Reviewing December Too

Yesterday (New Years Day) at breakfast, I was looking at the tree and wondering if I should take it down or let it sit for a couple more days when I literally saw half a strand of lights go out.  I took it as a sign.  Christmas decoration must come down.  So I de-merrying everything, a bittersweet task for sure, but great quiet time for reflecting on the holiday season.  As Bethany mentioned, we both decided to take a bit of a blog hiatus in December.  I think that’s kind of key to surviving the holidays – pick a few things to ‘not do’.  We also didn’t watch any Christmas movies, or go ice skating, or go see any Christmas lights – all things that would’ve been fun but there’s always next year and we had no shortage of fun around here anyways. So here is what we Johnsons DID do. (And here’s Bethany’s December review if you missed it.)

First, there was an epic holiday costume creation event and accompanying trip to the tiny sad local mall’s Santa.  I told you all about Ransom’s costume.  Mine is made from a spare wig of my grandmothers and two Goodwill purchases (a jacket and a red bridesmaids dress).  I hand crafted August’s from red and green felt.  The money shot.

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People you may not recognize are my two brothers, their wives, and kiddos.  Santa is not, repeat NOT, a relation.  Some facebook folks seemed to think that was my dad.  We are a festive crew, are we not?

We did manage to take a real Johnson Christmas card photo, continuing our running tradition of hastily running out into the yard and using the self-timer. I ordered the prints on ‘metallic’ paper, which was very festive indeed.

christmascard

The Advent Nativity activity was a HUGE hit.  And, it absolutely accomplished its intended purposes – teaching Ransom the Christmas story and giving us something to focus on beside Santa.  Ransom opened one piece of the scene each night after dark.  I just reused the same little red box every night, super easy.  He was sure to remind me once the sun went down.  Several nights consisted of ‘two benches’ or ‘a bale of hay’ but Ransom loved them all.

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How cute is the little barn that August constructed?  Ransom of course added quite a bit of colorful commentary to the scene throughout the month.  There was lots of debate about who should ride what animal, who could cook the dinner, etc.  Prior to Jesus’s arrival on Christmas Eve, I often found this photographer visiting the stable… for a maternity session, no doubt.

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Maybe he’s just a tourist passing through… And now that Jesus is born, he and Joseph have primarily been taking safaris over in the African veld (gift to Ransom from my parents).

safari

Yes, the safari leader’s hair is already missing.  That reminds me, its high time to put the whole Nativity up before we lose any pieces.  Definitely will be doing it again next December.

Also notable: a new nephew arrived 2 weeks early – guess he didn’t want to miss Christmas this year.

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And of course, there was a lot of shopping, and crafting, and cooking, and eating.  I think I actually went through an entire bag of sugar, just in December.  There were several batched of cookies, a gingerbread cake, a pie or two.  Several rounds of peppermint hot cocoa.  Stews.  Breakfast casseroles.  Homemade waffles (Ransom’s fav).  We painted wrapping paper. We decorated the tree.  Things were bought and sold on Ebay.  Approximately a gagillion renditions of Jingle Bells.  Seven different family Christmas celebrations.  And then August and I both took the last week of December off work.  Hooray!  We wrapping things up by having a few new friends over for dinner on New Years eve, and then shooting $10 worth of fireworks off our little dock. It was a very Merry Christmas.

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About Mary-Hall

loyal southerner, exceedingly frugal, compulsive DIYer
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