Fruitcake & Christmas Breakfast

A Tradition-ful Advent:

Fruitcake & Christmas Breakfast

A Little History:

Long ago, Christmas Eve was a day of fasting as people prepared their hearts to Celebrate the birth of Christ.  As you can imagine, on Christmas morning there was a lot of extremely hungry people.  For breakfast, porridge (a hot, thick, bland cereal similar to oatmeal) was served. As time went on, people began to add dried fruits, spices and honey to the porridge to make it a special Christmas morning treat.  With all these additions, the mixture was thick and stuff, so the cooks wrapped it in a cloth and dunked it into a big pot of boiling water… and Christmas pudding was born.  Sometime during the 16th century, flour was substituted for the porridge, eggs were added to hold it together, and the resulting treat became known as fruitcake!  When the terms “bread” and “cake” became interchangeable, they called in fruit bread.  The tradition of cooking a big breakfast to celebrate Christmas morning continues today, even though the tradition of fasting has not.
The Connection:

Even though most of us don’t bake our own fruitcakes anymore, we do still make our own breakfast breads and sweet rolls to give to neighbors or enjoy Christmas morning.  When we make these, remember that Jesus came as the “Bread of Life”.  He nourishes us with hope, healing, forgiveness and love, and we need him more than any physical nourishment.  Remember that more than the blessings he provides, we need to humble our hearts and be thankful for the giver of the gifts, this is the heart of fasting.  More than anything else, we need Jesus.  And at Christmas we are celebrating that He came to fulfill our greatest need.

Verse(s) to Remember:

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35

Ideas to Make it Stick:

  • Bake a Christmas bread together (maybe even fruitcake!) and enjoy for breakfast or take to a neighbor or to local servicemen.
  • Talk about what fasting means and how we can prepare our hearts for Christmas. Maybe do a fast together, if not food, from some other blessing.
  • Read John 6:25-51

Please feel free to share with friends and leave comments…  Do you have other connections between the tradition and the heart of the holiday?  Creative ideas to make it stick?  I’d love to know what you and your family do with this!


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