And then, by Dec. 31st, I'm ready to burn it all down and never decorate again. I call it Christmas Claustrophobia, and it's a real thing. As much as my house is cluttered, I am not a clutter person. I can't stand it, but live with lots of people who seem to love it. It's the constant battle we fight over here, and on Dec. 31st, I feel a tiny victory as we shove all of the containers of Christmas decorations into the attic once again. It's not the Christmas bonfire I hope for at the end of every year, but a tiny battle won is a big deal to me.
It's been a good Christmas. I'm still not quite over morning sickness, but doing significantly better. I'm at about 70%. I was happy about that progress though because we still participated in many Christmas traditions, and then I was happy to let the rest fall by the wayside in favor of early bedtimes for myself.
The Sunday before Christmas, everyone got gussied up for church.
I debated back and forth on Christmas dresses and garb for the kids this year, and then a lady in my ward whose kids are grown surprised me with new Christmas clothes for the kids! She said she misses buying her own kids Christmas clothes. My kids looked so nice and fancy, almost like they were a part of a different family!
Dan wore his new suit for the service, and I felt fine about that being his only Christmas present this year. Because suits are pricey. But then I felt bad when he really didn't have anything else to open Christmas day. I probably should have done better.
Navy suits are my favorite.
Christmas Eve, we went to a ward member's house and had dinner with lots of fun folks and participated in several Swedish traditions. I found the almond in the rice pudding, thankyouverymuch!!
Christmas morning, everyone followed the old Beck family rule that we do NOT wake on Christmas until at least 7 AM! And then they all piled into our room for Dan's annual Christmas devotional. He bore his sweet testimony about the Savior and then invited us all to do the same. Which we did, except Gwen. I'm sure she would have if we had not asked her to do so. There are a lot of power struggle dynamics at play with that one.
I didn't take a lot of pictures of the gifts, but everyone was very happy. New toys, clothes, books and games.
And Grandma Kristi sent this very special art kit everyone loved.
And June loves her new winter coat from Grandma Sandy.
We took several breaks throughout the morning to play with toys and eat our traditional Christmas breakfast, which is biscuits and gravy and orange julius.
And it's been a very chill break since. Lots of reading (I've read two books!), movie watching and eating.
And I finally got my hair done.
And, not to be outdone, Gwen massacred her own hair. I'm in mourning.
WHY DO THEY ALL DO THAT?
And Harris fell off the stage at church and has a black eye. I tell ya, one week the Jolleys show up looking so nice in Christmas clothes, and the next week they show up like a bunch of ragamuffin hooligans.
Luckily, Gwen's hair can be covered up. But there are no ponytails or other updos in her future.
Lest you think we had any sort of calm, rational reaction to Gwen's happy scissor time, we didn't. We acted like buffoons. I screamed and cried, and Dan yelled at her "YOU ARE GOING TO LOOK SO WEIRD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU" on repeat.
And now, I have two more days of this Christmas break, and I'm hoping to read a bit more.