Cheers! It’s the holidays. Even on board.

lsg-christmas-on-boardMention the word ‘Christmas’ and my mind drifts immediately to images of hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, and my family gathered around the dinner table. All these small traditions is what makes the holiday season such a special time of year. So if you find yourself on a flight during this time, don’t be surprised if you’ll be treated with something extra special.

On Italian carriers, you might enjoy slices of Panettone, or traditional Italian fruit bread, while many Spanish airlines serve Turrón, a special candy with almonds, honey and sugar. Nordic carriers like to stock up on Pepparkakor, the Swedish gingerbread cookie.

Naturally the “treats” often include your dinner options, as well. I learned that many airlines offer festive meals to celebrate the holiday season. In the UK, for example, all airlines substitute one entrée choice from chicken to roast turkey with all the trimmings – a very Anglo Saxon tradition – and they often change the normal desserts to mince pies served with custard. In Latin America, airlines also serve a traditional turkey dish with apples, pistachios, leeks or almonds with Arabic rice, for example.

Lufthansa also famously celebrates the holiday season by offering its First and Business Class passengers a traditional German goose meal on long-haul flights during the months of November and December. The cheer extends to all passengers onboard, however, with flight attendants distributing some 250,000 bags of biscuits, 85,000 chocolate Santa Clauses and more than 80,000 Christmas chocolates in the month of December alone.

Airline caterers like LSG Sky Chefs begin preparations for such holiday selections months before it ends up on your tray table. No matter how it’s celebrated, there’s something magical about the festive season that transcends traditions, and brings holiday cheer to everyone around the world.

To all of you – Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year!