The BEST Traditional Christmas Dinner Ideas (with Christmas Ham Recipe)

5 from 4 votes
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Christmas dinner never looked or tasted so good with this succulent ham recipe and all the fixings. Try some of these new recipes with treasured classics this season!

Four courses of a Christmas dinner including ham, drinks, salad, and dessert
Featured with this post
  1. Christmas Main Dishes
  2. Christmas Appetizers
  3. Christmas Salads
  4. Christmas Dinner Side Dishes
  5. Christmas Drinks
  6. Christmas Desserts
  7. Sample Traditional Christmas Dinner Menu
  8. Christmas Dinner Presentation Ideas
  9. Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas Dinner
  10. Merry Christmas!
  11. Christmas Ham Recipe
  12. Christmas Ham With Apple Cider Glaze Recipe

Ah Christmas, the season of family, tradition, gifts and good food. Your holidays may look or feel different this year, but you can still create a beautiful, memorable and delicious Christmas dinner for your loved ones. Whether you celebrate with a special meal on Christmas Eve or after a day of presents and fun, give your family the gift of an extra special dinner this season.

From sparkling family friendly drinks, to festive appetizers, to hearty and beautiful main dishes, to decadent holiday desserts, we have gathered all of our favorite Christmas recipes for you right here.

Scroll through to get some ideas for your holiday meal, and at the end of this post we’ve included the most fragrant, luscious ham recipe ever! We know you will love it. Happy holiday cooking!

Christmas Main Dishes

Let us first highlight the star of the show, the main dish of your Christmas dinner! Our favorite Christmas dinners usually include succulent ham (as found in the recipe below), juicy roast turkey, rich roast beef, pork loin, pork roast, pork chops, or savory cranberry chicken.

Some years we’ve hosted dozens of guests and had some of everything on a large buffet. This year lends itself to smaller tables with fewer mouths to feed, so we will plan accordingly. You can adjust any of these main dish recipes for any number of people. Try one of these gorgeous main dishes for your holiday dinner:

Christmas Appetizers

Appetizers are just as important as the main dish when it comes to an extra special holiday meal. Plump shrimp cocktail, a savory cheese ball or a warm bowl of cheesy dip with sourdough bread adds an element of elegance to your Christmas dinner. ‘Tis the season to indulge!

Christmas Salads

Looking to add some gorgeous color to your Christmas table? These salads are bright, flavorful and full of crunch and texture. Beautiful greens topped with creamy cheeses, juicy fruit, and crunchy nuts. Or try a gelatin salad with cream cheese and layers of sweet fruit. The options are endless! Try a new salad or two for your Christmas dinner.

Christmas Dinner Side Dishes

And now, for the fabulous side dishes! We have dozens of side dish recipes for you to choose from, but we’ve included a few of our very favorites below.

Perfectly baked potatoes, cheesy potato casserole, roasted asparagus, creamed corn and fluffy dinner rolls; these side dishes will pair beautifully with any main dish that you choose.

Potatoes

Vegetables

Breads

Christmas Drinks

No matter the size of our family gatherings, we always include a couple of beautiful and flavorful holiday drinks. I love to have a simmering pot of fragrant wassail prepared for Christmas Eve, something extra special for our family to sip while we wrap last minute gifts and prep things for the next morning. And nothing beats a cozy evening around the Christmas tree, a fire crackling in the fireplace, sipping on a mug of our rich and decadent peppermint hot chocolate.

Check out all of our drink recipes or see our very favorite holiday drinks below.

Christmas Desserts

Christmas Eve and Christmas day should always end with something sweet. We have dessert recipes to satisfy any sweet tooth. Rich, crumbly apple pie with ice cream, creamy, luscious raspberry cheesecake or chocolatey peppermint parfaits are some of our family’s very favorite treats for the holiday.

Indulge a little and enjoy every single bite of the sweetness of the season.

Sample Traditional Christmas Dinner Menu

Want to see our perfect Christmas dinner menu? Here’s the must-haves that we have on our Christmas dinner table [almost] every year:

Christmas Dinner Presentation Ideas

Need some ideas to make those platters extra pretty? Some simple garnishes for your dishes will make a huge difference when presenting your food.

Pomegranates make for beautiful centerpieces when paired with some evergreen greenery.

Pomegranate seeds or fresh cranberries can also be scattered around your serving platters to add a bright red accent color.

Fresh rosemary and thyme make for gorgeous garnishes on your savory dishes.

A collage of decorative platters with Christmas ham, turkey, pork chops, and roast beef
From top left: Christmas Ham (recipe below), Crock Pot Pork Chops, Tender Roast Beef, Roasted Turkey

Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas Dinner

What is a typical menu for Christmas dinner?

A typical menu for an American-style Christmas dinner includes ham or turkey, potatoes, side dishes (such as green beans or corn), rolls, sparkly drinks, and a decadent dessert.

What is the most popular dinner on Christmas?

It depends on where you are from. In the United states, turkey, ham, and prime rib are at the top of the list. In Scandinavian countries, pork roasts and other pork dishes are the popular choice. Roast duck or goose is also popular in many countries throughout Europe.

What do you do with leftovers from Christmas dinner?

Promptly store any leftovers in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. use leftovers to make sandwiches, casseroles, or even soups!

Read Next: Christmas Dessert Ideas

Merry Christmas!

Your family and loved ones will be so grateful to you for making Christmas dinner special this year. A little effort in the kitchen will no doubt bring smiles and comfort to those you love most. From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank YOU for making this year a little brighter, friendlier and happier for us.

We enjoy sharing our love through treasured recipes and good food and hope that you have felt our appreciation for you through this difficult year. Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays and a peaceful and prosperous new year.

Christmas Ham Recipe

This Christmas ham recipe is tender, juicy and the perfect centerpiece for a beautiful Christmas dinner. The cider reduction will make your house smell incredible! All those cinnamon sticks, spices and apple cider boil down and make your house smell just like Christmas. Better than any candle you can buy, I promise!

You can reduce the glaze even further until it forms a syrup, which is mouthwateringly delicious when brushed onto the ham. Or serve warm ham slices with our homemade raspberry cranberry sauce, orange cranberry sauce, low-sugar cranberry sauce or store-bought cranberry sauce. Enjoy the delicious flavors in every sweet and savory bite!

Sliced Christmas Ham with cranberry sauce

Christmas Ham With Apple Cider Glaze

5 from 4 votes
This Christmas Ham Recipe is the perfect Christmas dinner idea!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Cider Reduction Time 3 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place cider and cinnamon sticks in a large sauce pan and simmer over medium-low heat for 2 hours or until reduced to about 2-3 cups of liquid. Stir occassionaly.
    Remove reduction from heat and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Place ham in a greased roasting pan. Set aside 1 cup of the cider and pour the remaining cider reduction over the ham. Combine reserved 1 cup of cider reduction, dijon mustard, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl and mix well. Brush over ham 3-4 times throughout the baking process.
    Cover and place ham in the oven for 15 minutes per pound of ham (if 5 pounds, cook 75 minutes). Uncover ham last 30 minutes of baking.
    Cider reduction being poured over Christmas Ham
  • Remove ham from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with cranberry sauce (optional).
    Large ham with cider glaze and cranberries

Notes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 559kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 40gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 2256mgPotassium: 718mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 6IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 2mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This makes it so easy to come up with a Christmas dinner menu that is sure to please! There are a ton of good options and this ham is a great one! So delicious!