I love celebrating holidays. It's an opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate the particular occasion. We just finished another holiday season so I felt inspired to compile a list of the biggest holidays of the year, ranked by food and how mainstream America celebrates them.  Maybe you can use this list to make your holidays even more special next year!

8. St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day is a great holiday, but most Americans just grab a shamrock shake at McDonald's and call it a day. Some traditional meals for Saint Patrick's Day may include braised corn beef brisket and Irish soda bread. Most people don't really go out of their way to make something traditional for Saint Patrick's Day, so I think we need to step it up, America. 

7. Valentine's Day

chocolate
Alma Wang

Valentine's Day is a day full of chocolate and love.  The day is choc-full of all types of delicious sweets, and whether you're curing a heart break, embracing singleness or enjoying your significant other, it is 100% acceptable to eat until you can't breathe. The only bummer? If you don't have a sweet tooth, you're kind of out of luck. 

6. Cinco de Mayo

guacamole, salsa, chili, vegetable, pepper, sauce, tomato, nachos
Jacky Falkenberg

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, but it is also celebrated in the United States. Similar to Saint Patrick's Day, I am also concerned with how mainstream America celebrates Cinco De Mayo. Since it is a Mexican holiday, a lot of people venture out to Mexican restaurants and get chips and guac, quesadillas, and margaritas to celebrate.  

However, in Mexico, they typically eat mole poblano and camote on Cinco de Mayo. Therefore, this holiday is not highly ranked on my list because Americans could celebrate more authentically.

5. Fourth of July

cake
Jayna Goldstein

The 4th of July is the perfect time to make American flag-themed desserts (like these festive af cake balls), throw some food on the barbecue and enjoy light, fresh summer drinks. Enjoying some homemade treats while watching the fireworks provides for the perfect summer night.  It's not number one, but it sure is a great day for food... and America.

4. Halloween

goody, cream, sweet, cake, candy, chocolate
Amy Henson

Halloween is basically a spookier Valentine's Day because on Halloween it's also 100% okay to eat sickening amounts of chocolates and candies. In addition, there are so many ways you can be creative with your food; from ghost cookies to these little witches hats. I give it the approval rating much higher than Valentine's Day because there are so many more opportunities to be festive with your food. 

3. Easter

Easter brings lots of chocolate, candy, deviled eggs, and other easter bunny-related foods. This holiday occurs in the spring and it allows Christian families to have one last get-together before the summer gets in full swing. However, it's not all about the candy. Easter dinner is hearty and delicious. This is the perfect day to balance sweet and savory. 

2. Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving always brings full bellies and many leftovers. My favorite Thanksgiving food is stuffing because it has such an interesting and unique flavor. Almost everyone characterizes Thanksgiving by the food they eat, and they aren't wrong to do so. Thanksgiving is nearly the quintessential food holiday. 

1. Christmas

cream, cake
Isabelle Langheim

And the winner is.... Christmas! Christmas is my favorite holiday and in my opinion the holiday with the best food. My grandparents live in Maine, home of the lobster, so we always have lobster and wine for Christmas dinner, but there are a variety of different Christmas meals. Santa-themed cookies seem to be on everyone's dessert table, though! Christmas is one of the biggest holidays of the year, and the food goes along with it. Christmas cookies and Christmas dinner provide for the perfect eating combo to make this day the best of the year!