Monday, December 22, 2014

Our Epic Holiday Tradition: CHRISTMAS SNACK TABLE

Most of this post is a cut n' paste from two years ago.  But there was no sense in re-writing the wheel..errr... whatever.  I'm posting it for you again in case you missed it.  

This is what we're getting ready for around here... the best Christmas tradition in the universe... Christmas Snack Table.  

*   *   *   *   *   *

The best tradition ever invented is called Christmas Snack Table, and it's so old it's hard to remember how it all started.  There is a home video of the very first one (I think I was about 12), which was actually held the day after Christmas.  I don't think anyone knows how it came to be held on Christmas Day, but I think it has something to do with not wanting to make and eat a repeat of Thanksgiving dinner one month later.  I really have no idea of the why.  It doesn't matter.  It's the what that's important.

Christmas Snack Table is an all-day buffet of the best party food - the kind that you've been waiting all year to eat - that's held on Christmas day in place of brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, and any other meal you may have been thinking about eating that day.  The planning begins weeks before Christmas.  Deciding what will be on the snack table is fairly easy for us now - there are a lot of dishes that make an annual appearance, and everyone who will be "home" for Christmas is allowed one specific food request.  We divide up shopping and prep responsibilities.  Like last year, this year we'll be doing a lot of the prep the few days before Christmas.  The rest of the work is done on Christmas morning... and Christmas morning pretty much goes the same with my "new" family as it did with my "old" family growing up.  Get up.  Go to early Mass.  Come home, drink coffee and open stockings.  Prepare Christmas Snack Table - everyone is involved.  (That's part of the fun!  It's really a family-prepared feast!)  Say prayers and sing Christmas carols, bless the food.  Fill your plate, and eat all day!  In our family, we open our gifts one at a time and intentionally draw it out all day.  So frequently, someone will declare it's time for a gift break and another round of Snack Table.  Gift opening lasts well into the afternoon and Snack Table goes on all day.  For many years, it's lasted into the evening providing the adults much needed nourishment for intense games of SPOONS and Taboo. 

The reasons to have your own Christmas Snack Table are many.  The best I can think of are these:  It's fun holiday bonding to have the whole family involved in making a huge buffet early in the day and being able to enjoy it all day long (as opposed to two or three people tucked away in the kitchen all afternoon to make a big holiday meal while everyone else is still celebrating and socializing.  We just did that at Thanksgiving, so no need to repeat!)  It can be as casual or elegant as you like (or a tacky mix of both, which is where ours usually ends up - think gourmet stuffed mushrooms and potato chips and dip on the same table.)  There's something for everyone.  And it's just. plain. fun.  A totally unique way to celebrate an already fun and festive time of year! 

Here's a peek at the 2014 menu we've lined up for this year.  Maybe it will jump start your own planning.  'Cause you know this is awesome and you're seriously thinking about trying it!  I'll post pictures of the real thing next week!  (These are from 2012... I think??)

We're having a huge crowd over for Christmas this year, so the menu is extensive.  It's going to be so fun and so yum!!

The Basics:

potato chips, dip
veggies, dip
fruit, dip
(there are a lot of dips involved in Christmas Snack Table)
cheese, crackers, sausage, cheese spreads
red and green gumdrops (a tradition)

The Stuff We'll Make:

corned beef "sliders"
layered taco dip and Frito chips
hot chicken wing dip and tortilla chips
spinach dip, bread bowl
bacon tomato cups
deviled eggs
cocktail hot dogs wrapped in biscuits (a tradition...)
crab wontons
stuffed mushrooms
cucumber canapes 
crock-pot cocktail meatballs

salted caramel and pecabrownie bites  (it's so nice delicious to have a pastry-chef sister!)
the cookie tree
chocolate covered pretzels rods
candied pecans

beer, wine, pop


  1. I commented a bit ago using my google+, but I'm not sure it posted. In any case, I love this idea! And I love how relaxed and lovely, your Christmas day sounds. I'm passing this on to my family and sharing on by blog's FB page.

  2. What a great idea! My parents used to do something like this, too. I just love a big roast so much...but that sits in the oven doing it's thing all afternoon and while it does, we eat cheese and crackers and things. So I guess we do have a bit of a snack table! ;)

    1. I thought of you having your snack table while we were feasting yesterday :)
      Merry Christmas!

  3. I love this so much! I wonder if it's possible to do in such a big family as ours... There are twenty some kids so...yeah. I feel like that would just turn into chaos and my mom (or I) might possibly be rushed to the ER with the ensuing stroke. But maybe they'd surprise me and it would be as awesome as yours seems to be!

    1. I can't imagine it's any more hectic than trying to have a sit-down meal with 20 kids.
      Your mom is so brave for hosting that large a crowd in the first place!!
      Merry Christmas, Mary!

  4. Merry Christmas! I'm mentally munching from your table. Everything looks lovely! ;)
    The Starving Inspired

    1. Thanks! Merry Christmas to you also!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

  5. hmmmm. me thinks you should reenact this snack table for women's group. do it, its the right thing! secondly, i think my chromebook just likes to toy with my emotions and erase my comments. it just happened at mary's blog too. darn you samsung! do you think your mom will get me an ipad for christmas too? tell her your blog depends upon it!


Like the old song says, "comments are a girl's best friend." Or something like that... So... leave a comment! I love chatting here! Pretend you're on my back porch, kick the broken plastic sandbox toys aside, sip your iced coffee, or beer, or (__fill in the blank with your beverage of choice__) and let's talk about all the things, because back-porch blogging is what I do!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...