I've been thinking about this virtual world we live in, and all of the blogging and pinning and comparing that comes with it. Here's what I think: No one really cares what you wear, or what you do, or how you decorate your house. So just be yourself. And wear what you like best. And do what feels right for you. And decorate your home so that you want to be there. Post pictures of it all somewhere if you want to. Or not.
Anyway, here is a cheery wreath, complete with mistletoe and our homey tree full of sentimental ornaments. Plus some presents! The kids have been so good about the presents. They rearrange them every once in a while, but so far no peeking. They are much more mature about it than I ever was at their age.
Some Christmas-related notes:
Mike still does all of the Christmas shopping around here and it is probably the best gift he could ever give me. He is thoughtful and generous, all while staying within the confines of our budget. I'm not sure how he does it, but I am ever so grateful. I would be a total stress case if I was in charge.
Every year I let my children pick out a new ornament. We label it with their name and the date, so someday when they leave our home for their own, they will have a box of ornaments to take with them. I always put up the lights and the red and gold strings that I inherited from my grandmother, but I let the kids do the rest. Uneven placement only lends the tree character, I think.
You can see my felt nativity advent there in the stairway. It is still my kids' favorite decoration, and opening each little box and putting up a new piece is the first thing that happens every morning. A nice reader, Jessica, made a template of my nativity a few years ago. You can find it and make your own here.
I am gathering recipes for the treat plates we give to our neighbors, and I think these peppermint chocolate crackles just made the cut. I'm also thinking about including pumpkin bread (because, duh) and caramel layer cocoa squares. (I don't believe I've ever shared this recipe and that needs to be remedied asap.) Maybe gingerbread men, too? Sure!