Traditions : Holiday Breakfast

I love holidays. In fact, I love them all. I’ll celebrate just about any holiday, religious (I’m agnostic) or secular, provided they involve the following : joy, laughter, family, friends, food & fun.

My childhood was idyllic in so many ways : loving, caring parents, a slew of noisy, energetic sibs and a host of family traditions, especially around the holidays.

The holidays meant spending time with my grandparents and my extended family, and our celebrations were built on sharing stories (like the time my 5 year-old mum could hear Santa putting presents under the tree at the same time as she could hear our grandfather snoring! So it obviously wasn’t him…), singing holiday songs (very musical family), playing games (is it wrong to teach a 5 year-old poker?) and feasting on all the goodies that come with the season.

Now before you go barfing on your vegan shoes over the Hallmark Hall of Fameness of my memories, let me reassure you, my family was (is) as crazy and dysfunctional as the next one, but my childhood eyes were all but blind to the ills plaguing members of my immediate family. Nothing was hidden from us, but we focused on other things, more important things, like taking evening walks through the snow to look at the Christmas lights decorating the houses, making decorations out of construction paper and popsicle sticks. The good stuff.

One of my fondest holiday memories is of Christmas Day breakfast. After we’d gotten up far to early to open gifts and loot stockings, it was time for a feast of breakfast foods, and to add to the exceptional nature of the meal, we’d even drink orange juice from wine glasses! Wow. One of my favourite things were the pancakes. We didn’t eat them often as kids, so they were a real treat.


These are the pancakes I’ll be making this year to honor the tradition, Joni’s “No-Fail Buttermilk Pancakes”. These were the fluffiest, lightest pancakes I’ve ever made – hands down. This test recipe is for the “500 Vegan Recipes” book she and Celine are publishing. We’ve all got a “favourite” pancake recipe, right? Well, this one’s mine.

And here’s a little vegan cheese for the holidays. I’m a huge Bowie fan. I also love to listen to Bing belt out the holiday classics. I love this piece of nostalgia – that almost never happened – and the bittersweet memories that come with it.

29 thoughts on “Traditions : Holiday Breakfast

  1. I love the vegan cheese!!! It is great……I too have lots of happy, warm, barfy family memories from christmas – I say that you should scream them from the roof tops – there isn’t enough of those warm snuggly feelings/stories/moments in this consumer crazy world.

    The pancakes look amazing! Maybe I will make them tomorrow morning – it will be our first official day on holiday.

  2. Those are the fluffiest looking vegan pancakes I’ve ever seen. They look delicious!

    I was an only child and loved the extended family events around the holidays. I couldn’t get enough of all the people. My favorite was the vegetarian (by religious tradition) Christmas eve meal, ie pierogies!!

    Thank you for all your kind thoughts. I’m finally off the painkillers, hormonally balancing out and feeling more like myself. Now onto the Christmas baking!

  3. Oh Shellyfish, I almost crapped my pants with joy when I saw that video! Bowie and Bing! Best combo ever!

    As for breakfast, it’s actually the ONLY family meal we have on Xmas day. The whole fam (which isn’t very large) gathers at my Granny’s for a big ol’ breakfast and I always help veganize stuff for me to eat — tofu scrambles, homemade biscuits and gravy, hash brown, veggie sausage….yum, yum.

    Thanks for the pancake recipe. I’ve been searching for a good fluffy recipe as most of the ones I’ve tried end up flat (like the ones in VCon and VwaV). I’ll try these next time I get a hankerin’ for some pancakes.

  4. Only David Bowie can make Little Drummer Boy sound cool. I couldn’t stop laughing while watching that clip because I kept imagining Bowie dressed in his Jareth costume from Labyrinth! I just kept seeing Bing’s reaction in my mind, I don’t know why.

  5. I think me & my bro were always too eager to start ripping off wrapping paper to eat breakfast. mum & dad used to have to force us to eat some toast.

    All change now we’re ‘grown ups’ though. Maybe I’ll do us some pancakes this year, yours look so good!!

  6. i fell in love with Bowie when i was wee and saw The Labyrinth, i believe i was about 7 years old! aaaaaaaaaawwwwww! that man is awesome!

    your hoiday celebrations when you were wee brought back fond memories of mine. thank you, Shelly! i just took a few moments to reflect back on all the awesomeness that was christmas for me “back in the day”. maybe i can try and recreate some of that fun this year. and you’re right – family has its quirks – but you’ve gotta focus on the good, and not get caught up in the little things. we too drank oj from wine glasses – and my mom would make us the most scrumptious breakfast casserole (that we only ate once a year for christmas breakfast). thinking about it now you’ve inspired me to veganize it! superw00t!

    the pancakes look perfect! and hooray for get’n to be a tester! and no – 5 isn’t too young to be learning some poker!

  7. I wish I had a breakfast tradition for the holidays, but alas, breakfast it generally forgotten in all of the excitement. Pancakes sound like the perfect thing though, so perhaps this is the year to start my own tradition!

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