Hosting the Perfect Holiday Brunch
Admittedly, I love a good brunch any time of the year, but there is just something so fun and festive about a winter holiday brunch! It’s the perfect celebratory meal for Christmas and New Year’s Days for several reasons:
Perfect timing. Your kids may get you up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, but opening gifts trumps making breakfast! And after the late-night revelry of New Year’s Eve, most folks aren’t in a hurry to get up bright and early on January 1. Brunch is a better choice for the first meal of the day in either case, especially if you’re hosting guests.
Crowd-pleasing menu options. A good brunch menu has a little something for everyone, with a mix of sweet and savory options to please kiddos and grown-ups alike. A must-have component to holiday brunch at our house is a sugar-cured ham, because it goes equally well with breakfast or lunch dishes.
Make-ahead magic. Many brunch dishes can be made ahead of time, which means you get to spend more time with your family and friends and less time in the kitchen! One of my favorite memories of Christmas Eves as a little girl was helping my grandmother put together her famous cinnamon pull-apart bread; I’d roll the little balls of dough in cinnamon sugar and she’d layer them in a Bundt pan. On Christmas morning, all she had to do was put it in the oven to bake while we opened our presents. How’s that for making memories AND saving time?
Brunch helps everyone help themselves. Buffet-style serving is a natural choice for a brunch, which makes for a more relaxed, familial setting. To me, this is what a kitchen island is made for! We cover every inch of ours with food and let friends and family serve themselves. Sometimes I’ll just step back and observe the scene: everyone crowded around the kitchen island, laughing and chatting and just having a great time. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about, really?
Here’s a fun idea: add a little extra flair to your holiday brunch by setting up a couple of DIY drink stations—a hot chocolate bar for the kids (and kids at heart!) and a mimosa bar for the adults. They’re a fun indulgence for the holidays and act as a bridge from opening presents or the arrival of guests to serving time, giving everyone a chance to visit with each other while the last-minute meal preparations are being made.
Does that not look like so much fun? I know my kiddos would be in heaven with a hot chocolate bar like that! Use your crockpot to keep the hot chocolate warm (but make sure to keep it out of reach of tiny hands!).
Let’s face it: brunch just isn’t brunch without mimosas! Let the grown-ups toast the season with a make-your-own mimosa station. In addition to the standard orange juice, consider offering blood orange juice (my personal favorite!) for a change of pace. And don’t forget the cranberry juice for making Poinsettias (cranberry juice and champagne cocktails).
We’ve got plenty more ideas, inspiration, and recipes for you on our “Let’s Do Brunch!” pinboard, so be sure to check it out! And don’t forget to visit Tuesday Morning for everything you’ll need to pull off your holiday brunch in style, from tableware to cookware to gourmet food and more!