The celebrations began with Oregon/BYU basketball. Jim took the girls and I babysat for the friends sitting just to the right of him so they could have a date night. She and I are both preggers, though about a month apart. It was a win/win since I don't really love stadium stairs or seats right about now. As fate would have it, they were all on television during a time out. One of Jim's young men saw it and took a screen shot, which has by now gone viral in our world of about 5-6 concerned parties.
The primary kids did a nativity pageant during sharing time on Sunday. Since I'm in junior primary for one more week I was able to see Ellie. I've got to say that this was cute, but the highlight of church was when Darion outed his brother and disclosed to the entire room that Joel has a crush on Ellie. Joel is on the far left, and this was not exactly news to either Ellie or me. It was however downright awesome and brought some entertaining giggles from the other kids and adults around.
I didn't have the energy to make gingerbread so the girls and I made graham cracker houses on Christmas Eve instead. They had a great time and accommodated my no-snacking-on-candy-till-we're-all-done request far better than I'd expected. I caved long before they did.
The plan for the day was to get up (still in our Christmas Eve jammies), open Santa gifts, and then have coconut waffles from this recipe we're completely obsessed with. Even Ellie liked them, but we were stealthy and didn't let her know there was coconut involved until after she had eaten them. It worked and she actually liked them. After breakfast we planned to proceed to the rest of the gifts. It was far less torturous than the wait until all adults are up, showered, dressed and have eaten, then search for your hidden stocking patterns I grew up with. I will say Christmas morning lasts far longer the other way though.
Our tree was pretty sad this year. My little Black Friday special prelit tree purchased in years gone by with no space or money is starting to run it's little life to the ground. The bottom strand of lights no longer works at all, and frankly it's not tempting to sit and test each and every bulb just to get it lit again. Nor do I care to go out and buy lights to slap on top. This is perhaps the most obvious difference in my attitude this year. Normally, it would drive me crazy until I did something about it. This year my mind is on so many other things that it's become very low priority to me. I'll worry about it next year when I'm not pregnant or insane. Unless of course I'm still insane. I think next year I may splurge on a tree stand so we can take advantage of the gorgeous and affordable fresh Christmas trees at least once while we live in Oregon.
Aeryn's major Santa gifts included this Monster High high school set up and a Monster High toybox.
Ellie didn't want to take a moment to look at me as she was far too excited... but she got a new scooter and a soft knotted quilt kit as her larger Santa gifts.
These few phone pictures are pretty much the extent of our Christmas documentation this year. Now at 37.5 weeks I'm dealing with a lot of swelling and battling carpel tunnel as a result. It's definitely not my favorite thing, and really affects what I'm able to do. I woke this morning and picked up the camera to realize that I hadn't enough strength or feeling in my hands to hold it, let alone take pictures. It was discouraging, but honestly made it much easier to just be in the moment and forget about separating myself as a photojournalistic observer. I love having nice pictures, but sometimes I also love not worrying about it and being a part of normal life.
We got the kids Lego Rock Band and are using it as pretty much a karaoke deal until we get all the instruments from Jim's parents house. We also have the Beatles version. They love it. There are few things funnier than the kids trying to sing songs they have never heard.
After the insanity of the day was done (nice and early), we just hung around and enjoyed a quite relaxed pace for the rest of the day. I had to laugh when I saw that Ellie wanted to spend almost an hour playing with this wind up Lego car that I've had since I was a kid. Her favorite gifts today included a small Rudolph toy she'd asked for specifically, and a soccer goal and goalie gloves from her dad. It was only 36 here today so she didn't stay outside with either the scooter or the soccer stuff for very long.
Aeryn spent the majority of the day playing with her Monster High high school set up. Jim picked this one out too (for Santa, since he sometimes wants suggestions) so I'd say he is the yearly winner for favorite gift selector. He seriously rocked it.
It was fantastic. There was no stress, I took a nap, Jim went running, and the girls got to eat junk food and run amok most of the day. In a year or so I'm sure I'll care about being Martha again, but for this year low key has been delightful and quite a relief. Now that the 25th is over and we know we won't end up with a Christmas baby, we're a little more anxious for that adventure to start.