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Anybody serve Turkey for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas?

I kinda feel it is crazy, but I may want turkey again for Christmas (even though I had tons of leftovers).

Does anyone else do the Turkey for Christmas too? Do you vary the side dishes at all? For instance, I don't know if I would make stuffing for the Christmas version, but I probably would still do green beans and shallots, Brussels sprouts and roasted potatos.

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  1. My in-laws. Nothing is different. Same thing for Easter too.

    Dried out stringy turkey
    dried out stringy ham
    cornstarch and water gravy
    mashed potato
    corn casserole
    mac and cheese
    canned sweet potatoes cooked in the skillet with King syrup and brown sugar
    baked beans
    oyster filling
    bread filling
    pickled watermelon rind
    celery sticks
    cranberry "relish"
    fruit salad in juice
    pies (these may vary: coconut custard, shoofly, pumpkin, montgomery, egg custard)

    water or mountain dew

    3 Replies
    1. re: melpy

      @melpy - water or mountain dew - you have my deepest sympathies.

      Thanksgiving is not a holiday here, but many of my fellow Bermudians see it as a practice run for Christmas dinner. I used to make it for my American friends, but two turkey dinners - even though they are very different aside from the turkey – so close together - no.

      1. re: Athena

        Very interesting about Bermuda--thanks for sharing.

        1. re: Athena

          I like water (a lot), so it isn't a hardship per se.

      2. My parents used to, but once I started cooking in my own home, I asked Mom what she wanted and she agreed, no turkey for Christmas. We've done Beef Tenderloin with Cognac Cream Sauce for many years, but this year, my sister is having Christmas, so knowing her, she'll have a ham (which I'm not overly fond of, but will pick at).

        Sides with the beef are usually roasted potatoes and green beans with shallots and bacon, sometimes another side.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LindaWhit

          I've done roast beef or rib roast and it is just not as idiot proof as a turkey. Never comes out as good as a restaurant version. I feel like my turkey is better than a restaurant's version as at least I have learned how not to make it dry and I don't have to serve all those marshmallowey/syrupey side dishes that I never even liked as a kid.

        2. Never ever. And I like turkey. Either suckling pig, cabbage rolls, and other sides (think Eastern Europe); or Danish prune-stuffed pork tenderloin from DH's side... This year, we're doing Christmas Eve dinner (seared duck breast) and Christmas Day (pulled pork) on our own, so yay for variety.

          1. Raises hand to affirm.

            1. I like to have each holiday separate with regards to the foods, what we do during the holiday, the decorations, etc. That way, when my kids are older (and I am dead) every time they eat a certain food they'll remember and say... "oh this is what we ate during xyz"... if it's just turkey all the time, they'll only think of me once.

              1. Yes, but Canadian Thanksgiving (the good one) occurs in October so there really isn't that much overlap. Some side dishes change depending on market availability.

                1. My wife is not a person who craves turkey. When our 3 kids were living with us and she was working at a corporate job, she would buy a big bird. The whole bird was roasted for Thanksgiving, but half of it was put in the freezer for Christmas.

                  We now have different meals for Christmas. Seven fishes on Christmas Eve is not one of them. All though she is of Italian descent, Chicago was not a seafood area when she was a kid, and seafood was not readily available because it was not flown in from the East Coast.

                  1. In my parents' home, Turkey was always served on both Christmas and Thanksgiving, but we're in Canada and early October is much further from Christmas than late November is.

                    Mind you, occasionally we'd have turkey on New Years Day, too, and that's way closer to Christmas than even American Thanksgiving. Though usually that would only happen if we went to my aunt's for Christmas dinner and thus didn't have leftover turkey of our own.

                    1. I can't remember every year, but I'm almost certain that my Mom does at least most years. Thanks for reminding me! I should talk to her about maybe changing the menu for this year. A rib roast or beef tenderloin sound great. She does switch it up for New Years, though and the tradition is always pork and sauerkraut. For Easter it is always a ham.

                      1. As much as I love turkey (Mr P tolerates it, sort of), we nixed it for Christmas ages ago. Played around with other ideas, mostly beef (standing rib roasts, prime steaks), but we've settled on country ham for Christmas, which also is our standard Easter fare.

                        1. Oh yes...I do! In fact, I hate to admit that it's basically the exact same meal. The only difference is dessert. Thanksgiving is something pumpkin, and Christmas is Christmas Pudding from Fortnum & Mason in London.

                          1. Nope. Not here. Different holidays require different menus. They might be repeated from year to year but they usually don't follow each other down the line. Turkey, etc., for Thanksgiving is a given.

                            Christmas Day is entirely up for grabs. Through the years we've done lobsters, goose, venison, ham, rabbit, and anything else anyone wants. Standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding always was the favorite, though. In the Weber, no less.

                            1. I'm pondering it. My family always has turkey at both holidays though there are always other meat options as well.

                              1. My family does turkey and beef tenderloin (or filets) at Christmas. With mashed potatoes, stir-fried garlic/ginger green beans, roasted asparagus, and whatever else people bring. It's definitely not Thanksgiving round 2, there just happens to be a turkey and mashed taters on the table. I personally love it.

                                1. We do. Both my family and my boyfriend's family. We never have turkey throughout the year except deli slices. We essentially have the same meal for Christmas as Thanksgiving. We also have a ham.

                                  1. That's how I was raised. As has been posted as well, for Easter.


                                    1. Nope....the once a year turkey is one too many for me.

                                      Christmas is for beef and seafood.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. My Mom used to. Same sides, maybe the pie was different.

                                        1. I have done turkey for both, simply because it's easy and doesn't need babysitting. Dressing, potatoes, green beans usually on the side.

                                          1. Turkey for Thanksgiving, yes. Our family get together usually includes ham with kolbasz, various sides and stuffed cabbage. This year we've reverted to an earlier tradition - I've ordered a Goose which my sister promises to do very, very crispy.

                                            We'll bring the drippings back with us though.

                                            1. It's actually funny how so many people hesitate to eat turkey more than once a year but gladly eat chicken more than once a week.

                                              13 Replies
                                              1. re: sheetz

                                                I don't hesitate - but the two taste different to me, and I prefer chicken vs. turkey. But I do buy turkey tenderloins on occasion in the stupidmarket.

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  I'm roasting a duck this Christmas. 'She who must be obeyed's former mother-in-law is bringing the turkey. I'll say no more.

                                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                                    "Oh, thank you for offering the turkey, but I'm SO stuffed having eaten so much duck!" would be my response to SWMBO's ex-MIL. ;-)

                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                      I'm pondering duck as well. I've never made it but seems like it'd be a nice holiday dinner.

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        I love duck, but I am afraid I will screw it up. It's not all that easy to do. That goes for rib roasts too (hate buying a really nice piece of meat and then mess it up by over/undercooking it). Pork Shoulder/Butt is really easy, but I do that a lot too.

                                                  2. re: sheetz

                                                    If turkey was the size of chicken, I might make it a whole lot more often. Just can't use up all the leftovers for a household of 2.

                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                      That's where gumbo comes in. I am not from Louisiana, but I don't think my version is half bad (for a yankee).

                                                      Good news is you can freeze single serving portions.

                                                    2. re: sheetz

                                                      I eat turkey weekly all year round. I actually prefer it to chicken.

                                                      1. re: sheetz

                                                        seems to me we did have turkey on both holiday tables with not too much variation in sides; it's not like we would have turkey at any other time of the year, 2x over 2 months seemed not too excessive...

                                                        1. re: sheetz

                                                          Chicken has a different taste and texture from turkey.

                                                          Not funny at all.

                                                          1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                            Of course turkey and chicken are different, but they are more similar than they are to other types of proteins like beef, pork, or fish. Yet I never hear people saying, "Yeah, today I've eaten my quota for pork this year, so that's it for the next 12 months."

                                                            1. re: sheetz

                                                              That's because pork tastes good and turkey tastes like turkey.

                                                              1. re: Janet from Richmond


                                                                sheetz, believe me - you shall never ever EVER sway J-from-R from her appointed rounds as someone who find turkey distasteful.

                                                        2. Back when we were doing traditional menus for both holidays, yes. The bird for Christmas would be a bit smaller and there would also be a ham, never present on Tksgiving. The portion of corn bread dressing would also be smaller (and there were never any leftovers).

                                                          There might be some variation in sides if a special request was made but the only other differences would be dependent on which group of relatives was being invited as they would always bring something - a side and a dessert, usually. One aunt specialized in jello puddings, soooooo... Another made a green bean casserole that was better than the standard one (which we never had). We always thought she wasn't a very good cook and that's all she could make but one year she also showed up with some lasagna! There were no leftovers of that either. I think she was holding out on us but she brought store bought pies.

                                                          One dessert that would appear at Christmas but not turkey day we knew as 'Toasted Coconut White Christmas Pie.' Living close to the Texas coast we never had a white Christmas so that was a nod in that direction. The filling was white rather than yellow but, spoiling the white Christmas theme, it was topped with shredded toasted coconut. And there was a layer of Triple Sec on the baked pie crust, under the filling. That was my favorite coconut pie but I've never had a recipe.

                                                          1. Sometimes we do turkey, sometimes ham. Either way, our sides are almost identical to those served at Thanksgiving.

                                                            One year, when I was maybe 17 or 18, I did a pork tenderloin with cinnamon/nutmeg/etc and fried apples. It was delicious. If I didn't already have a turkey in my freezer, I would consider doing that again this year.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Kontxesi

                                                              Care to share your recipe if you have one?

                                                              A few years ago when I was home visiting, I did a tenderloin for dinner one night for the family -- cut it flat, added cinnamon, etc and rolled it back up and baked it -- and everyone raved about it and my mom always asks me to make it when I'm home, but, uh, "cut it flat, added cinnamon, etc" is about what I remember about what I did, so I've never managed to get it to be as good again! Would love to see more specific instructions for one other people also liked.

                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                You know, I'm not sure I had one, honestly. I was working at convenience store deli at the time, kind of shadowing the cook. She told me how to do it.

                                                                1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                  Ah, well, I shall keep trying it again every time they ask for it, and one day, I will hit on a version that's as good as the first. Maybe better!

                                                            2. We usually have turkey for Christmas, especially if there is a family gathering. Typically T-day is at my brothers, and Christmas at my house, so at least I don't have that "just finished eating the turkey leftovers" feeling.

                                                              1. Oh yes. Huz loves turkey and all the trimmings and we would have it twice a week if it were up to him.

                                                                That, and SIL won't eat other forms of protein save chicken or turkey.

                                                                Thanksgiving is co-hosted at friends' home, Christmas dinner is only 4-6 of us. And we love our cozy, tiny Christmas dinner! We often do a half-turkey on the Weber. The first half we cook some time Thanksgiving weekend so we can have leftovers like everyone else.

                                                                1. I don't serve turkey for either one! I have made exactly four turkeys in my long life and may never make another! So there! Feisty today. Sorry.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. Yep, growing up we did. These days, as long as the holiday favorites (there really is a list...) are made & served between thanksgiving & New Year's Day, I can do what I like.
                                                                    And I'm the menu decider ;)

                                                                    1. Mr. TM and I are mad about turkey, so it's turkey for both holidays. :). I vary the side dishes somewhat and the turkey recipes.

                                                                      My go-to turkeys are: Apricot Glazed Turkey with Roasted Onion and Shallot Gravy from Bon Appetit , Roast Turkey Wayside Inn from the Vincent Price cookbook and Ina Garten's Accidental Turkey if I'm feeling lazy. ;). These recipes are so different that it really doesn't feel like a repeat meal.

                                                                      1. We used to. Our family rule was that you got to pick the meal on your birthday. My grandfather was born on Christmas Day and his favorite meal was turkey. Not as many sides, but always mashed potatoes because he loved those. And my grandma's low-and-slow turkey that we called "roadkill turkey" because it would fall apart in the pan.

                                                                        The first Christmas after he passed away we did a prime rib, trying to change things up on a difficult day, and we've continued to do that. But we really had to research what other people had for Christmas dessert -- we'd always had birthday cake!