I caved. I admit. I talked the kids into not wanting to sleep under the tree one last time and within two hours, my home had forgotten that Christmas was yesterday. We didn't, but the home did! Everything is put away neatly, the house is clean and feels oh, so clutter free. I absolutely love every decoration twenty four hours before, but the next day, I'm ready to clean!
Doug is always amazed that I can put away in two hours, what took me three days to put out. It's so much less work to undo! He also doesn't get why it bothers me so to leave everything up, but for me, it's like this huge task calling my name, waiting to be done. I can't relax until everything is away, and then, it's time for me to take it easy! Now, to set up the card table and do the annual winter puzzle!
I found this awesome idea on Pinterest a few days ago. Use 8 ounce bell tumbler shaped clear plastic cups to store your Christmas balls. A layer of cardboard between each layer of ornaments. (I used the styrofoam cups for different shape ornaments.) After the decorations were put away, I read that you are supposed to glue the cups to the cardboard. Oops, I didn't do that. Then, I noticed on the top layer of my bin, in the picture, that one of the cups had turned over on it's side. BUT. The top layer was more than just cups. It had other decor for that tree, as well, so that probably was part of the problem. But, this idea is wonderful! Putting tree ornaments back into the boxes that they came in is a pain! A perfect, simple solution!
Here's the recipe for that nummy breakfast souffle that I made for Christmas morning brunch. Try it, you'll love it!
French Toast Strata
1- cups french bread (I used one loaf)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup cream (I used whipping cream, but the original recipe called for half&half)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound Jimmy Dean Sausage
more maple syrup
Eight hours before: Brown the sausage and crumble. Drain and set aside. Cut one loaf of french bread into 1" cubes. Spread evenly into a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan. Pour the sausage over the bread. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, one at at time, whipping in between each egg. Add milk and cream, syrup, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Pour egg/milk mixture over the bread and sausage. Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, remove from the refrigerator, and let it sit on the counter, at room temperature, for thirty minutes. Bake in preheated oven, at 350 for 40 minutes or until golden brown and a knife comes out clean. Pour maple syrup over the baked strata and then sprinkle powdered sugar over top of that. (I didn't pour the syrup on the baked strata. I served it with syrup on the side, so that everyone could have the sweetness that they preferred. Being married to GranolaMan, this works.) SO SO NUMMY! ENJOY!
Tuesday plans... finish our Pirates of the Caribbean Marathon, games and lunch at Carol's, some more pondering about 2012 goals while working on the puzzle, a possible date with Doug and Tom Cruise and more "chillin'". I changed out my Franklin Planner to 2012 and noticed that next year's Christmas break doesn't start until Monday, Christmas Eve, which means that if he's on the same work schedule, Doug will have almost two weeks off for Christmas Break! I'm looking forward to that already! One last thought... is it me or are the Pirates movies confusing? ;)