Of the numerous "Christmas" cook books, Paul Levy's The Feast of Christmas is without doubt my favourite, combining as it does, a literate and erudite examination of Christmas customs and folklore, and some excellent recipes from the likes of Ken Hom, Claudia Roden, Frances Bissell, Raymond Blanc and M.F.K Fisher. Apparently, on Christmas Day they all gather around Paul's scrubbed kitchen table, and take turns to cook. Can you imagine?
The "Feast of Christmas" was published by Channel 4 to co-incide with his Channel 4 television series, made back in 1992; when Channel 4 was a challenging and intelligent television channel, rather than what it has become now. In the good old days, before they churned out cheaply-made dross. Before Big Brother. You should be able to buy a second-hand copy of "The Feast of Christmas" through either amazon.co.uk or abebooks.co.uk for a very affordable price. I've currently got a paperback copy, and need to upgrade to the hardback.
There are other Christmas books on the market: Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities, and that old chestnut, Delia Smith's Christmas. They are both still on the bestseller lists. I've got mixed feeling about both of those two. Delia's recipes are often good (I detect the influence of Simon Hopkinson), but there is just something too perfectionist and goody-goody (butter's a sin!) about her style.
Nigella's the opposite: she looks fab (a lip smackin' mid-life fantasy), but I'm disturbed by all the late night 'fridge raiding "finger in the taramasalata" stuff going on- and I hate to say it, I'm not sure that her slightly mucky recipes are up to the ticket, either. Dunno.
Elizabeth David's Christmas is another good 'un. Published after her death, and edited by Jill Norman, Elizabeth David's Christmas includes 150 Christmas recipes from her private papers. These include Marcel Boulestin's "Turkey, Roast Capon with Tomatoes and Rice and Walnut Stuffing", "Fish Consommé", and "Lemon and Celery Sauce".