Serve & Celebrate

6 Ideas to Celebrate the Holidays Your Own Way

Seafood Feast


When it comes to the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in the routine. Presents, gingerbread houses like last year, so on and so on. Spice up your holiday traditions with these fun twists (which include spices!) and start new traditions you’ll love for years to come ... or maybe just for this one. 




  1. France: In France, Christmas is celebrated with an into the wee hours feast of epic proportions. The long dinner, called réveillon lasts until midnight (or later) and features luxe menu items like oysters and lamb, and beaucoup bottles of wine. Whether you are hosting a late into the evening bash that spaces out the eating (and drinking) or just encouraging your family to keep the party going with more desserts, we approve of staying up as late as possible.

  2. England: One of the most adorable and endearing holiday traditions comes from the English. Sit down for a holiday dinner (or just a cup of cocoa) wearing highly Instagram-able festive tissue paper crowns. These are typically gifted to guests as part of the prizes in holiday crackers—which add an extra element of fun to any celebration. Lay out a cracker at each place setting, or pass out DIY crackers so guests can, well, get cracking.

  3. Japan: Did you know that KFC chicken is such a popular holiday treat that the Japanese need to make reservations during the season? You don’t have to visit the Colonel, but no one is going to be mad if you add some fried chicken to your own menu. Swap out traditional ham for some crispy chicken at your Christmas Eve (or holiday brunch) celebrations.

  4. Venezuela: We’d be remiss not to mention the amazing way the people of Caracas get to church on Christmas day. The town makes a tradition of roller skating (yes roller-skating) to mass. You don’t have to strap on skates, but break up the routine holiday party circuit with a fun (and physical) night out. You can still imbibe—just skate (or run, or bike, or sled) carefully.

  5. Denmark & Sweden: While the name glogg isn’t particularly appealing, gløgg is. This sweet and spiced red wine and port concoction is almost like a winter sangria (if you count grapes as a fruit). Try out one of Food52’s many recipes to step out of the bottle of just red wine with dinner or dessert.

  6. Italy: Italians celebrate the holidays with a touch of excess — the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Load up on the best of the sea on Christmas Eve. Whether you go all out with seven seafood dishes (we’ll count Goldfish crackers as one to give you a pass), host friends or a dinner party with one well-loaded seafood stew, or kick things off with fresh oysters, you’ll love adopting a piece of the delicious and decadent Italian lifestyle.

The best part of the holidays is that the holidays can be whatever you want them to be. Snag these traditions, start your own, or just sit back and let the good cheer wash over you. You can’t go wrong as long as you are enjoying yourself.



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