Christmas Eve Candlelight Dinner

Christmas Eve Candlelight Dinner

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Every year I serve a Christmas Eve Candlelight Dinner in our home. It’s a special way to spend this wondrous evening with family after a candlelight service at our church. Sometimes I prepare a large meal, while other times, it’s just a simple soup  with bread and a yummy dessert. But always it’s a special dinner with candles, decorations, nice dishes, and glasses.

Simple Blue and White Table Setting with Blue Willow DishesWhen planning your own Christmas Eve dinner, consider how many guests you’ll be hosting. Once you have your guest list, it’s time to go through your linens and dishes. Maybe you have a special holiday dinnerware tucked away in a closet. If so, it’s time to get it out! And it’s okay if you don’t have special dishes, because you can always dress up your table with a colorful tablecloth, napkins, chargers, or decorations.

For many years, I used my Blue Willow dishes and decorated the table with accents in ivory and green. This has been one of my favorite table settings, and I always enjoy coming back to it from year to year.

Simple White and Red Table SettingYou might also dress your table in holiday colors of red or green with ivory or white dishes, which always looks spectacular. Many tableware items may be purchased on sale at stores such as Hobby Lobby. And don’t forget to check your local thrift stores or Dollar Stores for dishes and decorations. Sometimes you can find real treasures for a few dollars, which is always a good thing!

Serving Fettuccine with ShrimpNext consider your candles and stands. You could go with simple jars with tea lights in them. (The jars in the photo above are actually yogurt jars, which make great tea candleholders.) If you have one, use a candle stand with taper candles. Votives, pillars, or Hurricane-type candlelight would also be very pretty. Go through your house and see what you have. And then go buy a few candles at a Dollar store. When shopping, keep in mind the colors you will have on your table and do your best to match them.

Once you have your table decorations figured out, it’s time to start planning your menu. Below are a few ideas for appetizers and desserts, with a handful of suggestions for your main meal, both simple and more elaborate. Maybe some of these will help you create your own menu!

 

Appetizers for a Christmas Eve Candlelight Dinner

Recipe for Crescent Lined Baked Brie

Start your guests out with mulled drinks and appetizers served on a side table or in the kitchen while you’re finishing the dinner preparations. Browse all of my Appetizers Here.

 

Christmas Wassail with Pomegranate Juice is a delicious mulled drink to enjoy during the holiday season. Sweetened with pomegranate, apple, and pineapple juice and flavored with cinnamon sticks, it’s good served hot or over ice.

Christmas Wassail with Pomegranate Juice
Here's a delicious mulled drink to enjoy at Christmas or during the holiday season. Sweetened with pomegranate, apple, and pineapple juice and flavored with cinnamon sticks. It's good served warm or over ice.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Christmas Wassail with Pomegranate Juice

 

Every winter, my grandma made Addicting Munchies Holiday Snack. The name is accurate as this is very addicting, and it’s the perfect snack to put out in a bowl when you have company come over during the holidays.

Addicting Munchies Holiday Snack
Every winter, my grandma made Addicting Munchies Holiday Snack. The name is accurate as this is very addicting. At our house, we may go through 2-3 batches between Thanksgiving and New Years, to be enjoyed by all!
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Addicting Munchies Holiday Snack

 

Crescent Lined Baked Brie is perfect when you want to serve guests a little something special. I love how the cheese oozes once you slice into this yummy goodness.

Crescent Lined Baked Brie
Here's a delicious recipe to serve guests when you want a little something special. We love how the cheese oozes once you slice into this yummy goodness.
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Recipe for Crescent Lined Baked Brie

 

Holiday Cheese Ball is a favorite family recipe that is so delicious and easy to put together. It uses two kinds of cheese (cream cheese, and cheddar) and is flavored with Worcestershire sauce and onion, and then coated in chopped pecans.

Holiday Cheese Ball
Holiday Cheese Ball is a favorite family recipe that is so delicious and easy to put together. It uses two kinds of cheese (cream cheese, and cheddar) and is flavored with Worcestershire sauce and onion, and then coated in chopped pecans.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Holiday Cheese Ball

 

Candies to Munch On

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clusters

 

Easy Chocolate Covered Toffee is a delightful recipe to make for your family during the holidays. It’s delicious and so very easy to make!

Easy Chocolate Covered Toffee
Here's a delightful candy recipe to make for your family during the holidays. It's easy to make and so very delicious!
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Easy Chocolate Covered Toffee

 

We enjoy making Chocolate Nut Clusters with Peanuts for the holidays. They are very easy to make and tasty too! Plus, this recipe can be adapted to make Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clusters, which are simply heavenly.

Chocolate Nut Clusters
Here's a candy recipe we make for the holidays. With only three ingredients, it's very easy to make and tasty too! Plus, it can be adapted to make Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clusters.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Chocolate Nut Clusters - Chocolate Peanut Clusters

 

Here’s my Mom’s famous Pecan Brittle recipe that she makes every Christmas. Thin and crunchy sweetness, loaded with freshly picked Kansas pecans.

Mom's Pecan Brittle
Here's my Mom's famous Pecan Brittle recipe that she makes every Christmas. Loaded with freshly picked Kansas pecans. My dad lives on this stuff from Thanksgiving to New Years, and somehow my mom always manages to make enough to give as gifts.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Mom's Pecan Brittle

 

Christmas Eve Main Course Options

Recipe for Christmas Sausage Chicken Pie

Dinner Option #1 – Soup and Meat Pie

Broccoli Cheese Soup with Christmas Chicken Pie and Onion Crescent Rolls makes for a lovely Christmas Eve dinner. I used to prepare the menu for our family when the girls were young. It was one of our favorite meals to enjoy following our Christmas Eve candlelight service. I always prepared as much of the meal as possible earlier in the day, then kept it warm in a crockpot or in a warm oven. This made preparation for the meal quite easy and quick once we returned home.

 

This Broccoli Cheese Soup is perfect for a cool autumn night when you need a little comfort food. Creamy, cheesy, and seasoned with onion and carrot with small bites of tender broccoli. Add a crusty loaf of sourdough bread and it becomes a heavenly weeknight dinner.

Broccoli Cheese Soup
Here's a delicious recipe to try on a cool autumn night when you need a little comfort food. Great with Sourdough Baguettes.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup

 

Christmas Sausage Chicken Pie takes some time to prepare, but it’s very good and has become a Christmas tradition at our house. Filled with tender chicken and mildly spiced sausage in a seasoned herb sauce, it goes well with a creamy soup and crescent or dinner rolls.

Christmas Sausage Chicken Pie
Although this recipe takes some time to prepare, it's very good and has become a Christmas tradition at our house. Filled with tender chicken and mildly spiced sausage, it goes well with a creamy soup and crescent rolls.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Christmas Sausage Chicken Pie

 

Onion Crescent Rolls are amazingly easy to prepare. So light and soft–like little fluffy pillows! I hope you’ll take the time to try these and that you’ll love them as much as we do!

Onion Crescent Rolls
Onion Crescent Rolls is a fantastic recipe I like to make for my family that is amazingly easy to prepare. So light and soft--like little fluffy pillows! I hope you'll take the time to try these and that you'll love them as much as we do!
Check out this recipe
Onion Crescent Rolls

 

Dinner Option #2 – A Traditional Holiday Dinner

Serving Candied Sweet Potatoes at a Holiday DinnerThis is my dad’s favorite meal, which I’ve made for him a time or two on Christmas Eve. Ham and all the Fixin’s, Complete with Sides, Salads, and Oat Rolls. 

 

If you want a tender and juicy ham this Christmas, look no further than this Slow Cooker Holiday Ham recipe. It’s especially nice when you want to free up oven space for other dinner items. The pineapple, cloves, and brown sugar all lend extra flavor to the dish.

Slow Cooker Holiday Ham
Here is an easy recipe for baking a juicy and tender ham. Especially good when you want to free up your oven space by using your slow cooker. Perfect for your next Christmas dinner!
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Recipe for Slow Cooker Holiday Ham

 

Easy Company Potatoes makes a lot and goes well with Country-Style Ribs or Holiday Ham. And it’s one of those “dump” recipes, so it’s easy to put together.

Easy Company Potatoes
I love to make Easy Company Potatoes for family gatherings or church socials. It makes a lot and goes well with Country-Style Ribs or Holiday Ham. And it’s one of those “dump” recipes, so it’s easy to put together. 
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Easy Company Potatoes

 

Serve Fresh Green Bean Casserole at your next potluck dinner or family gathering. Perfect for holiday dinners. Fresh Green Beans and mushrooms in a homemade gravy.

Potluck Green Bean Casserole
Serve Fresh Green Bean Casserole at your next potluck dinner or family gathering. Perfect for holiday dinners. Fresh Green Beans and mushrooms with or without a homemade gravy.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Fresh Green Bean Casserole

 

Candied Sweet Potatoes is an old family favorite for the holidays. Tender sweet potatoes covered in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and topped with pecans and marshmallows. Yum!

Candied Sweet Potatoes
Candied Sweet Potatoes is an old family favorite for the holidays. Tender sweet potatoes covered in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and topped with pecans and marshmallows. Yum! 
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Candied Sweet Potatoes

 

Glorified Rice Salad goes great with ham or turkey and is a light and festive salad to put on the table.

Glorified Rice Salad
This is a festive dish to serve for family or church gatherings--excellent for Christmas or Easter!
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Glorified Rice Salad

 

Oat Rolls are easy to make and so delicious. Soft, tender, with oatmeal goodness that turns it into a slightly sweet, hearty bread.

Oat Rolls
Oat Rolls are one of our family favorites! They are easy to make and so delicious. Soft, tender, with oatmeal goodness that turns it into a slightly sweet, hearty bread.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Oat Rolls

 

 

Dinner Option #3 – An Old-World Dinner

White Doves or Birds Make Lovely Accents on a TableMy mother-in-law first made this dinner for us one Christmas and I was enchanted by it’s old-world charm. Cornish Hens with Stuffing, Brussels Sprouts, Creamed Corn, Ambrosia Salad, and Braided Bread.

 

 

I love to serve Cornish Hens with Grand Marnier Stuffing during the holidays. Apricot-glazed Cornish hens, with a cornbread stuffing flavored with dried apricots, pine nuts, and orange-flavored Grand Marnier liqueur.

Cornish Hens with Grand Marnier Stuffing
I love to serve Cornish hens during the holidays. Here's a delicious recipe to make for your Christmas Eve dinner. Apricot-glazed Cornish hens with a cornbread stuffing flavored with dried apricots, pine nuts, and orange-flavored Grand Marnier. So good!
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Cornish Hens with Grand Marnier Stuffing

 

Slow-Cooked Creamed Corn is so delicious, you will want seconds and will secretly hope for leftovers! Creamy, lightly sweetened corn, perfect for a holiday dinner.

Slow-Cooked Creamed Corn
This recipe for Slow-Cooked Creamed Corn is so delicious, you will want seconds and will secretly hope for leftovers! Creamy, lightly sweetened corn that doesn’t run all over your plate. Comfort food, for sure.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Slow-Cooked Creamed Corn

 

I adore serving Roasted Brussels Sprouts as they are so delicious and also have an old-world charm about them.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
It has taken me 50 years before I tried Brussels sprouts, and I must admit that I adore and love them!
Check out this recipe
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

 

Ambrosia – Five Cup Salad is an easy dish to make for a family gathering or church dinner. Full of fruit and mixed together with simple sour cream that melds together in a delicious fruity and refreshing salad.

Ambrosia - Five Cup Salad
Ambrosia - Five Cup Salad is an easy dish to make for a family gathering or church dinner. Full of fruit and mixed together with simple sour cream that melds together in a delicious fruity and refreshing salad.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Ambrosia - Five Cup Salad

 

Braided Squash Bread is a lovely recipe that is moist and has just a touch of earthy vegetable flavor made even better when slathered with butter.

Braided Squash Bread
Here's a recipe I enjoy making in the summer when the squash harvest is taking over the garden. Yum!
Check out this recipe
recipe for braided squash bread

 

Dinner Option #4 – Soup in a Bread Bowl

Simple White and Red Table Setting - Baked Potato SoupMy final dinner option is another simple meal of Potato Soup in a Bread Bowl, served with Spinach Artichoke Dip. Again, the items can be prepared in advance to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.

 

Baked Potato Soup is perfect for a weeknight meal for your family or as an intimate holiday meal served in Sourdough Bread Bowls, which is what I did one Christmas Eve for our family dinner.

Easy Baked Potato Soup
Here is a tasty recipe my mother-in-law gave me. It's quick, and easy, and creamy and delicious. So yummy.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Easy Baked Potato Soup

 

Sourdough Bread Bowls are so delicious and can turn a basic soup into a celebratory meal.

Sourdough Bread Bowls
This past spring I made Sourdough Bread Bowls for the first time. They turned out so delicious, I have big plans to make them a lot this fall to serve with soup.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Sourdough Bread Bowls

 

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip is a yummy appetizer when you want something a little salty and warm. This dip is perfect with crackers or toasted bread.

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip
Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip is a yummy appetizer when you want something a little salty and warm. This dip is perfect with crackers (especially Trisket crackers) or toasted sourdough bread.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

 

Many years ago, when I was first married, my mother-in-law served Frog Eye Pasta Salad at one of our family gatherings. I had never seen or tasted it before and thought it was quite wonderful.

Frog Eye Pasta Salad
Frog Eye Pasta Salad is a wonderful family recipe made with Acini di Pepe pasta, which boiled makes little balls of pasta - aka frog eyes.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Frog Eye Pasta Salad

 

See more Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Salads, Soups, and Breads Here.

 

Fantastic Desserts to End your Christmas Dinner

Golden Brown Top of the New York-Style CheesecakeWhen preparing your dinner menu, be sure to include a fabulous dessert. I’ve listed candy above for munching on, but bring out one of these lovely desserts to end the meal. No matter how full your guests are, they will be unable to resist having at least a bite of one of these. See all of my Dessert Recipes Here.

 

Christmas Yule Log is a delicious chocolate sponge cake rolled up in a creamy filling and covered in a rich ganache icing. So yummy!

Christmas Yule Log
Christmas Yule Log is a delicious chocolate sponge cake rolled up in a creamy filling and covered in a rich ganache icing. So yummy!
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Christmas Yule Log, Holiday Baking, Holiday Meal Ideas

 

New York-Style Cheesecake is pretty amazing, and ranks high on our dessert scale. This will be my holiday go-to recipe for Cheesecake. It’s rich and creamy and oh so dreamy. Really, folks, it’s pretty amazing.

Creamy New York-Style Cheesecake
I made this New York-Style Cheesecake for Christmas this year and my family went wild. It's rich and creamy and oh so dreamy. Really, folks, it's pretty amazing. 
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Creamy New York-Style Cheesecake

 

Elderberry Wine-Poached Pears with Chantilly Cream is an excellent choice when you want a simple, yet elegant dessert worthy of Christmas, an anniversary, or a celebratory birthday.

Elderberry Wine-Poached Pears with Chantilly Cream
Elderberry Wine-Poached Pears with Chantilly Cream is an excellent choice when you want a simple, yet elegant dessert worthy of Christmas, an anniversary, or a celebratory birthday.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Elderberry Wine-Poached Pears with Chantilly Cream

 

Make this delicious Vanilla Pound Cake recipe during this year’s Holiday Season–or any time, really! The sugar topping sends this cake right over the top!

Vanilla Pound Cake
Make this delicious Vanilla Pound Cake recipe during this year’s Holiday Season--or any time, really. The sugar topping sends this cake right over the top! 
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Vanilla Pound Cake

 

Artificial White Poinsettia's on the TableSo there you have it, four of my favorite meals deserving of a Candlelight Dinner. I hope you’ll choose one of these meals for your holiday dinner, or that they give you ideas for other recipes. May this Christmas fill your hearts with love and peace that will last all the year through.

View Christmas Holiday Brunch Ideas Here. Browse Holiday Baking Ideas Here. See my Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes Here.

 

 

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