When I moved back to Birmingham from Washington, DC several years ago, I began a tradition of cooking breakfast Christmas morning. I started this tradition because of childhood memories I have of my mam’maw Kennedy cooking breakfast on Christmas morning.
Living in Opelika as a child, as I have said before, we would have to travel to Birmingham for the holidays to spend time with my grandparents. Christmas Eve was spent at my grandma and granddaddy Chandler’s house in Birmingham. We had dinner and then opened presents. We weren’t allowed to open presents until all the dishes were washed and dried. During that time, my grandparents didn’t own a dishwasher, so the dishes had to be washed by hand. The grandchildren liked to speed things along so we would help wash them. After the evening’s festivities, we would leave their house and drive an hour north to my dad’s parents’ house in Blount County. We spent the night, Santa would visit and then my dad’s brothers and family would come to eat lunch.
Christmas morning would begin at 5 or 6 a.m. with my mam’maw rolling out dough for biscuits. There were no can or frozen biscuits served at her house, ever. She would use Christmas cookie cutters to cut the shape of the biscuits on Christmas morning and they would be served with grits, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. The bacon and sausage usually was from a pig my grandfather would buy near his farm. The warmth of the house and the smell of bacon cooking made a cold Christmas morning special.
Carrying on this tradition brings me closer to my mam’maw and her memory as well as memories of Christmas as a child. My dad loves that I cook breakfast every Christmas morning. He loves traditions, especially during the holidays. He usually texts me several times to make sure I am going to cook breakfast Christmas morning. “Yes, daddy, I am.”
My 2016 Christmas Breakfast Menu: