you are inexperienced and/or have a two-year old. I think the chocolate fondue is a great idea.

        2. How about shooting for a fight free evening =) ?

          The dinners always changed at my home growing up, but we always had springerles, and pfefferneuse cookies.

          You could also do something for others, like volunteer at a kitchen, or donate a meal to a needy family.

          I don't think I would want to get stuck with one meal for ever, and ever.

          1. You should let it happen organically.

            Forced traditions become albatrosses in the long run and serve only to make bitterness down the road.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ipsedixit

              I totally agree. Try a few things over the next couple of years and see what items everyone remembers and asks about and looks forward to having. Make those your traditions over time. You'll have much better memories- just like you do of the fondue with your sister.

              My in laws make "traditional" foods for the sake of tradition and I can't tell you how much I'm dreading the food portion of the holiday. (I love the company, just not the food.)