every Christmas Day, i cover a few hours at the hotel so that other employees have a chance to spend part of the day with their families. it's a nice little routine for me... i get to do the crack-of-dawn present-opening with jack, enjoy some breakfast casserole and coffee, stop by my sister's to see the cousins...
and then, it's usually time for me to take a break from the chaos of the day. (this year, it was time for me to take a break from the 6 1/2 year old looking up his nose with the new eyeclops.)
the thing about hotel on Christmas Day is that none of the guests are actually here. they are at their family and friends' homes, enjoying present-opening and breakfast casseroles of their own. these four hours will be blessedly quiet, and i've come prepared to spend the entire time blogging!!
let's start off with some Christmas presents that we made to share with our family. first up, some *house sparkle.* i found this "recipe" at amy rue last year, and i filed it away in the recesses of my mind. it is, very simply, baking soda and essential oils - a totally natural, yummy smelling cleanser or laundry additive. you might think giving multi-purpose cleanser is an odd idea for Christmas. maybe it is, but could you resist the cute packaging?? thanks to this past year of blogging, i now have an arsenal of ribbon, canning jars (*multi-purpose jars*), graphic design ideas, and inspiration!!
on sunday, we took the cousins to portrait innovations. holy moly, what an operation! in the span of 10 minutes, we had 71 shots to choose from. we walked away with about 36 sheets of photos in 30 minutes - can you say Christmas presents galore for grandparents and far-away relatives?!? you also get a disk of all of the shots. so how could i resist whipping up some ornaments for my sisters (also known as the moms of the cousins.) once again, the blogosphere offered up an amazing idea, this time via jill.
who was the mom who was baking up cookies at 10 pm last night for Santa? that would be me... a slight oversight on my part yielded NO carrots and only leftovers from the cookie exchange to lay out for the jolly old elf. thanks to all of you baking bloggers out there who inspire me to have a pantry full of staples!
you can see that Santa and his team of reindeer were pretty hungry by the time they got to our house!
when i finally had a chance to sit down and relax in the glow of the Christmas tree, what a joy it was to look over the *other* tree in the room. so many new faces and families and stories represented here. hope you are all having a most wonderful Christmas Day!!