Traditional Christmas dinner ideas

It’s Christmas once again!

Excitement is building in the air as the day 25th of December draws closer. It’s in the air. You can feel it. See it and mmm smell it. Christmas comes round once in every year and we always want it to be a memorable experience. There is lots of planning to do. Concerts to go, gifts to buy, decorations to put up. The streets are all beautifully decorated. The Christmas bright lights are everywhere.     

Being a Christian celebration, many would go to a Christmas service on Christmas day. The way we celebrate Christmas differs from location to location and from culture to culture. For some, it’s what we wear on the day or the colourful parades on the streets. For some, it’s the gifts we get, give and share. But one thing is common to everyone all over the world, ‘the traditional Christmas dinner’. There is going to be a festive meal. What would it be? That again depends on our culture.


UK - Christmas
UK – Christmas

The meat in a UK Christmas dinner would be poultry, which is mostly turkey. Duck, Chicken or goose could also be the Christmas meat. Other ingredients that would give it a UK Christmas dinner feel will be Roast Potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, rich nutty stuffing, tiny sausages wrapped in bacon (pigs in a blanket), Yorkshire pudding and there’s always the hot gravy.



The traditional American Christmas dinner would include

USA - Christmas
USA – Christmas

mashed potatoes. The meat of the meal could be roast beef, ham or turkey. There are lots of vegetables such as carrots, turnips and parsnips. And it wouldn’t be Christmas without stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy.





In Africa, Christmas is a very colourful occasion, it is very important to make or buy a brand new outfit for Christmas day.

The meat of the day is extremely important. It could be beef, mutton (sheep), goat or poultry which is mainly chicken and turkey. Two or more families would kill and share the meat of a cow, goat or sheep. This is eaten with rice, potato, yam or cassava cooked in a festive way.  



North of Africa, includes countries such as Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Sudan.

North African Turkey
North African Turkey

In North Africa, especially in Morocco, Turkey is cooked only on special occasions. It is roasted whole in special spices and presented on the dinner table sliced. The roast turkey is then served with vegetables and grains such as rice, beans or couscous.





The east of Africa is occupied by Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.

For special occasions such as Christmas, the type of

East African - Christmas
East African – Christmas

meats cooked are Beef, mutton (sheep) or Goat. Goat meat being more special than the others. In East Africa, meat is shredded or minced and cooked in a stew. It is served with vegetables and cornmeal or mashed potatoes.




South African - Christmas
South African – Christmas

The countries in this part of Africa are Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa.

The celebration meat in South Africa is roast Duck or Beef. It is roasted as a whole Duck or a really large piece of Beef covered in glaze. But the very important part of a South African celebration meal is yellow rice cooked with raisins in it.



Is made up of about 16 countries from Senegal in the east side all the way to Cameroon on the west side.

Some families would cook Beef or Mutton at Christmas but  

West African - Christmas
West African – Christmas
 Chicken is the famous meat for special occasions in West Africa. It is cut into 3-inch chunks, cooked in delicious spices, drained and fried. (Healthy tip: brown chicken in the oven instead of frying). The gravy from the chicken is used in cooking Jollof rice (cooked in tomato soup) or fried rice (cooked with vegetables and bits of meat in it).




  1. Cut down on the carbohydrate portions
  2. Cut down on the quantity of fat and oils used in meals.
  3. Cut down on sugar
  4. Increase the vegetable portions
  5. Avoid frying
  6. Drink 8 glasses of water every festive day
  7. Add fruit salad or smoothie to the menu
  8. Avoid fizzy drinks
  9. No alcohol
  10. Do loads of dancing, it will make up for your exercise

So tell me about your traditional Christmas dinner by leaving a comment 


This article has 2 Comments

  1. OOo this is a cool article! I love how you included many countries and what they make for Christmas dinners. Very interesting how different parts of Africa do dinners a little differently. It’s always hard to eat healthy during the holidays, but you have provided some great tips on how to cut down the calories. I never thought of drinking a lot of water. Thanks!

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