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Give yourself the gift of not having to cook Christmas dinner

A bar area of a restaurant with several set tables nearby is decorated for Christmas with illuminated garland strung along the ceiling.
The Packing House / Facebook
The Packing House is one of the places around town that's all dolled up for the holidays and happy to welcome you Christmas day.

Each week on This Bites, dining critic Ann Christenson from Milwaukee Magazine and Radio Milwaukee’s resident foodie Tarik Moody dig into the city’s culinary and restaurant culture to help you find new spots, old favorites and the best ingestibles around Milwaukee.

The official ranking of best phases of the day, Christmas edition, is as follows:

  1. Morning
  2. Evening/night
  3. Afternoon

I’m not sure this needs a ton of explanation, but here it is real quick: You’ve got morning in the top spot due to initial excitement (opening presents and whatnot), afternoon bringing up the rear because of the hangover from initial excitement and possibly waking up way too early, and then evening/night in the middle kind of by default.

For a lot of families, the meal that goes with the morning gets top billing as well. Breakfast kind of rides that wave of good feelings as you tuck into some French toast or pancakes or biscuits and gravy or some other carb-heavy situation. Lunch is kind of an afterthought (or skipped entirely), which means you kind of have to deal with dinner.

Or do you?

If the thought of exerting yourself much beyond grilled cheese and tomato soup at the end of a long Christmas day doesn’t excite you, the food crew at Milwaukee Magazine has you covered. Ann’s colleague Kristine Hansen put together a list of six places that’ll gladly serve you on Dec. 25, five that’ll pack you something to eat at home, one that’ll take care of sides and one more for the drinks. And a partridge in a pear tree.

Here’s what else is happening around the city (you’ll have to imagine Tarik and Ann talking about these since they’re off until the new year):

That’s the roundup for this week. We’ll have one more for you next Friday before the pod returns in 2024, so from the crew at This Bites: Have a filling and fulfilling holiday.