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Christmas Eve Conundrum

OK all of you fabulous foodies out there….I need help.  Guidance.  Inspiration.

We are approaching our first Christmas Eve in our new home.  The in-laws are coming to stay.  The kids will be home.  Their dad will be here, too.  We’re going to have PEOPLE here…sleeping everywhere, and I gotta feed them.  I want to make something fabulous and dazzling for our guests, to make it a Christmas to remember – but WHAT am I going to make???

We typically have Christmas Eve dinner at the in-laws home out of town, and it is always pot roast with potatoes, carrots, etc. – very traditional.  I am not the best at making pot roast (for some reason I can never seem to get it just “right”), so I decided that since we will be here for Christmas that we would be having something different.  I want to get creative, but all of my suggestions are met with, “my dad probably wouldn’t eat that” or “I don’t think they would like that.”  Thus my conundrum.

I want to do full Tex-Mex:  two kinds of enchiladas, homemade salsa and guacamole, chips, tamales, queso, and some fabulously carbed up desserts.  Or perhaps full-on Cajun:  homemade chicken, steak, & sausage gumbo, boudain, and perhaps homemade beignets with powdered sugar.  Or even an Italian feast:  lasagna, chicken parmigiana, bruschetta, tomato & fresh mozzarella salad, and some scrumptious Italian sugar-filled desserts.

But those ideas have been nixed.

So this is where I need your help.  If I must make a “traditional” holiday meal, then I need ideas to bedazzle it up somewhat.  It’s got to be memorable…remember?  Send me ideas…please!!  If you have recipes, or links to blogs and recipes, then send them my way so that my Christmas Eve meal won’t be boring.  I need ideas for:  turkey (not fried), ham, sides, and desserts.  I’m determined that this Christmas will be a spectacular culinary experience for each of our guests….and for us!