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Some Southern family Christmas traditions stem rode over on the boat with my ancestors from jolly Old England, Scotland and France. I’m not sure how my folks picked and chose the ones to keep and which ones to toss to the side but I see more than a few right out of some of Charles Dickens’ stories.

Maybe when my kin decided to flatboat down to Natchez and New Orleans they had to make do with what they had on hand and thus the southern aspect of the holidays was born. Whatever the origin of their festivities, Southerners have their own way of celebrating Christmas. Contrary to popular opinion, not all of them involve discharging firearms into the night sky or sitting around a still waiting on some unsuspecting Yankee to happen by to have a little fun with.

Most of my favorite holiday traditions involve food. For the main meal, the meat has to be impressive. A huge, golden turkey or ham decorated with pineapple slices and red maraschino cherries are the optimal choices. However, one year when I was a kid we had a standing crown rib roast. I can remember wondering if the decorations on the ribs were edible. These Christmas menus could not be categorized as southern family Christmas traditions as they date back centuries.

Return to Oooh Baby Baby Parenting and Environmental Issues to see more Christmas menu ideas and how we are spending the holidays.

However, there is one unique family Christmas tradition that may be completely southern or at least American in origin. That would be our Christmas breakfast menu.

Here is what was on the breakfast menu on Christmas day every year when I was growing up.

  • Quail
  • Angel or Bride’s Biscuits
  • Gravy
  • Homemade Preserves

At times the quail were smothered in gravy and there were times when I seem to remember that they were southern fried kind of like chicken. Perhaps the reason that this meal stands out in my memory is because it was never repeated at any other time of year. I will list more of my southern family Christmas traditions after I mark a few items off my list of Christmas details to take care of before tomorrow.