Herring and turkey
On the other hand, Diana Bruk, born in St Petersburg in Russia, moved with her family to New York and yearned for an American Christmas.
Her parents' enthusiasm for this was slightly less.
"My attempts to cook a 'real American Christmas dinner' were continuously foiled," she says.
"No matter how vigilant I was, beets would find their way into every salad, my ban on herring and onion was never observed, and the turkey, no matter how I basted it, stubbornly tasted Russian," she says.
Her luck didn't improve away from the dining table, either.
"I was not allowed to leave cookies out for Santa, because my mother thought it was a stupid tradition that would invite infestations of roaches and rats," she adds.
A legacy of the Soviet Union, she says, is that New Year's Eve is the more important holiday for many Russians. Many Russians, wherever they live, mark the evening in the same way, she says.
"You make a salad called olivye, and at midnight you put on the Putin speech," explains Miss Bruk.
And "while he blathers on about what a great year we've had, you make wishes on a piece of paper, burn it, throw the ashes into a flute of champagne, and drink it to make it come true," she adds.
Eleonora Suhoviy moved to the UK from western Ukraine's city of Lviv.
In the UK, she has made a personal project of "baffling and delighting participants from Britain, South Africa and Norway" with Ukrainian Christmas customs.
Many traditional games for Christmas are "steeped in history, to know what your fate will be, or who will be your husband," she explains.
They "involve candles, mirrors, spells, flour being dripped on to your head," she says.
Miss Suhoviy also has organised her British and international friends into cooking traditional Ukrainian foods. "The 12 dishes are very specific, and must include kutia!" she explains.
Kutia is the first of the 12 dishes served in a Ukrainian Christmas Eve supper. It contains wheatberries, poppy seeds, and honey, and everyone present must have at least a spoonful.
Formerly a head of household would use the dish to tell if the next year's harvest would be plentiful, and to bargain with the forces of nature, she explains.