My Mother's Perfect Christmas Morning Breakfast Menu

Here’s how to make it your own.

Christmas morning—whether you're a kid opening up presents or an adult getting to watch the joy unfold (and being showered in scatterings of wrapping paper)—goes by in a flash. All of a sudden, the festivities are underway and the stomachs are starting to rumble. In our house of four hungry kids, my mother knew better than to wait to have Christmas morning breakfast settled; and after years and years, she's honed the absolute perfect menu to appease us all and anyone who dropped by. Now that I'm grown, I help her set up the whole spread, which we serve on the kitchen island family-style on Santa plates and Christmas tree serving platters. It's become one of our most beloved traditions to look forward to each year.

A mix between festive holiday favorites and make-ahead crowd-pleasers, her Christmas breakfast menu is the reason our aunts, cousins, grandparents, and friends all happen to make an appearance by noon—the usual if you're from a small town like we are. Sweet, savory, and occasion-worthy, these dishes come together for the easiest special meal ever. (And can all be made ahead of time!) So if you're looking to jazz up your celebrations at home this year, look no further than these recipes to see you through another holiday season. Cheers!

01 of 05

Christmas-Morning Coffee Cake

Christmas-Morning Coffee Cake
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist Audrey Davis

Recipe: Christmas-Morning Coffee Cake

Coffee cake is my mother's favorite thing served in our house on Christmas, and it's also the first thing people gravitate towards on the counter. It's the only time of year she'll make any sort of coffee cake recipe, and it makes delicious leftovers to snack on the rest of the week.

02 of 05

Bisquick Sausage Balls

Goat Cheese-and-Olive Mini Tarts
Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Mindi Shapiro

Recipe: Bisquick Sausage Balls

My dad started making these to add to the breakfast spread, well, because he loves sausage balls like a dog loves peanut butter. He typically makes a huge batch that will last us a couple of days—and to avoid any fights over the last ball standing.

03 of 05

Cheddar Cheese Grits Casserole

Cheddar Cheese Grits Casserole
Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Rose Nguyen

Recipe: Mini Cheese Grits Casserole

She doesn't fool with the mini ramekins, because she knows we'll all be going back for seconds. Instead, she opts for a baking dish. This is always the first dish to be scraped clean, and it's the one that our extended-family fights over by racing over to our house before it's gone. It can be made ahead and baked the day of.

04 of 05

Broccoli Quiche

Asparagus-and-Goat Cheese Quiche
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Asparagus-and-Goat Cheese Quiche Recipe

Her recipe for broccoli quiche single-handedly taught two of my younger siblings to like the mean green veggie. As we've gotten older, we've started to switch up her go-to with new renditions like this asparagus quiche recipe. It can be made ahead and reheated, though she usually makes it the day of.

05 of 05

Buttermilk Pancakes

The Original "Pam-Cakes"
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Easy Homemade Pancakes

Ah, now the star of the show. My mother makes the best pancakes. Full stop. For my family, it just wouldn't be Christmas without smelling her pancakes cooking away, so she makes a batch that would feed an army and we snack on them for days.

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