I'm not Catholic and don’t celebrate Christmas, but in Brazil there are an estimated 137 million Catholics(which is the highest number of any country in the world), representing 74% of the Brazilian population, so the pressure is big! At this time of the year everybody is happy, shopping and partying, so it’s normal to feel like doing some (or all) of those things! Also the family is getting bigger and some people are marrying outside of the religion, so this year we end up doing a Christmas tree at my cousin’s house and a small dinner at home. But I was working hard, doing parties for other people, and didn’t have much time left to prepare our own meal, so I end up doing a table full of appetizers. We had mostly cold food and drank Champagne; it was very good and appropriate for a very hot night. In the menu were: Big mixed salad greens with balsamic vinaigrette, Paris mushrooms with lemon and fresh herbs vinaigrette, prosciutto with caramelized fresh figs and a dollop of Mascarpone cheese, blinis with smoked salmon, crème fraiche and caviar, bressaola with lemon sauce and arugula, and so on… We had also great cheeses like Brie, Camembert, Cablanca, Fol-Epi and quality breads to eat them with. I know I'm a chef and I'm supposed to cook, but everybody enjoyed it! So if you are having people over for food and don’t have much time to cook try something like that, it works, I recommend it!