There are so many traditions surrounding the Christmas holiday that it's sometimes hard to keep up. My kids would regularly bemoan that I "forgot" some tradition that turned out to be just something I did last year on a whim. To them, anything done at Christmas was tradition. When you factor in the many countries that celebrate Christmas over a thousand years or so, you'll find that not all Christmas traditions were fun, festive, or philanthropic. Some that we've managed to drop were malicious, dangerous, or downright disgusting. For example, in the Middle Ages, wealthy folks would show off by serving a peacock for Christmas dinner.
“The colorful, plumed bird was often baked into a pie, or roasted with its head and tail still intact. Adding to the flamboyant display, the peacock’s feathers were reattached (or the skinned bird was placed back inside its intact skin), and its tail feathers were fully fanned out. Peacocks likely looked impressive on a banquet table, but the meat reportedly tasted terrible.”
Conspicuous consumption wasn't always pleasant. Read more about the peacocks and five other Christmas customs that we'd just as soon stay away from at Mental Floss. -via Strange Company