Being Flexible with our Gifts and Challah French Toast

Our friends gave us fresh, delicious Challah Bread, and Jeannie’s beautifully written recipe (and art) for Challah French Toast Breakfast Recipe.

One of the ways to give during the holidays is to get together with friends for a meal where everyone contributes.

The gift of food.

There are families who choose to no longer give gifts during Christmastime, but instead just spend time together.

The gift of togetherness.

Or the families who give of their time, to serve another family or those who are “without.”

The gift of time.

Giving homemade instead of buying at the store.

A gift of love.

And then, do you raise your kids to not give gifts of monetary value during Christmastime, and do the above, or continue the tradition shopping, wrapping, giving …

I’ve gone through the many seasons of giving in my lifetime. Being a young girl, a single woman, then married. Having children changed everything, at least for a time.

Now we’re coming out of that season and our kids are embarking on “young adulthood” … which may bring us full-circle to no gifts?

I’ve learned to embrace people’s views on gift-giving. I believe that gift-giving is a love language. Some people love to give. Others decide “we don’t give any more–it’s about being together.” Some do that not out of pride, but to fight materialism. I give a hearty amen to this, but at the same time a new season will come along (like having children) and will we be willing to change our traditions?

The gift of material gifts.

Every year, gift-giving has been different for our family. We’ve never been extravagant because we couldn’t afford to be.

But I’ve learned one thing: flexibility.

Being able to bend and do things a little different each year.

Our friends Minor and Jeannie always give the gift of “time” or “food”, last year giving us our Christmas Day Breakfast using a fresh loaf of Challah bread.

How fun was that?

Very fun! I really looked forward to Christmas morn, because breakfast was all laid out for our family to enjoy.

All wrapped up – fresh, delicious Challah Bread, and Jeannie’s beautifully written recipe, and Minor’s art!

The directions were easy and clear.

And now, my gift is to share the recipe with you!

This year, what is the “love language” of giving from your family? Time, gifts, food … ?

Challah French Toast

Great for Christmas morning. Makes 8 large slices. Original source from Ina Garten.


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or 1/2 & 1/2
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 loaf Challah bread
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. oil


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Prepare the above ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together.

Soak the slices of bread in egg mixture for 5 minutes.

Heat 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil in a frying pan. Add the soaked bread and cook 2-3 minutes on each side.

Place in the heated oven to keep warm until served.

Serve with warm maple syrup or raspberry preserves with sifted confectioners sugar.

Great for Christmas morning. Makes 8 large slices. Original source from Ina Garten.

All images and text ©

13 comments on “Being Flexible with our Gifts and Challah French Toast”

  1. We are Jewish and my Aunt makes the most incredible homemade challah bread. Let me tell you, it makes the best French toast!! Love your thoughts on family, love and Christmas gifts. :) (We celebrate Christmas, too.)

  2. I love this post! Not only for the recipe but for the message. Sharing of oneself and being together as a family is the most important thing! My beautiful daughter was born (27 yrs ago) on December19th after losing my first daughter full term. She made me realize that she was the most important thing – much better than the frenzy of buying gifts. The gift of family s precious!

  3. My love language always ends up being food. It’s been that way since I was five years old, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I love the loaf of bread gift idea. Perfect for the neighbors!

  4. Thank you for sharing the french toast recipe…it looks scrumptious! I love to bake, and always make tons of different cookies to “gift” to friends and family, so I guess my “love language” is the gift of time. I buy store boughts gifts, too, but I love to share my favorite desserts with loved ones! Merry Christmas to you and your family, Sandy!

  5. This is a beautiful post. You always inspire me! Love this French toast. Merry Christmas to you, sweet friend!

  6. Amazing!! What a wonderful gift and what a wonderful post, Sandy! You’re so beautiful, so glad I know you! :D

  7. Such a great post. We have always loved getting gifts for others (friends and family). Over the years that has changed at times due to finances. This year we are only doing gifts for our girls…at first I thought “gee that seems selfish”, but there are so many people we’d love to give gifts to that it would be too hard to decide who gets gifts and who doesn’t. One thing we always did with our girls gifts is to write meaningful notes to them on each gift and before they could open them they had to read the message. I still do it. We’ve also at times adopted families and given gifts. Whether the gifts were store bought or handmade, they were always well thought out and with lots of love.

    The recipe sounds yummy too

  8. Love the idea of food as a gift. Loved this post!

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  10. Beautiful dish. Merry Christmas Friend!!

  11. The receipe is amazing. My little 10 year old critic really love the challah french toast.

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  13. This looks like the perfect Sunday morning breakfast!

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