Make Memories With A Mediterranean Christmas

Make Memories With A Mediterranean Christmas - Kohkoz – Real Lebanese Cuisine

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

So, you are probably finalising your plans for the big day as we speak.

In Lebanon, Christmas is a much loved time of year with families gathering together to make memories, spend time reconnecting, and of course… sharing amazing food.

If this sounds like your kind of Christmas celebration, then you need to read this blog.

We’ve put together our best tips and menu ideas so that you can embrace a Mediterranean style Christmas at your place!

Make Memories With A Mediterranean Christmas

Lebanese Christmas Traditions

Did you know that Lebanon is the only Middle Eastern nation that celebrates Christmas as an official holiday? That makes it a pretty special time of year for both Lebanese Christians and Muslims. In Lebanon, Christmas is seen as an opportunity to renew friendships and there is often a bonfire lit in the village to gather around. Stories are told, songs are sung and misgivings are reconciled.

On Christmas Eve, many families will attend Mass. In most towns, a bell will ring at midnight to signify it is time to attend the church service. While the family attends midnight mass, Papa Noel (Santa Claus) will come and deliver gifts to the family home. Christmas morning is a time to visit friends and neighbours with small gifts like sugared almonds, coffee and Liqueur.

Christmas lunch is the most important meal of the season and family members will gather at the home of the eldest male to enjoy a feast together. Food options can include chicken, rice, turkey, roasted duck, salads like Tabouleh, and pastries.

Regardless of religion or culture, Christmas is celebrated in such an inclusive way that everyone becomes part of the celebrations whether it be directly or indirectly.

Making Your Christmas Mediterranean

One of the best advantages of a Kiwi Christmas is the weather. With the warmth of summer, the meal options are vast. You can choose to cook a full Christmas meal indoors or take your cooking outdoors on the BBQ or grill.

That fits in perfectly with the traditional Lebanese Christmas meal. Mediterranean food is all about flavour, so why not spice up your Christmas meal with some of these delicious options…

Mezze Platter

Kiwi Christmas can get pretty busy and sometimes you’ll have to visit multiple family members in one day. A Mezze Platter is a perfect solution for this. Packed full of delicious salads, breads, dips, meats, and accompaniments, people can choose to have as little or as much food as they want.

This grazing platter stops you from having to eat full meals at every home you visit. It also makes an affordable eating option, as it is enjoyed as a shared meal, everyone can bring something different to contribute to the platter. And the end results are DELICIOUS!


A favourite in many Mediterranean meals, chicken is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in a variety of different ways. Chargrill it on the BBQ or roast it (rubbed with a delicious Za’atar Spice Blend), marinade it and serve as a tasty Chicken Shawarma, prepare a traditional Lebanese dish like Riz A Djej, or make yummy wraps packed full of chicken and salad.

Stuffed Lamb

Lamb is a really popular protein in Lebanon and is used a lot in celebratory meals - like Christmas! Conveniently, lamb is also a staple in a Kiwi Christmas meal. Bring the two cultures together by adding some Lebanese flavours or techniques to your lamb dishes.

While Kiwis tend to go with a roasted leg of lamb, a more Mediterranean style is to stuff the lamb with a seasoned mix of rice, meat or nuts. To add flavour, use Za’atar, allspice or cinnamon.

Small Plates

Lebanese families are quite partial to appetiser style plates. A very traditional Lebanese Christmas table will be piled high with a variety of different small plates. The concept is similar to a Mezze Platter, but it becomes more of a Mezze table!

Think the traditional pita bread, dips and pickles you’d find on a mezze platter, but take it one step further. Include golden falafel, stuffed grape leaves, fried bread, avocado dip, fattoush or shanklish salad, kofta, rice, fried aubergine, or awarma (hummus with meat on top).


Prefer a more traditional Chrustmas meal? Well, roasts feature heavily in Mediterranean Christmas culture too. The amount of meat roasted will all depend on the size of the guest list, but can include a variety of options like turkey, goose, venison, lamb, wild boar, fish or pork.


Don’t forget about finishing your meal with something sweet. Fresh fruit is always an amazing option. Then, pair that with pastries, Maamoul (date-filled cookies), Baklava (a filo pastry layered with pistachios and rosewater infused sugar syrup), or Kanafeh (filo pastry, mozzarella cheese pistachios and sugar syrup).

Don’t forget to have plenty of nuts and chocolates around for sweet nibbles.

Make Your Christmas Mediterranean

Ready to make your Christmas more Mediterranean? Then, head on over to the online store and browse our delicious range of Lebanese foods and recipes.

Have a wonderful holiday season with your friends, family and loves ones.