Article December 2017



Share the Fare by Julia Beacroft


'Bringing and sharing' is the friendliest Christmas dinner.

Snoopy's turkey gift

THE TRADITIONAL TURKEY roast dinner seems to be synonymous with Christmas and I’ve certainly had my fair share of cooking them. Yet strangely many of us seem to be over-awed, worried or downright stressed at the prospect of tackling the festive big bird each year.

Questions over whether we have the right sized roasting tin, the correct width baking foil and even more importantly, how long the bird will take to cook in the oven, causes many cooks to scratch their heads and ponder each year. And problems so easily arise as well… A friend of mine invited some elderly guests who had no families of their own for the Christmas meal, but nearly had a heart attack himself when he dropped the roasting tin, complete with half-cooked turkey on to his kitchen floor.


On another occasion, my kitchen came close to resembling an abattoir, when I tried to implement what I believed to be a fool proof plan to make sure that the turkey was cooked to perfection. Or so I thought… As a family of six we were in possession of a large slow cooker. Therefore the perfect solution to the timing debacle was to put the turkey in to slow cook overnight on a low setting. Ideal! Unfortunately however, the slow cooker was large – but clearly not large enough.

Denuded of first it’s wings and then its legs in a desperate bid to fit it in, my late father was heard to murmur sympathetically: “Poor little so-and-so! What have they done to you?!”



Of course, turkey dinners for Christmas are rooted in history, originally being introduced into this country circa 1500s and with King Henry VIII being the first British monarch to enjoy the bird at Christmas. Yet this year I am planning a change of menu. On Christmas Day when my large and extended family gather together, we are having ‘shared plate’ buffet-style Christmas fare. Why? Well, obviously if you’re a roast turkey and vegetable fan this wouldn't necessarily appeal to you, but there are definitely some advantageous reasons. The idea of coming


together, bringing and sharing, is fundamentally founded in Christianity.

Hospitality and sharing our food, which has been produced by man in co-operation with God, means that we are also sharing our lives. And it seems to me that sharing our lives with each other and with the Lord is the very essence of the season of Christmas.


The ‘Bring and share’ initiative is not necessarily synonymous with Christmas dinner, but it is synonymous with Christianity as we share the food and the workload!

And this unique and novel way of having the Christmas meal means that all those involved can go to Mass on Christmas morning without having to worry or get in a flap about over or under-cooking the seasonal turkey. Christmas Day is the celebration of the Lord’s birth. This is the essential heart of the celebration of Christmas. Without the Lord, there would be no Christmas. Without turkey, we can manage perfectly. (ENDS – 512 words)


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Julia Beacroft is an author, editor, workshop leader and presenter in Catholic faith formation.

Her first book ‘Sanctifying the Spirit’ is available to buy from AMAZON, Waterstones or

Book Depository. Please visit for more information.