The countdown is on to Christmas. I AM NOT READY! I've got to have a marathon online shopping session tonight. Yes, online is my preferred method of shopping. All of the decorating has been completed so we really are enjoying the season. Both of the kids are home from college so that's a gift in itself.
I'm excited about today's post because it is special. It gives me the opportunity to share a few family traditions with you.
A huge thank you to my dear friend, Laura from Duke Manor Farm, for the idea and organizing the small tour. Laura is one of the first friends I made in the blogging world. I'm looking forward to learning about her traditions as well as the other talented gals! Be sure to follow along to the end of the post to visit the other girls!
We have several holiday traditions. I'm sure they may even be similar to yours! I'll share them along the way as we tour our Christmas kitchen. It was a hot mess when it was time to photograph my Christmas Tour that went live last week. You can tour it HERE! So it didn't make the cut!
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Many great times have been had around this kitchen table. When this space will accommodate, we usually eat here with family and friends opposed to the more formal dining room.
It has become a family tradition that we host a Christmas morning breakfast…late morning that is. It small with just the 4 of us and my 2 step-daughters. We really have a great time catching up over a hearty breakfast and opening gifts with each other. We've been doing this for a long time now.
I always have the table set with place cards that I made several years ago. I can't believe they are still intact and that I can actually locate them year after year.
We all look forward to this breakfast! Kind of funny, but we have the same breakfast each year. If it ain't broke I guess don't fix it. I like the breakfast because we can make it the night before which makes Christmas morning enjoyable and carefree.
Some of our traditions actually start on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is my birthday, and with the kids I've always tried to make it about Christmas Eve and not by birthday. So we compromise a bit. Years ago, we started celebrating my birthday with my family sometime before the day. It was just too much trying to do my birthday on the day before Christmas. Besides, I wanted to make Christmas Eve about Christmas Eve. I love how we've been spending this day for many years now!
Every Christmas Eve, the kids and hubby take me to a nice lunch then we go to a movie. I get to choose, but I try to pick something we all will enjoy or a Christmas movie if one is out. My son keeps letting me know that a new Star Wars movie will be out then. UGH….not a fan, but we will see.
After to movie, we come home and all contribute to get breakfast prepared for the next day.
Our Breakfast Menu is:
- Breakfast Casserole
- Cheese Grits Soufflé
- Fresh Fruit
- Coffee and Juice
You can find the Reindeer Placecards HERE. They are an easy at home print! All you need is a little ribbon and a hole punch.
The Breakfast Casserole is a great make-ahead dish and quite the crowd-pleaser. Last year we also made the Cheese Grits Soufflé the night before and it was great!
We tell ALEXA to play a Christmas jam, and we make it fun in the kitchen. With everyone pitching in, we finish in no time!
The kids absolutely love the next tradition! When we were little, mom gave us new pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. I guess girls enjoy it more than boys. They don't get too excited when they get to open 1 gift on Christmas Eve and it's PJs! I sure love it!
We all get comfy in the family room. Hubby starts a real fire for us, and we watch a Christmas movie or 2.
No cooking dinner on Christmas Eve. I usually have a cheese plate we can throw together quickly, and we pop popcorn of course.
And since it is my birthday, after all, mom gets to pick at least one of the movies with no groans or smart looks! HE-HE!
Here is the first look at our Christmas tree finally decorated. We don't do a fancy decorated tree in here. I do have one in the foyer. Would you believe that we just got the ornaments on it Tuesday night! That was the first chance with the kids in college that we could do another tradition….decorating the tree as a family. I had the tree in our home tour that you can find HERE with just the lights on it. I refused to go ahead and decorate it. It is such fun doing this together. The kids wouldn't admit it I am sure. It's a joy going down memory lane as we pull out the ornaments. We laugh at the photo ornaments of the kids when they were little. We purchase ornaments on our travels so it's fun to reminisce about those trips.
My mom made the Wizard of Oz ornaments when we were kids! They are made with felt, beading, sequins, and embroidery floss. They are so intricate and gorgeous. She gave them to me a few years back. I cherish them and DO NOT put them in the attic. I wrap them in tissue and place them in a drawer safely with the cross-stitched stockings that my mother-in-law made us.
I surprised the kids this year with the tree. I haven't done this in many years, but I strung 2 strands of colored lights deep in the tree. Then there are large and small clear bulbs. They love the hint of colored lights. Of course, they'd love for me to go full-on color. Who knows??? I might just really surprise them for one year.
These are simple traditions, but they are ritually performed with love and care each and every year. I hope to see one day the kids carry on some or all of these traditions with their own families and add a few new ones of their own.
Here is our yummy Breakfast Casserole that we have every Christmas morning. You make it the night before to make the big morning carefree. I'm going to do my best to share the Cheese Grits Soufflé with you first part of next week.
I made it in a 9×12 dish by mistake, but it was just as good just a little thinner. I typically make it in a an 7x11.5 (2 quart) Pyrex. It's thicker with fluffier eggs in this dish.
- 5 slices of Pepperidge Farm White Hearty Bread Slices cubed crust and all
- 1 Pound of your choice of ground sausage (tube kind) cooked, crumbled and drained
- 12 ounce block of sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 teaspoon of dried mustard
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon on Tabasco
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Spray 2 quart dish with cooking spray
- Place the cubed bread in the bottom
- Distribute the cooked sausage on top
- Sprinkle with all the cheese
- Combine eggs, milk and the rest of the ingredients and pour on the top
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
- In the morning, place on the counter for about 15-30 minutes to get to room temp
- Bake uncovered for about an hour or until lightly browned, bubbly and set in the center
- I have baked this in a 9x12 (3 quart Pyrex) for a a thinner slice. I do prefer it a bit thicker in a 8 X 11.5 inch (2 quart Pyrex or similar sized 2 quart)
Check out all of the Christmas traditions from the ladies below!
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