Over the holidays, I zero in on the big dinner meals. I obsess over turkeys and honey hams and side dishes and blackberry pies. When I’m hosting a family gathering, I go nuts trying to pull off an illusion of organization and the ability to decorate. (This usually involves last minute shopping at Ross for home goods and a lot of coordinating vaguely fancy paper products.) I look up recipes online and email relatives to try to remember how to make butternut squash casserole. In the midst of all the shopping lists and grocery trips and prep work and baking and counting plates, I completely forget about breakfast. (And as much as I love holiday leftovers, I don’t love turkey in my omelettes.)
The thing is, holiday breakfasts are sometimes the best breakfasts at all. Even if they’re cobbled together without much thought, they’re usually the best for just spending time together. This year, I didn’t host Thanksgiving for the first time in six years. On the morning after, I sat at my mother in law’s breakfast bar and drank coffee I didn’t have to make and watched my kids play in their pajamas. I ate some kind of weird sweet bread and picked the raisins out and indulged in the deep satisfaction of spending a holiday with loved ones.
Next month, on Christmas morning, I’ll be lucky if I remember to have my kids’ favorite breakfast foods stocked in the kitchen. But I know we’ll eat with piles of wrapping paper at our feet and coffee brewing and the kids hopping around impatiently while my husband tries to figure out how to navigate packaging. It isn’t about the food as much as the holiday music and the smell of a tree and the glow of twinkling lights and us.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with actually remembering that you need to eat meals in the morning during the holidays. This year, since I’ve been thinking more about breakfast to share my stories here, I’ve decided to actually plan for something nice for my kids while they’re out of school and we’re spending more time together in the mornings. I’m going to try baking a few things that we can eat together. Since I don’t bake often, it’s always a real treat for my kids. I’m thinking of trying banana bread and some muffins, and maybe something that incorporates some vegetables. I’ve seen some recipes using eggs and cheese and muffin tins, so I might try that too. (If I can find some time in between all the crazy planning that goes into the dinners... and the gifts.)
And while I don’t like turkey in my omelettes, pie for breakfast is always an option.