Deck the halls.Monday, December 16, 2013
We pulled out our Christmas decorations a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and I am so glad we've been able to appreciate them this long. We leave this week for AZ, where we will spend Christmas and New Year's with my parents, so I knew I wanted to have our decorations out and up for longer than 2 weeks! It has felt cheery and festive around here, and I am so thankful we have pretty things to help us usher in the season, as we practice waiting for Jesus.
I love the little space above. It's bright and happy and makes me smile. Alison and I made the paper stars, which I then strung on a string with pearls in-between. It turned out perfect, and I love the washi tape holding it on the wall. I also love that our snowman in the corner has feathers/sticks/pinecones/crab shells all around him - all the things the kids collect on walks or adventures at the beach! Oh, and please don't mind the fish bowl that needs a good cleaning...
Last year we made cinnamon ornaments, and this year we strung them on a pretty ribbon and tied them above the coffeemaker - it smells good, and adds just a little cheer when I get my coffee each morning!
Our advent calendar is hung on the back of our laundry room door - we've done some fun activities…cookie baking, a holiday lights parade, painting gift-wrap, coloring christmas coloring pages, clay ornaments, walks at night to see lights, hot cocoa & cookies, reading Christmas books, etc…all fairly easy, cheap activities, but still festive and meaningful, making memories and creating traditions!
Of course, we needed to hang our Tomten picture in the kitchen, and have our Santa/tree out on the counter. We decided not to put up a tree this year, since we were headed out of town. It's a little sad not pulling out all our ornaments (although does make for easier clean-up!), so I am glad we have a little tree up - plus, it's cute!
Our Christmas cactus is blooming! I was worried it was going to be too stressed this year, with us hauling it across country last spring, but it bloomed! So happy!
I hung up some lights above our tv. Since we passed on a tree, I felt we needed some lights. It's so fun having them on early in the morning, and in the evening. Adds just the right glow in the house!
Our nativity has grown over the years (thanks Gma!), and I am loving it! We had set it out on the trunk in the living room, but little hands couldn't stop playing with it, so it found a new spot on the bookcase - it's perfect, because we can see it, but now little hands can't reach ;)
This weekend, I remember we had a festive red tablecloth, and new Christmas napkins, so out they came! It added just the right touch at the table!
I love the Christmas season, and how it teaches us to pause and reflect on waiting for Jesus. How it reminds us to count our blessings, and give of ourselves. How we can celebrate His birth, His coming to us, how we cling onto Emmanuel - God with us. I love the sparkly trees, the twinkly lights, the thoughtful gifts, the piney smells. I love the weather changes, the crisp air, the festive mood. I love advent and reflecting on the coming of Christ, the pausing to remember what Christmas is really all about. It reminds me that there is hope and peace and joy and grace. And in the midst of busy and hard and demanding, in the bustle of to-do lists and parties, those are much needed reminders.
Oh come, oh come Emmanuel. May my heart be turned, may I be waiting patiently and expectantly, for You.