Female members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints older than 18 belong to the faith's organization called the Relief Society. Each of the church's congregations, or wards, has its own Relief Society, some of which hold gatherings throughout the year, including a Christmas dinner. The task of planning the event can be overwhelming because the Relief Society could include as many as 100 women, sometimes more. The women of the ward, called sisters, can be asked to bring a contribution to the dinner.
Taco, Potato or Salad Bar
Many women in the ward might appreciate a simple meal during what can be a decadent holiday season. For a taco bar, the ward could provide meat and dessert, and women in the Relief Society sign up to bring an ingredient like cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, chips and tortillas. A potato bar is similar to the taco bar; ward sisters sign up to bring butter, sour cream, bacon and toppings with the Relief Society leadership providing the baked potatoes and dessert. The salad bar follows a similar pattern. The ward provides the lettuce, rolls, dressing and desserts, and the Relief Society women bring toppings such as tomatoes, baby corn, peas, croutons, grapes and much more.
For Hawaiian Haystacks, the Relief Society provides rice and chicken, topped with items brought by the ward's sisters such as pineapple chunks, chopped tomatoes, green onions, shredded cheese, crunchy noodles and more. Dessert could be fortune cookies.
The Relief Society's Christmas dinner could be a progressive dinner, in which successive courses of appetizers, salads, dinners and desserts are prepared and eaten at the homes of different women in the ward. It is a variation of a potluck dinner. Instead of taking the time and effort to decorate the church, where Relief Society events are usually held, the ward members' homes---already decorated for Christmas---provide the backdrop.
Middle Eastern Foods
A Relief Society Christmas dinner could include foods likely eaten at the time of Christ's birth such as pita bread and hummus, dried fruit, raw vegetables, flatbread with honey or olive oil, fish and grape juice to represent wine. Faithful members of the LDS Church do not drink wine or other alcohol. For the dinner, Relief Society sisters could even be encouraged to dress simply or wear garb similar to those worn at the time of Christ. The program or decorations for the evening could revolve around the theme "The Women in Christ's Life."
The Relief Society Christmas dinner could have no dinner at all, just desserts. It's a decadent time of year, and the women of the ward might appreciate a break and a night out. This is an easy potluck idea.