Most of the time, when people think of the holidays, they think of family, presents, and decorations. If you work retail, then your first thought is probably something along the lines of, “Oh dear. God, I have to listen to the same Christmas songs over and over for the next 8 hours.” My heart goes out to you brave souls. I had some of my favorite childhood Christmas songs ruined from working retail, which is why I’m not writing about the top 5 Christmas songs. 

But do you want to guess what my first thought is when it comes to the holiday? You guessed it: FOOD. I love food so much. I mean, who doesn’t? It’s the best thing ever, and we get to eat at least three times a day. That’s what I called blessed. 

If you are someone who loves to eat, then this article is for you. If, on the other hand, you are someone who, if they could, would take a pill to consume nutrients for the day, please move along. This article is not for you. 

And so not to waste any more time, let’s get to the meat and potatoes. (see what I did there.)

P.S. You won’t find eggnog on this list. Eggnog is a crime against all taste buds. 

No. 5: Peppermint Bark

Coming in at number 5 is peppermint bark. Spicy take, I know. This would definitely be higher, but I’m not the biggest fan of peppermint and chocolate together. Except during the holidays, then, it’s the most delicious thing ever invented. 

Call me crazy, but peppermint bark tastes so freaking good when you put it on top of things. Want Christmas themed brownies or cookies? BOOM! Just add some peppermint bark on top. It makes most desserts super festive, and you can eat it by itself. Does it get any better than that when it comes to desserts? 

No. 4: Mashed Potatoes 

Look, mashed potatoes are life. As a matter of fact, as a nation, we just stuffed ourselves fat with as much mashed potatoes as we could during Thanksgiving, and it was glorious. Let’s do it again.

No. 3: Gingerbread 

What is one of the first things we learn as kids when it comes to our food? “Don’t play with your food!” was probably a saying you heard at least once as a kid. But that’s the great thing about gingerbread. Not only is it the best Christmas cookie, but it’s also so much fun to play with it. What other kinds of food can you have a decoration competition and laugh your butt off because it never comes out the way it’s supposed to, ever? 

And if that isn’t good enough of a reason for you to have gingerbread this high on the list, then let me remind you of possibly the best movie scene ever. In Shrek 2, Mongo, the giant gingerbread man, goes berserk to help his friends reach their goal. Watching his gumdrop melt off and him sinking into the water is one of the first times I experienced heartache as a kid. So the next time you eat a gingerbread man, remember my boy Mongo and pour out a glass of milk for him.    

No. 2: Nochebuena Pork 

Is it Christmas Eve if you don’t go outside and see the smoke from China Boxes rising out in the distances? I’m sorry for those of you who aren’t familiar with this Cuban tradition; you’re missing out. 

How do I even describe to you how delicious this pork is? The absolute love and care that goes into this slab of meat is the same love and care that I strive for in a relationship. These guys wake up at 4 a.m. to dig a hole in the ground, start a fire for the coals, and then put a pig in the ground to slowly cook it for a minimum of 12 hours. 

And what do they do while they wait and take care of the pig? They play dominoes. Playing dominoes with a table full of Cubans is the most fun I have ever had at 6 in the morning. If this wasn’t a thing that only happened once a year, then it’s all I would ever eat. 

Take a trip to Miami and experience this first hand. You won’t regret it.

No. 1: Hot Chocolate 

Whatever genius decided to turn chocolate into a drink deserves to be on the Mount Rushmore of Human History. And whatever maniac added marshmallows is sitting right next to him (or her, I’m not sexist) because this is the perfect drink on Christmas. 

By itself, hot chocolate is magnificent. It brings a smile to everyone who gets a cup and warms souls to get in the Christmas spirit. And that’s just a plain cup of hot chocolate. What makes this drink number one is how customizable it is. Need a pick me up? Add a shot of espresso or 2. Have a bit of a sweet tooth? Add some peppermint bark along with your marshmallows. At a party and trying to get lit? Add a shot of rum or baileys. (Any other liquor kinda tastes weird, but you do you.) You get the point. Hot chocolate can fit any vibe you are striving for and will come out guns blazing. 

To sum it up…

The holidays can be stressful, especially this year. Sit back, relax, and try out some of the foods on the list. It seems like most of us have plenty of time to kill. This Christmas might not feel the most Christmas-y, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to capture that feeling, right? 

Here’s to a happy holiday season and a very merry Christmas. *Tips hot chocolate* 

What Christmas foods round out your top 5?

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