As Christmas decorations go up and the fifth day of Hanukkah begins, we’ve been thinking about all the food that goes along with the holidays. Between the cookies, cheese balls, and general feasting at parties, we here at ICE are very excited for all the treats we’ll get to eat between now and the end of the season. But beyond just eating, the holidays are a time to create lasting food memories. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the experience of making treasured cookies. For Hanukkah, people work on perfecting the ideal latke with recipes passing through generations. Variations on these traditions abound, and everyone has at least a few lasting holiday memories.

So, to celebrate the season, we’d want to hear about your traditions and memories. Tell us your favorite holiday food memory, whether it is a beloved Christmas tradition, a funny Hanukkah story or a memorable New Year’s Eve, and you’ll be eligible for a chance to win a copy of baking maven Dorie Greenspan’s newest cookbook, Around My French Table. You can leave a comment below, or let us know on our Facebook wall or over Twitter. We’ll leave the contest open until January 3, 2011, leaving time to include this year’s memories as well. So, what memories make the holidays special to you?


  1. I love our family gatherings everytime during the holidays we get to see our entire clan around 30-40 people compose of aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids, and That is just on my mom’s side of the family only. but amids all that I love that my family just 6 of use eats a festive dinner and the table is decorated with every round fruit you can think of due to the believe that it signifies prosperity since it’s round like coins. anyway after a hefty dinner we wait around the Christmas tree and wait for till 12pm and we, my brothers, sister and I would jump 12 times as high as we could believing that it helps us grow taller. dont know if it works but I love that tradition and when I have kids I would pass it on to them. after all that jumping we get to open our presents! and we get to wake up late on Christmas time.

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  3. My childhood Christmas memories are all warm and wonderful. It was truly an old fashioned Christmas with a tree freshly cut from the woods and lots of activity in the kitchen. Lots of treats were home baked but some special items came from the store. On the frozen Canadian prairies in the1950’s it was a treat to get mandarin oranges. They were REAL and delicious and wrapped in soft paper and we only saw them once a year!
    I try to maintain that magical atmosphere every Christmas for my own family, which is hard in a modern world where nothing is really special or magical and treats are readily available year round. Nonetheless, together with my two daughters (and now, my baby grandaughter) we make a lot of Christmas happen in our kitchen. Cookies, squares, treats of all kinds along with tourtière (for the French Canadian branch of the family), turkey with all the trimmings.
    While keeping our precious old rituals, we can’t help but change things around a bit each year to establish new traditions. One recipe that we use every year was originally called “Fairy Drops”, which my daughters quickly changed to “Fairy Droppings”, and then to “Fairy Scats”, which are actually quite delicious in spite of the name.
    I wonder what my children and granchildren will treasure as a Christmas memory?

  4. It’s Christmas Eve and the day is spent in anticipation of a wonderful meal of tender country ribs, pork meatballs, red cabbage and all the trimmings. When I was young, getting the dishes done after dinner and before heading to the Christmas tree to open presents was a rule that was never broken. I can remember having tea towel fights with my two sisters as we scrambled to get everything washed and put away as quickly as possible. Waiting and wondering what delights lay wrapped under the tree was almost unbearable at the time, but I now cherish the memories of those wet tea towels and silly fights with with my sisters, while I have all but forgotten the treasures we opened once those dishes were done…..

    Christmas Day of yore was spent relaxing in cosy clothes, eating leftovers from the feast the night before. My Norwegian parents were also eager to adopt some Canadian traditions though, so on Christmas morning Santa brought each of us girls a red net stocking filled with mandarin oranges. I still remember squeezing the rind on those oranges and inhaling that wonderful aroma before finally eating them a few days later…..

    My own children have been richly blessed to experience the Christmas traditions from two countries, and our Christmas Eve celebration now flows over into a wonderful Christmas Day of turkey, stuffing and candied yams. I look forward to the days of weddings, grandchildren and all the possibilities those hold for future Christmas celebrations…..

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  6. A wonderful job. Super helpful informaotin.

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