Christmas comes but once a year and so that's our excuse for eating and drinking far more than we usually do - most of us eat over seven thousand calories on Christmas Day alone. The rich foods and spiced drinks that are traditional today have evolved over centuries of Yuletide celebrations, and the way our ancestors enjoyed Christmas was very different from today. In medieval times, for example, they might have enjoyed a swan, the Georgians were partial to a side of roast beef and the Victorians fancied a goose. It was only in the 20th century that the turkey became the standard Christmas fare. This lavishly illustrated book provides a fascinating glimpse into the way Christmas has been enjoyed over the centuries and provides a wide range of traditional recipes spanning nearly 1,000 years. It also reveals the customs, myths and legends associated with our food and drink ranging from the silver penny in the Christmas pudding to the importance of the wassail bowl. Whether you are happy to toil all Christmas Day in the kitchen, or prefer to spend it on the egg nog and mulled wine, this book will take you on a journey of culinary excess.