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59 Vintage Christmas Dishes Worth Trying Today

If you like your Christmas vintage style, check out these festive foods. These retro Christmas dinner recipes are sure to be menu hits for years to come.

Layered Christmas GelatinTaste of Home

Layered Christmas Gelatin

Christmastime always means that this recipe comes out of my recipe box. The traditional holiday colors in this salad make the buffet table look so pretty. —Diane Schefelker, Ireton, Iowa. Here’s why red and green are considered Christmas colors.

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Upside-Down FruitcakeTaste of Home

Upside-Down Fruitcake

I get tired of people bad-mouthing holiday fruitcakes. It’s one of my favorite holiday flavors and I look forward to it every year. This year, I decided to combine it with everyone’s favorite, upside-down cake. Try to say no to this fruitcake; I dare you! —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor

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Crown Roast with Apricot DressingTaste of Home

Crown Roast with Apricot Dressing

I have been making crown roasts for many years but was only satisfied with the results when I combined a few recipes to come up with this guest-pleasing version. It’s beautifully roasted with an apricot glaze and a nicely browned stuffing. —Isabell Cooper, Cambridge, Nova Scotia. Check out this fun Christmas trivia you probably never knew.

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Celebration Cheese BallsTaste of Home

Celebration Cheese Balls

A handful of simple ingredients that go together in minutes, three fun flavorful options…these creamy cheese balls from our Test Kitchen are a darling, do-ahead delight for busy holiday hostesses! Why not whip up several batches? —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Brandy SlushTaste of Home

Brandy Slush

This slush with a hint of citrus keeps you cool on hot summer days. Even if you’re not a tea lover, you’ll likely find the mix of flavors pleasing. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Baked Ham with PineappleTaste of Home

Baked Ham with Pineapple

I first learned the technique for cooking pineapple ham for a themed dinner my husband and I hosted. Since it was widely known as the symbol of hospitality, pineapple was the star ingredient on our menu and on this lovely baked ham. —JoAnn Fox, Johnson City, Tennessee. Get a look at what people eat at Christmastime in 19 different countries.

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Miniature Meat PiesTaste of Home

Miniature Meat Pies

I make these handheld pies in advance, keep them in the freezer, then bake them the day of the party. They are always a hit at tailgate and potlucks. —Gayle Lewis, Yucaipa, California

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Bread Pudding with NutmegTaste of Home

Bread Pudding with Nutmeg

I always make this bread pudding recipe for my dad on his birthday and on holidays. He says it tastes exactly like the bread pudding with nutmeg he enjoyed as a child. —Donna Powell, Montgomery City, Missouri

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Cathedral CookiesTaste of Home

Cathedral Cookies

Children love the colorful marshmallows in these festive confections, which look like stained glass when they’re sliced. They practically light up the room from the serving platter at our holiday parties. —Carol Shaffer, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Find out why we bake cookies at Christmastime, and the origins of more of your favorite Christmas traditions.

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Cranberry Orange Roast DucklingsTaste of Home

Cranberry-Orange Roast Ducklings

I came up with this recipe a few years ago. The first time I served it, there wasn’t a speck of food left on the platter and I knew I had a winning recipe. —Gloria Warczak, Cedarburg, Wisconsin

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Traditional Holiday StuffingTaste of Home

Traditional Holiday Stuffing

Sausage and sage add a gourmet taste to this stuffing. It’s perfect for large family gatherings, but you can also save some for later. —Lorraine Brauckhoff, Zolfo Springs, Florida

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Creamy Pineapple Fluff SaladTaste of Home

Creamy Pineapple Fluff Salad

Guests of all ages will gravitate to this traditional “fluff” salad, chock-full of pineapple, marshmallows, and cherry bits. —Janice Hensley, Owingsville, Kentucky

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Holiday Rum BallsTaste of Home

Holiday Rum Balls

I use this recipe for special occasions with my wonderful family and friends. They’re so easy to make and pack a festive rum punch. —Diane Duschanek, Council Bluffs, Iowa

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Icy Holiday PunchTaste of Home

Icy Holiday Punch

Pull out the punchbowl for this rosy thirst-quencher that dazzles at Christmas parties. This fun prep-ahead beverage makes any occasion a bit more special. It’s delicious with apricot gelatin, too. —Margaret Matson, Metamora, Illinois. Drink it while watching the best Christmas movies ever, ranked.

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Garlic Herbed Beef TenderloinTaste of Home

Garlic Herbed Beef Tenderloin

You don’t need much seasoning to add flavor to this beef tenderloin recipe. The mild blending of rosemary, basil, and garlic does the trick. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington

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Whipped ShortbreadTaste of Home

Whipped Shortbread

These whipped shortbread Christmas cookies melt in your mouth. Mostly I make them for the holidays, but I’ll also prepare them year-round for wedding showers and ladies’ teas. —Jane Ficiur, Bow Island, Alberta

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Champagne CocktailTaste of Home

Champagne Cocktail

This amber drink is a champagne twist on the traditional old-fashioned. Try it with extra-dry champagne. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For some real Christmas memories, check out what Christmas looked like the year you were born.

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Cashew BrittleTaste of Home

Cashew Brittle

I like this quick and easy recipe because it doesn’t require a candy thermometer. It also makes a wonderful gift for nut lovers on your list. —Rhonda Glenn, Prince Frederick, Maryland. Find out if any of your old vintage Christmas decorations could be worth lots of money.

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Mocha Yule LogTaste of Home

Mocha Yule Log

This eye-catching dessert is guaranteed to delight holiday dinner guests. Chocolate lovers will lick their lips over the yummy cocoa cake, mocha filling, and frosting. For a festive touch, I garnish the log with marzipan holly leaves and berries. —Jenny Hughson, Mitchell, Nebraska

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Chocolate-Dipped Meringue Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Chocolate-Dipped Meringue Sandwich Cookies

These light, airy morsels are twice as nice with two meringue cookies and velvety ganache in between. —Donna Pochoday-Stelmach, Morristown, New Jersey

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Cheesy Ham ChowderTaste of Home

Cheesy Ham Chowder

This recipe is one of my family’s favorites. The ham chowder is chock-full of potatoes, ham, and carrots. I like to make this comforting ham potato corn chowder at least once or twice a month during the fall and winter. —Jennifer Trenhaile, Emerson, Nebraska

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Favorite Hot ChocolateTaste of Home

Favorite Hot Chocolate

You need just a few basic ingredients to stir up this spirit-warming sipper. It’s smooth and not too sweet, making it just right for cozy winter days. —Flo Snodderly, North Vernon, IN. Try out these clever hot chocolate hacks to make this winter classic even better.

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Golden Roasted TurkeyTaste of Home

Golden Roasted Turkey

Your holiday turkey will never turn out dry again if you reach for this recipe. Brining overnight and stuffing with apples results in moist, tender meat. —Michael Williams, Moreno Valley, California. We know turkeys are tough, but here are some tips for buying the perfect bird.

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Soft Rum CaramelsTaste of Home

Soft Rum Caramels

I adapted a family recipe to come up with these melt-in-your-mouth caramels. My husband and daughter eagerly volunteer to eat any scraps from the pan! —Kelly-Ann Gibbons, Prince George, British Columbia

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Spiced Orange-Cranberry ChutneyTaste of Home

Spiced Orange-Cranberry Chutney

The aroma of simmering chutney signals the start of the holidays and sets the mood for my seasonal baking. Try it as an appetizer along with cream cheese and graham crackers. —Pat Stevens, Granbury, Texas. These vintage Christmas ads from the past 90 years will take you back in time.

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Spiced Mulled WineTaste of Home

Spiced Mulled Wine

You’ll want to heat this traditional beverage before company arrives. Your home will have the scent of Christmas! —Lana Gryga, Glen Flora, Wisconsin

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Glazed Cornish HensTaste of Home

Glazed Cornish Hens

If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance to your holiday dinner table, we suggest these Cornish game hens topped with a sweet apricot glaze. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Meringue Snowballs In CustardTaste of Home

Meringue Snowballs in Custard

My family has passed down this elegant dessert generation by generation. It started with my Russian great-grandmother, who traveled to America more than 100 years ago. I love continuing the tradition with her recipe. —Tonya Burkhard, Palm Coast, Florida. If you love snow, find out the destinations where you’re guaranteed to have a white Christmas.

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Apricot Cranberry BreadTaste of Home

Apricot Cranberry Bread

I was making cranberry bread one day and wanted to try something a little different. I found a jar of apricot jam in the refrigerator and decided to spoon the jam into the center of the bread. It looked lumpy, so I took a knife and cut the jam into the bread. The end result was delicious. —Diane Roth, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Pickled Pepperoncini Deviled EggsTaste of Home

Pickled Pepperoncini Deviled Eggs

It’s hard to resist these adorable deviled trees on our buffet table. The avocado filling has pepperoncini and cilantro for extra zip. —Carmell Childs, Clawson, Utah. These look delicious! Here are some more yummy Christmas appetizers everyone will love.

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Christmas MeatballsTaste of Home

Christmas Meatballs

Cranberry sauce and brown sugar create a tangy glaze for moist meatballs that are good Christmas appetizers or Christmas dinner ideas. We love them so much, I prepare them year-round. —Joyce Bentley, Redlands, California

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Christmas Bread PuddingTaste of Home

Christmas Bread Pudding

I served this bread pudding at the first Christmas dinner I made for my in-laws. Everyone loved it! —Jennifer Dignin, Westerville, Ohio

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Chutney-Glazed CarrotsTaste of Home

Chutney-Glazed Carrots

Carrots slow-cooked with chutney, Dijon, and ginger makes a zippy side for a barbecue or potluck. We love serving these carrots with grilled chicken or beef roast. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada. Don’t miss these old photos of what Christmas shopping used to look like.

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Meringue KissesTaste of Home

Meringue Kisses

There’s a nice chocolaty surprise inside these sweet kisses. They’re my husband’s top choice each Christmas. —Tami Henke, Lockport, Illinois

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Holiday Baked HamTaste of Home

Holiday Baked Ham

Nothing is better at the holidays than a delicious ham baking in the oven. The preserves mixture will be sure to please all of your guests. —American Dairy Assoc, Stacy Duffy, Chicago, Illinois. If you love old-timey Christmas cheer, consider a visit to these beautiful old-fashioned Christmas towns throughout America.

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Gingerbread Men CookiesTaste of Home

Gingerbread Men Cookies

No holiday treat platter would be complete without gingerbread man cookies! This is a tried-and-true recipe I’m happy to share with you. —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland

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Aunt Margaret's Sweet Potato CasseroleTaste of Home

Aunt Margaret’s Sweet Potato Casserole

My great-aunt made an incredible sweet potato casserole for our holiday dinners. I’ve lightened it up a bit, but we love it just the same. —Beth Britton, Fairlawn, Ohio. Here are some more vintage recipes straight from Grandma’s kitchen.

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Rich rum cakeTaste of Home

Rich Rum Cake

We like a touch of rum for the holidays, and this orangey rum cake is decadent alone or with big swoops of whipped cream. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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West Virginia Shepherd's PieTaste of Home

West Virginia Shepherd’s Pie

Mashed parsnips and potatoes spread over a savory mixture of lamb and fresh herbs make this dish extra special. The recipe comes from the Scotch-Irish who put down roots in this area long ago. —Tina Price, Deep Water, West Virginia

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Pfeffernuesse CookiesTaste of Home

Pfeffernuesse Cookies

A German holiday tradition, these fragrant cookies pack a warm rush of spices in every bite. Also called peppernuts, they go wonderfully with coffee or tea. —Joanne Nelson, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. These adorable vintage photos of kids meeting Santa will warm your heart.

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Cranberry Waldorf SaladTaste of Home

Cranberry Waldorf Salad

Cranberries grow in the coastal area about 50 miles from our home. When they become available, I always make this creamy salad. —Faye Huff, Longview, Washington

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Marzipan Yule LogsTaste of Home

Marzipan Yule Logs

For an extra-special treat at Christmastime, I shape these little candies using homemade almond paste. The chocolate-coated logs have cute cherry and pecan decorations. —Margery Richmond, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Apple-Pecan Baked BrieTaste of Home

Apple-Pecan Baked Brie

As family arrives for a get-together, I make sure this fruity and savory Brie is in the oven so the aromas of cinnamon and apples fill the house. —Alicia Gower, Auburn, New York

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Christmas Cauliflower CasseroleTaste of Home

Christmas Cauliflower Casserole

This creamy casserole is filled with tender cauliflower and topped with a sprinkling of crispy herb stuffing. It’s become one of our favorite Christmas casseroles that appeals to both kids and adults in our family. —Carol Rex, Ocala, Florida

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Classic Make-Ahead Mashed PotatoesTaste of Home

Classic Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These make-ahead mashed potatoes save me a ton of time on Christmas day. No more frantically whipping the potatoes while hungry family and guests hang around the kitchen! —Marty Rummel, Trout Lake, Washington

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Holiday Crown Pork RoastTaste of Home

Holiday Crown Pork Roast

Crown roast makes a regal Christmas dinner. Flavored with rosemary, sage, and thyme, it’s elegant and simple, a real blessing during the hectic holidays. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida

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Old-Fashioned Rice PuddingTaste of Home

Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

This comforting dessert is a wonderful way to end any meal. As a girl, I always waited eagerly for the first heavenly bite. Today, my husband likes to top his with a scoop of ice cream. —Sandra Melnychenko, Grandview, Manitoba

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Honey Pecan PieTaste of Home

Honey Pecan Pie

Looking for a sweet ending to a special meal? This attractive pecan pie is bound to please with its traditional filling and honey-glazed pecans. —Cathy Hudak, Wadsworth, Ohio. Check out these Christmas traditions from all around the world that you’ll want to try yourself.

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Cream of Potato & Cheddar SoupTaste of Home

Cream of Potato & Cheddar Soup

The Yukon Gold potatoes my daughter shares from her garden make this soup incredible. Add some cheddar cheese and crisp croutons, and it’s just heavenly. Total comfort with the simplicity of good ingredients! —Cindi Bauer, Marshfield, Wisconsin

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Italian Holiday CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Holiday Cookies

Many of our holiday traditions center around the foods my mother made while I was growing up. These cookies, which we called “Strufoli,” bring back wonderful memories. —Sue Seymour, Valatie, New York. Find out the best Christmas cookie in every state.

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Party Potatoes Au GratinTaste of Home

Party Potatoes Au Gratin

Hearty helpings of these cheesy spuds will please hungry folks in a hurry. The rich, creamy sauce makes this recipe of my mother’s the one folks request most. The potatoes are just as delicious the next day, reheat in the microwave with a little added milk. —Debbie Carlson, San Diego, California. While you cook, listen to the best Christmas songs ever.

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Holiday Green Bean CasseroleTaste of Home

Holiday Green Bean Casserole

Try this green bean casserole and you’ll never go back to the old stuff. —Laura Fall-Sutton, Buhl, Idaho

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Homemade EggnogTaste of Home

Homemade Eggnog

Once, I asked my mother how to make eggnog, and she showed me this recipe. After just one taste, folks will know this homemade holiday treat came from the kitchen, not from the store. —Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio. But if you would rather go with the store version, you have to try out Costco’s new bottle of boozy eggnog.

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Skillet Pineapple Upside-Down CakeTaste of Home

Skillet Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

For a change of pace, you can substitute fresh or frozen peach slices for the pineapple in this old-fashioned recipe. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas

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Chocolate Peppermint BarkTaste of Home

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

These treats are such a snap to make, I almost feel guilty serving them. But nobody seems to mind I didn’t put in much effort—they just keep coming back for more. —Keslie Houser, Pasco, Washington

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Quick Crunchy Apple SaladTaste of Home

Quick Crunchy Apple Salad

Pair crunchy toppings with smooth vanilla in this apple salad with yogurt recipe. You’ll love this creative combination! —Kathy Armstrong, Post Falls, Idaho

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Baba au Rhum CakesTaste of Home

Baba au Rhum Cakes

Dry and candied fruit stud this baba au rhum. The rum is subtle, so it is suitable as a dessert or on a brunch buffet. —Diane Halferty, Tucson, Arizona. Check out these 32 fun facts you never knew about the holiday season.

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Rosemary-Thyme Lamb ChopsTaste of Home

Rosemary-Thyme Lamb Chops

My father loves lamb, so I make this dish whenever he visits. It’s the perfect main course for holidays or get-togethers. —Kristina Mitchell, Clearwater, Florida

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Perfect Dinner RollsTaste of Home

Perfect Dinner Rolls

These rolls melt in your mouth. I loved them as a child, and I’m happy to make them for my kids because I know I am creating those same wonderful memories my mom made for me! —Gayleen Grote, Battle View, North Dakota. While you’re reminiscing, take a look at these fascinating vintage photos of what Christmas used to be like.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home

Taylor Murphy
A freelance writer well-versed in a variety of topics, with six years of experience writing print and digital content for newspaper outlets, online publications and magazines. My bylines have appeared on GoodHousekeeping.com, HouseBeautiful.com, RedBookMag.com, Cosmopolitan.com, MSN.com, StyleCaster.com, in Dr. Oz The Good Life and other best-selling national women's lifestyle magazine publications. I'm currently a freelance copywriter at Today's Business, a digital advertising and marketing agency.