What you want on Christmas morning -- a house that effortlessly fills itself with joyous sounds and delicious aromas. What you usually get on Christmas morning -- towers of wrapping paper, hermetically sealed toys that can be opened by no human and a kitchen that demands way too much of your attention.
I can't help you with the wrapping paper or packaging, but I can make your holiday breakfast a little easier. I'm a big believer that Christmas morning is meant to be spent under the tree, not at the stove. And yet I still want the house to fill itself with delicious aromas.
My solution? A do-ahead breakfast casserole that I can prep the night before, then just pop into the oven to bake unattended while gift insanity commences. So this year I created an indulgent dish that is equal parts casserole, hash browns, fruit crumble and French toast. Because ... why not? It's Christmas.
This recipe makes plenty so it's easy to feed a crowd, particularly if you have guests joining the fun closer to brunch. The leftovers are easily reheated. I like it served with a drizzle of maple syrup. But if you'd rather take this in a savory direction, add chopped ham when combining the potatoes and cheese.
• J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets @JM--Hirsch. Write him firstname.lastname@example.org