Catholic Feast Day Food Ideas

Our family likes to incorporate (create?) new Catholic feast day food ideas. Here are a few feast day food ideas for the month of December:

Dec 6 Saint Nicholas Day

This is a fun day. The stockings go up beforehand and there is usually a candy or a little something in each stocking. We also set up our large icon of Saint Nicholas on this day over our family altar and it stays till after Christmas.

Don’t forget to read my article on Saint Nicholas punching the heretic!

Dec 8 Immaculate Conception

White food. Our Lady is without stain of sin. She is all pure. All white. Spaghetti with white sauce. Chicken. And don’t forget the white cake with white icing!

white cake immacualte conception

Dec 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mexican food! The Marshall’s are Texans and we love our Tex-Mex. We go all out with queso (don’t forget that can of Ro*Tel!), guacamole, enchiladas and/or brisket tacos. And of course, Coronas or Dos Equis with lime!

Mexican Food for Guadalupe

Dec 13 Saint Lucy

We’ve never done this one, but I saw it online as I was preparing to write this post. Saint Lucy is the patron of eyes and sight. Behold the eyeball cupcakes:

Saint Lucy eye cupcakes

Photo from

Kind of creepy. Kind of cool.

Dec 21 Saint Thomas the Apostle
(Extraordinary Form Calendar and Anglican Use Calendar)

Saint Thomas is the patron of India – so we eat Indian food on this night. We started this tradition way back when we were Episcopalian/Anglican. The EF (Latin Mass) calendar remembers Saint Thomas on this day as do the Anglican Use Catholics. So we still do it on Dec 21. (Saint Thomas’ feast was moved to July 3 on the Ordinary Novus Ordo calendar).

Indian Food for Saint Thomas

We used to get Indian take-in, but my wife has become pretty efficient at the mysterious skill set of creating Indian cuisine.

Dec 25 Christmas – Food Ideas

Prime Rib. That’s my wife’s family tradition. It’s awesome. For a few year’s Joy made the Beef Wellington wrapped in puff pastry complete with word Noel formed in the dough. It was almost too gorgeous to eat. It’s all about the beef.

beef willington for Christmas

Here’s the Marshall Family Christmas schedule:

  • 4:00am (or some insanely early fuzzy time): 7 happy children wake us up and look at their big “Santa gift” beneath the tree.
  • We first go and see if the Christ Child has arrived in the family Nativity scene (He always does!) and we sing O Come All Ye Faithful
  • 7:00am Caffeine moves Joy and me to have a nice and simple breakfast with the children on our special Christmas plates
  • 9:00am Attend Holy Mass in Extraordinary Form (ChristMass!)
  • 12:00pm The house begins to fill with the smell of Prime Rib or Beef Wellington and then the extended family comes over for gifts.
  • 3:00pm A feast happens with wine flowing, Christmas music, and lots of laughing.
  • 9:00pm Everyone has gone home. All the children are passed out in their beds after the exciting day. Joy and I (exhausted) cuddle on the couch, drink a glass of wine,  listen to soft Christmas music, and look at the lit Christmas tree. It’s my favorite part of Christmas. I’m even a little teary eyed writing about it just now.

Dec 31 New Year’s Eve

Champaign for us. Fizzy apple juice for the children. We don’t do much on New Year’s Eve. It’s Mass the next morning. January 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation.

Question: Please share your feast day traditions and ideas. I look forward to reading them! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

PS: If you use Pinterest, please share this post. I don’t know how to use Pinterest. (I’m male.)

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  • Nicholas Trandem

    The kids leave their boots outside their doors the night before St. Nicholas Day. We fill them with chocolate coins and chocolate oranges (they look like the balls of gold St. Nicholas is often depicted holding). We also do prime rib for Christmas.

    • That’s a great custom. I know lots of Catholic families at our school and parish that do the exact same thing!

  • Terry

    Since St. Ambrose is my confirmation saint, I tend to get Milano cookies for either school or the office. A clever little nod, I think, to Ambrose.

  • Shannon Marie Federoff

    For St. Lucy’s Day, we go old school! The youngest daughter puts a wreath (of LIGHTED candles!) on her head and serves the family buns for breakfast. Technically, its supposed to be saffron buns, but we usually do cinnamon rolls! We’ve found our Advent wreath usually is a perfect fit on some daughter’s head! 🙂

    • I love this tradition. How old is your daughter?

      I’ve heard of this but never seen it done before!

  • Andrea

    St. Nick’s is a big deal in our house. Sometime between Thanksgiving and Dec 5th we scramble to find the stockings (the 6 yr old was very nervous this year as I couldn’t find the holders and the stockings went up on Dec. 5). The kids (we also have 7) write out their Christmas wish lists, and place them in their stockings for St. Nick. (This is how we’ve reconciled St. Nick and Santa Claus and gives Mom & Dad something to work with).

    They wake in the morning to find 3 things – 1. A non-religious gift (Pjs, socks! this year it was insulated cups), 2. a religious item (pewter statues of their patron saints, pocket missals, pocket rosaries, holy water fonts for their room, small crucifixes, etc), 3. candy coins and other assorted candy. They fill up on chocolate and candy canes, then we send the big ones off to school for their teachers to deal with, and I wrestle the candy from the little ones until they collapse into a sugar coma at nap time.

    St. Nick is also the patron saint of my oldest son, so we’ll have Cake tonight to celebrate. All 7 children are named for a saint, and we always celebrate their patron feast days with cake or special dessert. On a side note, my oldest daughters name is Mary, and it took us a while to settle on the one Marion Feast to treat as her saint day. She chose Sept. 8, Nativity of Mary.

  • We don’t do anything for St. Nicholas, although I think we had better start when kids arrive, since if I put my shoes out, I’m likely to find it filled to the brim the next morning with jack squat. For Christmas, we do homemade tamales, which is more traditionally Mexican.

    • I’d bet that good ol’ Saint Nicholas a powerful intercessor for the advent of children. I think he is officially the patron of children.

      I like the Mexican Christmas. My wife’s family does Mexican on Christmas Eve. We now do that.

  • Art

    Will drink some punch tonight in commemoration of St. Nicholas Day.

  • Victor

    After reading this post Dr. Marshall, all I can think of saying at this moment is, if only the angels could mass produce your families style of living then I’m sure that this world would be a much better place to live in. Think of all the Joy “IT” would bring. Right? 🙂
    God Bless

  • Joe

    Champaign or Champagne? And really, saying that Pinterest is only for women is very sexist. Then again, poor editing and sexism seem to be a common theme on this blog…

  • Lisa

    I love advent! We have some pretty great traditions that we have done with our 12 blessings. One of our favorites is making a soft bed for Baby Jesus. Every Palm Sunday I save our palms and cut them into little pieces. Each time the children make a sacrifice, say a prayer, do a kind deed, they get to put a piece under the crib. By Christmas, baby Jesus has a very soft bed.

  • Elena

    I am sorry, it’s not about traditions for your question. However, before, you mentioned that if we had a question to write to you. I have 2 questions.
    One is about an article in the National Catholic Register “Modified LIturgy coming to Ordinariate Parishes in Advent” about the Latin Ordinariate Anglican-use Mass established by Pope John Paul II & approved by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in “Anglicanorum Coetibus”. They have a prayer named “Humble Access” that is beautiful. I wounder if this prayer was in use in the Catholic Mass in England before the Henry VIII schism?
    Second, years ago, next to the archdiocese then, is a church that at the time had the different Catholic Orthodox rite masses. It was great having 5 different rites, Marionite, Chrisostom, Byzantine, & 2 more, one each week. I am confused now: I went to a Greek festival at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral *(by the way you can go to their web page & see how beautiful it is.) the priest there commented “your church allows you to receive communion here but we don’t.” & last year I sent my children to St. Anthony’s Catholic church for early mass & they made a mistake & went in to “St. Sava Serbian Orthodox church” a block away. In Tucson, Az. they were used to going to the Byzantine mass so they thought that this was what I had in mind. The priest there realized my daughters were not acquainted with this mass. After the mass was over, he went to talk to them & he gave them communion & said that it was O.K.
    Would you be able to enlighten me on this. Thank you so much,
    I wish you and your whole wonderful family that Mary and the Baby Jesus permeate you with their Love on Christmas & keeps you safe all the next New Year. Elena

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  • mpav

    For New Year’s Eve. My family always celebrated quietly, at home. About ten minutes before midnight, my mother lit the Holy Candle (that is, the blessed candle we always had on hand) with a prayer and let let it burn through the turn of the year and for for about ten minutes after. She said we were seeing the year out and ushering in the new one with the light of Christ.

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