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The gift of Christmas dinner

The gift of Christmas dinner
Christmas goose. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Christmas dinner is a meal with plenty of tradition, but it's not as hidebound as Thanksgiving. It's more a matter of choice than obligation. We tend to serve the same dishes year after year, but it's because we want to — because we love them and feel like celebrating when they're on the table.

As a result, Christmas dinners vary widely from one family to the next. Perhaps you look forward all year to roast goose, or maybe you can't wait to slow-roast a prime rib. One person's meal wouldn't be complete without a pecan pie; another's favorite dessert is pavlova. To cop a cliche: It's all good.

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Here's a sampling of the Christmas traditions of our Times Food staff.

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