We always woke up at a ridiculous hour - 5 or 6 a.m.
My brother was first. He'd come to my room with both our stockings and shake my shoulder until I woke up. Then we'd go to his room and dump them on the floor, oohing and ahhing at the candies and tiny gifts, counting our treats and being angry/pleased based on who got more.
Sometimes we'd wait until what we considered a reasonable hour (6:30) to wake our parents. Other times we'd just barged into their bedroom and demand that they get up so we could converge around the tree.
Mom would make coffee while Dad assumed his position on the couch. Then, as quickly as I was woken up, it was over. There were empty coffee mugs, torn wrapping paper and crumpled bows littering the living room floor, like a holiday version of Saving Private Ryan.
Christmas was over just like that, and we began hoping, waiting and wishing for next year.
Once again the holidays have come and gone. This year was a doozy as I struggled to maintain my holiday cheer amid nasty retail shoppers and mounting work stress.
And to top it off, I didn't see any family for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year since we are in different countries and my job prevented me from taking time off. I've promised myself that this was the last Christmas I spend in retail, the last year I spend in Canada, so far from home, the last holiday season that is filled with self-pity.
In the end, Christmas morning was actually quite nice. Bobby, his mother and I exchanged presents that were all very thoughtful and full of love. We shared a giant pot of coffee and a decadent French toast casserole and watched holiday movies on TV.
But there were moments where I missed my family so much I couldn't breathe and the only thing to do was go upstairs, call my mom and have a good cry.
And then, as suddenly as Christmas Day began, it was over. The cycle renewed itself and I went to bed with a belly full of turkey and a stack of new books on my nightstand, hoping, waiting and wishing for next year.
Baked Croissant French Toast
This casserole is a simple but decadent meal that can be assembled the night
before or the morning of a special occasion. Just make sure to give the
croissants a couple of hours to soak in all the creamy, custardy goodness.
for the French toast:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 large eggs
6 day-old croissants, sliced in half
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
In a large bowl, whisk the milk, cream, sugar, salt, cinnamon and eggs until well blended. Add the blueberries and croissants, and place in the fridge to sit overnight. Stir occasionally to help the croissants absorb the liquid. If you're pressed for time, let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking. The bread won't be as soft and rich as if you let it sit longer, but it will still taste delicious.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9x13 casserole dish with the butter. Pour in the croissant mixture and spread it evenly in the pan with a rubber spatula. Bake in the center of the oven until no liquid rises when the center of casserole is pressed, about 30 minutes.
Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with maple syrup.
Welcome! I'm a pie-baking, dog-loving, antique-hunting patriot. I'm a fan of rustic home cooking, the Yankees and scenic drives through the mountains.