One of the aspects which separates holidays from all the rest of the year is food. For each and every holiday there may be special foods with which the holiday is associated. Christmas especially is known for its abundance and variety of foods and drinks. As one of the world's great melting pots America has a melting pot cuisine, with dishes originating from around the globe. There are foods from a number of different countries which represent traditional meals for holiday celebrations such as Christmas.
Christmas comes almost one month after Thanksgiving in the United States. For Thanksgiving, the traditional meal consists of roast turkey or ham as the main dish. This is also true of Christmas as roast ham, turkey, Capon or duck is one of the principal dishes to be served for dinner. As at Thanksgiving, cranberry sauce, assorted vegetables, apple or pumpkin pie and fruit cake for dessert top off a traditional Christmas dinner. Mince meat pie, filled with a mixture of chopped, dried nuts and fruit can also be an addition to to a traditional Christmas dinner. Drinks served during the Christmas holidays include a wide variety of both hot and cold beverages such as apple ciders, hot toddies, and egg nogs as well as wines. Due to the cold weather that is predominant in many countries at Christmas time, hot beverages and hard liquors are highly popular.
The Christmas Holidays are Sweet
The Christmas holidays are sweet ones. Americans enjoy large quantities of sweets, candies, cookies, cakes, pies and desserts of all types during the Christmas holiday season. Gingerbread, sweet breads, sweet rolls and other holiday treats are an indispensable addition to the Christmas holiday season. Candy and chocolate manufacturers produce special packages and types of candies for the Christmas and New Years holiday seasons.
In 2004 was conducted by the National Confectioners Association. This survey discovered that many adults at Christmas received as much pleasure from giving and receiving chocolates, sweets and candies as from other types of gifts and presents. Survey participants said giving special cakes, chocolates and candies to friends and family, placing candy canes in Christmas stockings or hanging them on Christmas trees were some of their favorite ways to share during the holidays.
Forget Diets at Christmas Time
Forget diets at Christmas time. People usually feel free to eat and enjoy the holiday season without any guilt over what (or often how much) they may eat or drink. The tradition of baking and eating gingerbread cookies at Christmas is thought to originate in Germany, coming to the United States by immigrating Germans. When the Grimm Brothers published their story, Hansel and Gretel, German bakeries began baking fancy gingerbread houses with icing and other decorations. The story of "Hansel and Gretel" described a house made of sweet bread, a pastry roof and windows of sugar glaze. German bakeries made cookie cutters formed in different shapes like little people, houses and household animals which were used as decorations on Christmas trees.
The Gingerbread Man
In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania around a hundred years ago, German immigrant homes had cookies up to a foot high in the windows as decorative ornaments during the winter months. The cookies were often gingerbread men and women with colorful rows of hard candy buttons, bows and big smiles. Passersby, fascinated at seeing these unique decorations carried the idea to their homes. The enjoyment of the many types of special foods and dishes, candies, cakes, pies, cookies and treats during the Christmas holidays provides a unique flavor to Christmas. The Christmas holiday season's favorite foods create many warm and cherished holiday memories.