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Singing for your supper at a Christmas carol-themed party

’Tis the season for Christmas treats, Christmas parties, and Christmas caroling. So why not wrap them all into one delectable, delightful experience?

I simply cannot figure out why the idea of a Christmas carol potluck, where each dish is inspired by a pun on a Christmas carol, hasn’t caught on since I wrote about it last year. So perhaps, now that everyone except me owns a sweater for the ugly sweater parties, this will be the next holiday trend: “The Twelve Trays of Christmas.”

What I find most appealing about this party is the word play that goes along with the culinary adventure. And the best news for me is that I have already received an invitation from my sister Treasa to attend just this very type of party. And she hasn’t yet made a request, so I think I might be able to choose what to bring. But that is a large decision.

The trick, of course, is finding a clever title for a dish that people will enjoy. So, although there is much to be said for “O Come All Ye Falafel,” I know my sons will be happier if I announce we’re bringing “O Little Town of Bethle-ham.”

The possibilities are endless. For appetizers, you could choose between “Rotel It on the Mountain,” which I imagine is a cheesy dip with a Mexican flair, or “Feliz Navi-dip,” which could be almost anything. An olive tray might be “Olive Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth,” cocktail meatballs would be “Jingle Balls,” and a plate of wings of any spice range could be “We Three Wings.”

My sons will be scanning the table for “I Saw Three Chips Come Sailing In,” so they probably won’t care whether there’s an onion dip named “What Chive Is This?” But I’ll stop for a taste and sing a few bars.

For entrees, you might get particularly adventurous and serve “Handel’s Jambalaya,” with some “Good King Wence-slaw” on the side. Cole slaw can be a divisive choice, but who doesn’t love old Wenceslaus?

Then you might offer some “Soy to the World” or “Ramen Around the Christmas Tree.” Popular around here would be “Frosty the Salmon,” which could be in almost any form, or “Mashing Through the Snow,” if the “mash” is potato.

If you need a little more protein on the table, you might offer “The Little Drumstick Boy” or a carving station—“O Holy Knife” or “Silent Knife.” A loaf of bread or basket of rolls might be called “Shepherds Arise.”

For dessert, you might have figgy pudding, or you might offer a pie or tart—“God Rest Ye Berry Gentlemen,” or—if baking isn’t your thing—grab a package of Ding Dongs and label them “Ding Dong, Merrily on High.”

No Christmas party is complete without a few drinks, whether “O Christmas Tea,” “Pa-Rum-Pa-Pum-Pum,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Punch,” “Good Christian Men, Re-juice,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Root Beer,” or “Grandma Got Run Over by a Root Beer.”

I’m still trying to decide what we’re bringing to the Christmas carol-themed pot luck. When I suggested I might cook some pigs’ feet and label it “Then Bring Us Some Piggy Footing,” my husband and children all stared blankly at me.

Maybe I’ll just make a mystery dish and label it, “Do You Taste What I Taste?”

I can’t wait. What would you bring?

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Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.