Christmas Morning ~ Traditions Evoke Emotions

Christmas traditions evoke memories you end up infusing into your own family. The tastes and smells… the tree and decorations… and the small things we make happen year after year all blend together to create the magic of our family traditions. It is all about preserving a “sameness” – a thread of belonging and familiarity that anchors who you are.

I think of tiny antique cranberry colored goblets in which our Mom {“Mommy Martha”} would serve frothy frozen orange juice to us along with her delicious breakfast casserole every Christmas morning. Even though Mom prepared a huge Christmas dinner (almost identical to the E-Mealz Holiday Plan), our traditional Christmas breakfast merited pulling out the fine china and crystal.

This one tradition fully justified our mother’s “Dish-order,” which we all inherited. Let me just say that whoever came up with chargers must be related to our family, because we are dedicated to the proposition that every plate needs a plate! (Our “dish-functionality” has deep roots, but more about that in another post.)

One thing my three girls have done all through the years, since they were very small children, is climb into one bed on Christmas Eve and wait for Santa’s surprises together (with vision of sugarplums dancing in their heads!) But for me, setting the table on Christmas Eve for our Christmas Breakfast is a central feature of our family experience. It is one of the few times of the year that we actually use our table finery, involve the kids in the process and set a perfect place (with Christmas napkins, of course!) for each member of our family. This announces to them that someone special is coming to breakfast!

Another element of our Christmas Breakfast tradition is the menu we have zeroed in on through trial and error. We finally settled on “Christmas Morning Blueberry French Toast” with a side of crispy bacon and fresh fruit. I have found it is important that the breakfast menu includes a recipe that that can be assembled the day before and refrigerated overnight.

The Christmas Breakfast table setting is in keeping with my decorations for the rest of the house, which I focus around the tree, the mantle and the dining room.  Making these three key areas of our family living space special for Christmas is do-able for me. But it is enough to create atmosphere to enjoy each other, visit with friends and the share the unique warmth of this precious time.

So, the tradition of Christmas Breakfast is a thread from my childhood that is woven into my own children’s lives. Even in the hustle of the holidays and the temptation to eliminate the hassle, I find it is more than worth the thought and effort. I guess that is what traditions essentially are… the determination to be intentional with our families and not give up!

I want you to know that I am pulling back this curtain into my life for you to encourage you. However, I know how easily an inspiration-intended word can invoke pain and stress. We ALL feel a twang of guilt that we don’t measure up to our parent’s example or to the traditions we enjoyed. But I guess a valid purpose of a little “parent guilt” is motivation for the important things in our lives that can get shoved aside. Our kids are worth the trouble of creating special memories to carry through their lives.

You may have seen in our Wordless Wednesday this week that my eldest daughter, Casey, is engaged and will be married this summer. So the traditions we have shared have not only create memories for my family, but also have strengthened our “heart-threads” to each other and are more important to me than ever. And I hope that in the future this thread will be woven into the lives of her children as well.

What “cranberry colored goblet” Christmas traditions have you enjoyed with your family?

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4 thoughts on “Christmas Morning ~ Traditions Evoke Emotions

  1. Donnie

    My hubby and I are snowbirds now and our families are all up north. When our sons were married their first Christmas they asked if it was a problem if they went to their new inlaws. Don & I said ” go where the best party is” and evidently it’s not at our house. When the grands were born they stayed at their house and all my DIL’s family came there for Christmas. We went to Florida. Not my ideal but we do see them all summer. My Christmas is now celebrated, in my mind,on July 4th. Be sure to put your bid in for your holiday time. I forgot to mention we were always invited to some of the celebrations but my hubby is rather antisocial…lol…

  2. Sarah Stirton

    Would you be willing to share the recipe for blueberry sizzle french toast? I need to “settle” on a Christmas morning recipe as well. Your home is LOVELY! I too will set the table Christmas Eve for Christmas morning breakfast, and I’ll use the good dishes too! thanks for the inspiration

  3. Barb

    Just wanted to let you know that I “ Featured” you on Santa’s Gift Shoppe Blog Hop today for your great project & inspiration! Be sure to grab the “I was featured” on Santa’s Gift Shoppe Button/Code for your sidebar! You deserve it! Thanks so much..If you’re not a follower already we’d love for you to join us…

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