Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas house

We've been scaling things back here at home this year. We are trying hard to have less. (I think I need to write more about this another time.) When I got the Christmas decorations out a couple of weeks ago, I put up our favorites and immediately donated the rest. I'm not sure why I had been hanging onto some of those things, anyway. Getting rid of them felt so good. Keeping just our favorites makes for a simple, cozy Christmas, and that is my favorite kind.

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.

Right?


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!

13 comments:

  1. Love your thoughts...and your beautiful simple decorations.

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  2. Exactly right :)

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  3. What a great post and I agree with you on the scaling back. The kids don't seem to mind and I feel so much better about the whole thing. Your tree looks perfect and I love your red wreath!

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  4. Love your Christmas tree. It's beautiful. I'm always trying to pare down out possessions. However, with four kids, it's hard. I'd love to read another post on your thoughts and how your doing it.

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  5. Exactly right! We have been scaling back as well and it feels amazing. Love your tree!

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  6. As you know, I agree with everything stated here, especially the thing about Caramel Layer Cocoa Squares.

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  7. love the tree. and i feel the same way about the virtual world. it can be good, but sometimes, i find myself saying, do i need to look on facebook so much? or blog or pinterest? sometimes pinterest makes me feel i don't have a cute house or i'm not crafty enough or the right kind of crafty. So i just stay to recipes. anyway, love the ornaments for the kids. we do the same thing. My YW leader did that and i've remember how cool i thought it was. my kids love it. macy picked a pink little kitchen for her ornament this year. she holds it around the house saying how much she loves it. good job on scaling back.

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  8. love the tree. and i feel the same way about the virtual world. it can be good, but sometimes, i find myself saying, do i need to look on facebook so much? or blog or pinterest? sometimes pinterest makes me feel i don't have a cute house or i'm not crafty enough or the right kind of crafty. So i just stay to recipes. anyway, love the ornaments for the kids. we do the same thing. My YW leader did that and i've remember how cool i thought it was. my kids love it. macy picked a pink little kitchen for her ornament this year. she holds it around the house saying how much she loves it. good job on scaling back.

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  9. I have been doing the same...each year I get rid of the stuff that we did not put up. I even went through the boxes and threw away the lights that only half work! I think Maesyn was disappointed we did not have more to put up. We will probably craft and make more ornaments for the tree. A lot of mine are hand made or hacked from other ornaments. I love them, so I don't get rid of them.

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  10. Your home is beautiful. I love the wreath - and I'm amazed your husband does the Christmas shopping. Awesome. I too am trying to slow down. Thanks for the reminder and Merry Christmas!

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  11. Yay for less. Yay yay yay. This is why Toni and I always live in 1 room-apartments. :)
    (But I am really grateful you kept your maternity g's!! They are THE BEST steph, I owe you. So so comfy.)

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  12. It's feel like I'm visiting your house right now.

    Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!
    Bring you Good wishes of happiness.

    Sorry for greeting you earlier,, just don't want miss saying this.
    By the way, I'm Clotee. It's my first time visiting your blog. I am blogger too, and now try my best luck to open an e-shop. Nice to know you.

    Regards,
    Clotee

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  13. Amen to this blog post Stephanie.

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