A few years ago, I wrote a short Christmas story in which (nutshell version) fifteen-year-old Al Fischer spends the holiday enthusiastically telling his family everything he loves about the Christmas season.
By purist coincidence (or not…), Al and his author have similar ideas about Christmas. And he’ll be pleased to know that I’ve decided to commemorate our mutual obsession here on Ever On Word by dedicating a series of blog posts to The Top 10 Reasons Christmas Rocks My World.
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There’s a reason soup kitchens and the like do such booming business during the holidays. Like Christmas without togetherness, Christmas without gifts, or Christmas without carols, Christmas without food would be starting the holiday off on quite the low note.
Dr. Seuss knew this; that’s why he conceived the Grinch’s nefarious plan to steal Christmas as involving the theft of Whoville’s canned goods, roast beast, etc. Charles Dickens knew this; that’s why he directed his reformed Ebenezer Scrooge to have a big turkey delivered to his impoverished employee’s home. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky knew this; that’s why he composed a whole ballet revolving around dancing candy and a prince enchanted to crack nuts between his wooden teeth.
The arts have spoken: Food is an integral part of Christmas.
I don’t really have to define this word for you, do I? We all know what food is: Stuff you eat. Likewise, we can probably most or all of us name a food or two associated with Christmas – though some answers will vary from country to country.
Here in the U.S. of A., we’ve got gingerbread and other cookies, candy canes, turkey, cranberry sauce, and just about anything granted the flavor of eggnog.
In Britain – and later as far away as Australia or Canada – there’s a seasonal treat known as Christmas pudding (which, despite what you may or may not have seen on old televised adventures of Sherlock Holmes, was not traditionally meant as a prison-breaking tool).
Spain has seafood like shrimp, lobster, and crab on the menu, and Puerto Rico takes it a step further with ensalada de pulpo – octopus salad.
France and the Dominican Republic don’t skimp on the fruits – both featuring apples and oranges, the former including pears and winter melon, and the latter offering grapes, bananas, and mango. But before this fruit-loving blogger goes dashing off to Dom. Rep., maybe she should consider hitting New Zealand instead. They may not make a habit of Christmas mango, but word is they’ve got Christmas strawberries.
King cake isn’t just for Mardi Gras: In Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, and Bulgaria (just to rattle off a partial list), the sweet bread is a part of the celebration of Epiphany at the end of the Christmas season.
And Japan, unless the inter-webs kid me, has made a holiday staple of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
All of which just goes to show that Christmas food, whatever the definition, is without a doubt rocking people worldwide. So you all make sure to have yourselves a yummy little Christmas, readers o’ mine!