Christmas Pizza

 

It started just about 39 years ago. As with most families, Christmas Day at my house was marked by all the usual things: the early risings, opening presents, listening to Christmas music,  and having the traditional turkey dinner with potatoes, vegetables, etc. That was until Christmas 1978.

You see, a month before, on November 26, my family was increased from six kids to seven by the birth of a (devastatingly handsome to be sure) 10-lb., 23″-long bouncing baby boy (who, though he was destined to be a fairly trouble-free infant, toddler, and young child … adolescence was another story) whose birth had led to a slow and unpleasant recovery by my mother.

Sure, with several older siblings to help the younger ones, things weren’t too bad; but a few days before Christmas, my mother gathered the family and announced that she was in no condition to put out the whole traditional Christmas spread and asked for input on what should be done instead. According to sources who were present (I mean, I was there, but at a few weeks old, I had little to say on the matter), the decision was fairly quick and unanimous. The family would make pizza on Christmas Day!

Over the years, the tradition has evolved into the following scenario for Christmas Day: after the presents are opened it is every man for himself (or EMFH, as my mom would say). The toppings are all ready in the kitchen, usually there are leftover slices of salami, pepperoni, and other sausages from our Christmas Eve buffet (another fun tradition — cheeses, crackers, meats and lots of laughter), a large container of homemade red sauce, large amounts of cheese, and pretty much whatever else is in the house you want to add on top.

Pretty much, when someone is hungry they go make their own pizza however they want and the day is spent just being with the family with no set agenda. Some years, we made larger communal pizzas, others featured personal-sized ones. But, one can definitely expect a jigsaw puzzle to be worked on, games to be played, naps were taken and, in general, a lot of great memories formed.

Any unique/unusual Christmas traditions for your families?

There are 18 comments.

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  1. Al French Moderator
    Al French
    @AlFrench

    No spinach for the pizza?

    • #1
  2. J.D. Snapp, Possum Aficionado Coolidge
    J.D. Snapp, Possum Aficionado
    @JulieSnapp

    That is such a neat idea! :)

    • #2
  3. Old Buckeye Inactive
    Old Buckeye
    @OldBuckeye

    That sounds like a real no-fuss solution to Christmas dinner. Tasty too! Good on your mom for stepping away from kitchen duties on the holiday.

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Al French (View Comment):
    No spinach for the pizza?

    You bucking for Junior Menace?

    • #4
  5. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Very nice.  I like the EMFH approach.

    • #5
  6. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    I love this!

    We had Christmas Breakfast instead of Christmas Dinner. Wasn’t until I got married that I was treated to a Christmas Dinner.

    I liked our tradition. like you, Christmas Eve was sandwich making things as well as cookies made by grandma. The real food was in the morning:

    Breakfast Casserole (Bread, sausage, eggs, cheese)
    Lil’ Smokies/ Pigs in a Blanket
    Cheese and Ham mini quiches
    Fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, oranges)
    Apple Cider
    Once of age, Mimosas

    The feasting would continue into lunch.

    This is my first Christmas spent in my own home. I plan on doing this, as well. I absolutely love the pizza idea! I wouldn’t mind trying it myself.

    • #6
  7. ltpwfdcm Coolidge
    ltpwfdcm
    @ltpwfdcm

    I like how, as a tradition, it evolved from a place of necessity/pragmatism and has just evolved. It seems odd on the times when I haven’t been able to make my own pizza on Christmas. One of the unanticipated challenges about being married has been to integrate two different sets of traditions. Since this is an “off year” with my in-laws family for Christmas, we have 5 of the 8 siblings and family at my house. Kind of like getting the band back together!

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    J.D. Snapp, Possum Aficionado (View Comment):
    That is such a neat idea! :)

    Sounds like Possum pizza this year.

    • #8
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Percival (View Comment):

    Al French (View Comment):
    No spinach for the pizza?

    You bucking for Junior Menace?

    He would be a senior menace.

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    That is a tradition I can certainly endorse.


    And this is our Group Writing conversation for today under December’s theme of Holiday Traditions and Treats.  It also reminds me that I’m late to lunch. A breakfast-style casserole or a pizza? Wait, where was I? That’s right, Group Writing. Next month’s theme will be An Open Letter, and the intention is to have fun, so for instance, I might write an open letter to all of you people who keep making me hungry. If you’re interested in writing a fun open letter, you can sign up here.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Al French (View Comment):
    No spinach for the pizza?

    You bucking for Junior Menace?

    He would be a senior menace.

    I figure that your menacehood should have its seniority recognized.

    • #11
  12. MeanDurphy, Sweat Loaf Member
    MeanDurphy, Sweat Loaf
    @DeanMurphy

    Thanks for the idea, I think we’ll try that.

    • #12
  13. kelsurprise Member
    kelsurprise
    @kelsurprise

    That’s funny — I think we ordered pizza one year while decorating the tree and it might just have been because mom was under the weather and not up for cooking.   The only reason I remember this so well is because a stray cat appeared at our patio window that night and we clamored to be allowed to feed it but my father refused.  “We’ll never get rid of it then and we don’t need a stray cat hanging around.”

    Weird thing is, the cat did hang around.  For years, afterward.  Mom christened him “Gingernut,” which belied his “tough as nails” rep.   He came and went as he pleased but always returned (usually with a few fresh scars) and it was pretty much understood by the entire neighborhood that “home base” was our place.   Old age and infirmities started taking a visible toll in time, of course, and the inevitable day came when the plates of food we put out for him remained untouched.   “Well, he was a stray,” Dad said.  “It’s a mystery that he stuck around as long as he did.”

    Years later, Mom told us the truth — that Dad had happened upon the cat in a very bad way and suspected he didn’t have long for this world.  A visit to the vet confirmed it so Dad paid to have him put down humanely.  She also cleared up the “mystery” of why we’d been claimed by the cat in the first place:  After we’d gone to bed that long-ago cold night in December, my father had slipped outside and given the cat the last of the pizza.

    • #13
  14. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    I think we ordered pizza one year while decorating the tree

    @kelsurprise

    How could you manage to eat pizza the day after Thanksgiving?  /Grumble it starts too early grumble/

    • #14
  15. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    kelsurprise (View Comment):
    That’s funny — I think we ordered pizza one year while decorating the tree and it might just have been because mom was under the weather and not up for cooking. The only reason I remember this so well is because a stray cat appeared at our patio window that night and we clamored to be allowed to feed it but my father refused. “We’ll never get rid of it then and we don’t need a stray cat hanging around.”

    Weird thing is, the cat did hang around. For years, afterward. Mom christened him “Gingernut,” which belied his “tough as nails” rep. He came and went as he pleased but always returned (usually with a few fresh scars) and it was pretty much understood by the entire neighborhood that “home base” was our place. Old age and infirmities started taking a visible toll in time, of course, and the inevitable day came when the plates of food we put out for him remained untouched. “Well, he was a stray,” Dad said. “It’s a mystery that he stuck around as long as he did.”

    Years later, Mom told us the truth — that Dad had happened upon the cat in a very bad way and suspected he didn’t have long for this world. A visit to the vet confirmed it so Dad paid to have him put down humanely. She also cleared up the “mystery” of why we’d been claimed by the cat in the first place: After we’d gone to bed that long-ago cold night in December, my father had slipped outside and given the cat the last of the pizza.

    I like your dad based on this story.

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    ltpwfdcm: Any unique/unusual Christmas traditions for your families?

    I wouldn’t say it’s unique or unusual, but here’s what I got.  Ever since we were married, we’ve had turkey for Thanksgiving, then turkey for Christmas dinner, which we celebrate on Christmas Eve (which frees up Mom from cooking Christmas day while presents are being opened, stuff like that).  Anyway, this year, I begged my wife, “Can we please have something other than turkey this year?”

    You see, every year, our family staggered around in a tryptophan-induced stupor from Thanksgiving until the middle of January.  We’ve had a house full of all sorts of leftover turkey in its various reincarnations such as turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas, turkey tetrazzini, turkey pot pies, turkey soup . . . turkey turkey turkey!  How about something different for a change?

    This year, she relented.  We’re going to have a standing rib roast.  However, she wants to cook it, not me (I can do it in my sleep, or in a beer-induced stupor).  Hey, I was trying to make life easier for her, but I do get to cook my onion-roasted potatoes as a side.

    I like the idea of pizza though.  The problem is, we have it fairly often, so it wouldn’t be unique.

     

    • #16
  17. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Arahant (View Comment):

    J.D. Snapp, Possum Aficionado (View Comment):
    That is such a neat idea! :)

    Sounds like Possum pizza this year.

    If you put a stripe of cheese across the pizza, it would look like the centerline of a road.  Then the possum toppings would look more natural . . .

    • #17
  18. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    If you were going to say ordered pizza for Christmas I would say that is the wrong way to celebrate Christmas.  But homemade pizza is the best and it’s a great way to pull the family together.  Neat.  Hope you have a great one this year!

    • #18
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