Home DecorChristmas at Our House December 19, 2017 Merry Christmas, friends! It has been the strangest, most packed season. Last year I said that I think the Christmas season is indicative of how your year has been. So often, we crave simple and slow at Christmas, treasuring each day of the magical season, but if we don’t already have those slow and simple rhythms in our days, it’s like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. We try and try to make it fit and no matter our efforts, it just doesn’t. I’ve become very aware of that this year. As y’all know, it’s been a year of change for us. It’s all been wonderful, but it’s come with quite a bit of adjustment and self-reflection. I feel God continually revealing His plan for us specifically, shaping our direction, revealing our family culture and adventure and as each new piece falls into place, it feels life-giving! But it’s all adjustment and we’ve become aware this season of how fast-paced our life feels. The funny part is that over the last several years, we’ve simplified in many ways, many times. And just as we do that, God reveals another area to be tweaked. Don’t you love that? How He knows what we can handle and gives us pieces of it, one at a time? I planned to post our Christmas home tour weeks ago and as you see, it’s been rather quiet around here. I used the phrase “family culture” above and that’s something that’s been on our minds a lot lately. We feel God’s given us more and more direction there and I’ll share more about what we’re moving toward in the New Year. Oh it feels exciting and ripe with possibility! But having that defined has shown us clearly how far we are from it currently and Christmas has just made that reality hit us between the eyes! We’re moving too fast, saying yes to too many things that aren’t the top priorities, so the must-haves are getting squeezed out. This Christmas, I’ve been determined to savor what I can with the kids and all of this processing and savoring has just taken it all up, I’m afraid! But I can’t let Christmas pass without a little home tour for y’all! So here she is. These main areas feel “just finished,” but oh, they’re feeling special, small and just right. My goal for decorating this year was to savor. I went slow…in fact it wasn’t finished until this past weekend. We decorated the tree in phases, added things along. I always feel stressed until decorating gets done and it steals my joy until it’s finished! But I read somewhere this year that the act of decorating should be part of the celebration, part of the Advent, not just enjoying them finished afterwards! So we really embraced that this year and it was beautiful. I used to do themes, as some of you may remember. I look back on those years and am inspired by each one. They’re beautiful and I still love it. In some ways, it lacked personal touches to me, but I think you can absolutely do a “theme” without compromising on that. I just wanted simple this year. Handmade, simple, use what you have. And it feels just, just right. Welcome to our Christmas home, friends! Our cozy mantel makes me so happy. I started collecting small houses and trees years ago and I love pulling them out each year and finding a spot for them. The stockings have been added throughout the years and while I see beautiful, fun stockings I love each year that I’m tempted to buy, I just can’t not use these, each with their special meaning and stories. I said I wasn’t doing a theme, but if I had to name it, it’d be natural. I went with a lot of natural materials this year, which feels reflective of where we’re moving as a family. Less stuff, more bring nature in. I used this cotton garland with greenery on the mantel years ago and still love it so much. In previous homes, I’ve always had a family tree with all of our special ornaments and a theme tree where I play and create. And I’ve loved that! This house is just not big enough for two trees. I really thought I would miss that, but this felt perfect. I made and strung a yarn tassel garland and then we filled it with all of our specials. Some from our childhoods, some handmade, some gifted to us….but all have a story. Decorating the tree has become such a fun tradition for us where we go slow, reminisce with each one. This year having Rosie as a part of that was wonderful. I tried not to fix things she did and that made for some heavier areas and some holes where decorating was concerned, but that’s okay. It makes me smile each time I notice a placement I wouldn’t have done because I know my Rosie girl did it and I remember the awe and wonder filling her face while she decorated it. The dining area is so simple, yet magical to me. Greenery and bulb lights are a special Christmas combination. And the little center tree is sweet. We dried oranges this year for garlands and ornaments and LOVED it. I think it’s my favorite thing we’ve done and will for sure be a tradition from here on out. Here’s a little view in the dining room I haven’t shared yet, but will more in the coming year. This coffee station and buffet area makes me SO HAPPY. Like I said, I’ll share a lot more about this space in the new year, but I love the few Christmas touches it has. Chris drew that Santa picture as a boy. I’m so grateful his mom was willing to share it with us to put out! And the kitchen. Christmas in the kitchen just makes my heart sing. I’m loving that ledge on the hood where I can rest different things. The texture of the cotton wreath against the tile is one of my favorite moments. The sun coming in through the orange slices is just magic, y’all. Loving this view and I’m already sad thinking about taking it down! Maybe it’ll all just stay awhile. Collected at its’ best. Rosie loved making the gingerbread house. It’s so perfectly, imperfect with all kinds of interesting toddler choices (like the gingerbread woman taking a nap out front) and I couldn’t love it more! And last, but not least…what would a Christmas kitchen be without sharing a little baking station action? These few vintage touches are some of my very favorites. The art was from a thrift store years ago and the nesting santas were a gift from my grandparents when I was a child. They’re my oldest decoration I pull out each year and bring so much nostalgia. Thank y’all so much for taking a peek inside our Christmas home. It’s later than I know most share their Christmas tours, but maybe it’ll get you in the spirit!