The holidays are a time for reflection, for stepping back and taking time to appreciate those closest to us. People show their appreciation in various ways, by sending cards and Christmas letters, giving a gift or two, or, at the most basic level, spending time with family and friends around a table of delicious foods.
Wherever you are in the world, whether you celebrate on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, chances are there’s a specific dish you’re looking forward to having at your holiday feast — one you rarely get to enjoy the rest of the year. Almost every country has at least one unique dish, beverage, or tabletop tradition that makes the holiday just a little special. For instance, Chile has its cola de mono — “tail of a monkey” — a drink with made with aguardiente (the local firewater) and coffee; Lithuania fills the Christmas table with not one but 12 special dishes; in France, the traditional holiday dinner features bûche de Noël as dessert.
If you’d like to know more about these specialties and others, check out this gallery to find out what's served at traditional Christmas dinners around the world.
Bianca Bahamondes contributed to this round-up.