As a newlywed eager to start my own holiday traditions with my hubby, this year I decided to make a special Christmas morning breakfast.  For the first time in years, we did not have to rush off to any family obligations first thing Christmas morning.  Instead, we knew we’d have the morning to ourselves to spend time together, open presents and treat ourselves to coffee and breakfast.  I’m so glad our holiday plans worked out this way; as we hope to soon start a family, establishing this tradition during our first Christmas as husband and wife proved good timing, so that Christmas mornings in the future can be spent as a family, enjoying breakfast together and discovering surprises from Santa’s visit the night before.  For us, having a holiday tradition that centered around food made sense to us and, as a pastry chef, I was eager to take on the challenge of making homemade croissants to pair with our breakfast.

There’s a reason why Pillsbury’s pop-open cans of croissants are so popular–they’re delicious, easy and convenient!  Anyone who has made croissant dough from scratch knows how labor-intensive and tricky it can be.  The procedure in and of itself is not necessarily hard, but it is difficult to achieve a flaky, tender pastry without practice.  Even though it had been years since I first made croissants in pastry school, I could not shake the vision from my head of biting into a buttery croissant on Christmas morning.  And if my hypothetical, just-a-glimmer-in-my-eye children were going to enjoy these croissants as well, then I had better get practicing.

The how-tos on how to make the croissants might be the subject for another post, if anyone is interested.  I will, however, share the pictures of my results:

While my croissants tasted delicious, and looked appropriate enough to pass as croissants, I knew they weren’t perfect.  They could have been flakier, had more layers, puffed more while baking.  I can think of a million ways I would tweak the recipe next time I make them.  But, on Christmas morning, I let go of my perfectionism for a day and enjoyed the tradition we had created.  We had the lights on the tree, A Christmas Story on repeat in the background, a hot, homemade breakfast, and the two of us.  And, a tradition we will carry on through the years.  It won’t matter if my croissants ever turn out any differently.  What will matter is the love and care I put into them, the memories I’ll create while teaching my kids how to bake, and the time spent as a family.

If you celebrate, what are your favorite Christmas traditions?

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