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Mom's wasn't this fancy; she rarely used a mold and there was pineapple added only occasionally. But you get the idea

Specifically, orange jello with grated carrots. My mom would make it for every holiday meal and say, "I like to have a bit of color on my plate." If she wasn't hosting, she 'd always bring it with her when she came as a guest. I always ate a spoonful, just to be polite, but she and I were usually the only two people to bother. And it wasn't awful ... it was more of "Why is this here?".

If we're talking specific to Christmas, our family dinner was on Christmas Eve (maternal grandparents were German/Polish American). If there was anything special on Christmas day, it was a late brunch (Mom loved to make scrambled eggs anytime she could) ... dinner that day was likely to be "go make yourself a sandwich!" unless we visited my paternal grandmother, where there 'd be a ham, and all the sides were terrific. (Grandma Jessie had worked in a diner all her life, and made wonderful Southern food ... she was born in Kentucky).

For Thanksgiving, mom had to have the canned cranberry sauce, and it even had it's own special dish to be served in. I like cranberry sauce, but I like to make it, which she wouldn't like. "I like to see the lines from the can!" she 'd say. Recently, my sisters are clearing out mom's condo (she had to be placed in a memory care facility this year) and my sister had to text me that "Some nice old lady just bought the cranberry sauce bowl for $1!".

If we stretch the definition of 'side dish' to include sweets, the winner is fruitcake. No matter how I make it, I am the only person who likes it, and no-one will even try a bite ... not even to be polite. Americans just despise a fruitcake.

In my humble experience, I would have to say Noodles/chicken broth, albeit homemade, still wasn't much different than opening a can of chicken noodle soup. Thinking I was the only one curiously intrigued by the guests behavior to rave over noodles, it was my kids curious to figure out why. After all the compliments, guests were discarding in the trash and raving to Great-grandmother how amazing everything was and our favorite dish, no less! "We always run out of that dish", she exclaimed, "I'll have to make more next year" of the dish no one wanted to end up as leftovers nor wanting any hurt feelings.

For those that celebrate, Christmas dinner is presented as a traditional meal, which can vary greatly between families. Some choose Turkey dinner, others go with Ham. Some even choose Seafood or steak. There is also vegan options like a tofu turkey. As an unpopular Side dish to any of these or other options, this would depend on your particular taste. Some dishes are served just for tradition or custom where the chef is unconcerned of its possible unfavorable reputation.

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