Monday, December 21, 2020

A Different Christmas 2020

Did you decorate for Christmas early this year? 

Reports around these parts were that tree farms were selling out early this year. At least a week before Thanksgiving I saw many tress in the windows of homes near me. Each one I passed filled me with the warm, familiar glow of hope. I think many of us decorated early attempting to find that nostalgia as we are searching for some semblance of normal, something familiar that gives us comfort.

We've not been to craft fairs, shopping sprees, and Black Friday sales this year. There were no cantatas or Christmas concerts to perform or attend.  Work parties, Christmas parties with friends and loved ones have all been canceled. These things have become traditions in our annual celebrations. What would Christmas be without them? I found myself grumbling and complaining and looking forward to turning the page on the calendar... Maybe I should just hibernate until this chaotic, unsettled year is over. 

Christmas was always a big deal when I was kid. My mother pulled out all the stops. Nothing was left untouched by Christmas magic. Tree decorating was a party night accompanied by a tray of cookies and treats, eggnog and tinsel.

I have kept that tradition with my own children. Even though they all live elsewhere now we still held the tradition this year with two of our daughters coming to spend an evening with us. We gathered around cookies and familiar decorations, each carrying memories and stories. 

While the world has spiraled out of control outside our front door the things that bind us drew us together to prepare for the celebration of Christmas. 

When my family comes home and shuts the door I want all that other stuff left outside-it can wait. Inside, it is Christmas. 

We don't celebrate because of or to do all those other fun things. Christmas has not been canceled! We keep Christmas because of the very name sake of the holiday-Christ. Our hope is not in our government, our medicine, or our masks. My hope, my reason for celebration, is a birthday celebration of Jesus. And there is where I was reminded of the source of true joy. 

I remembered the turning point for the Grinch in Dr. Suess's How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The Grinch had done everything in his earthly power to destroy the spirit of a people who extravagantly celebrated Christmas. Wasn't he surprised, baffled, and ultimately changed when he heard their voices raise in joy. 

And then in Suess rhyme I penned a new line...

They haven't stopped Christmas from coming! 
It came! 
It came without plays, 
Christmas markets.
 It came without festivals, 
or concerts! 

It came!
He came!

Jesus didn't come and sacrifice himself for me so that I could do all those many things that I fill my Christmases with. He came to remove the debt of my rebellion against the one, true God. He came to give me a peace that no earthly Grinch can steal. He came to make me a child a God; an heir of a home that is not of this world. He came to give me a mission and that mission is to glorify Him. I cannot do that grumbling about all the things I think I am missing, For truly, there is nothing missing, nothing I lack. 

He has given me everything I need. 

1 John 5:20 - And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, 
so that we may know him who is true; 
and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. 
He is the true God
 eternal life.

Praying that your celebrations are filled with the miraculous blessing of knowing this 
Christ of Christmas. 

Linking up: 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Christmas In The Dining Room

I couldn't wait to start decorating for Christmas this year. I have been taking some design classes online and I have been binge watching one of my favorite decorators. After like a bazillion Christmas videos I was ready. I did not start in the dining room out of respect for Mister who wanted it to still look Thanksgiving-y for the turkey dinner. 

I obliged but I had plans and once the turkey was put away I got busy! 

Remember the fireplace we built last year? While it was centered on the largest wall space in the room, it is not centered in the room because of doorways which bothers me at times because I LOVE symmetry. It has been cause for contention over the years between me and Mister. He eyeballs things and I pull out the measuring tape.

 Symmetry doesn't work so well in this case so I embraced asymmetry. 

The garland falls heavy to the left in an attempt to balance the room. 

The table is dressed for dinner. I like having it ready for unexpected guests. The crystal and silverware was my great-grandmother's. It seems a shame to save it for only one day a year so this way I get to enjoy it a bit longer and it becomes part of the decoration.  

A table runner and two garlands down the center of the table becomes the centerpiece. One garland is frosted evergreen, the other is sparkly, thin glitter. Battery operated fairy lights are woven into the garlands. Nestle in candles for ambiance-or just cuz it's pretty. 

Friend, my prayer is that you are blessed by those who are around your table this month. I am praying that as you gather, big or small that your hearts are secure in knowing that God is control of all the things that seem so chaotic right now. On the eve of what was to be a gut-wrenching, life ending immediate future, Jesus sat down to dine with his friends and they were at peace.

That is the same peace I am praying for you and me this year.

Joining these parties: Ducks N A Row, Follow The Yellow Brick Home, A Stroll Thru Life, Finding Silver Pennies, Love My Little Cottage, Pieced Pastimes, My Wee Abode, My Girlish Whims, Zucchini Sisters, Across The Blvd, Linda's Lunacy, April J Harris, Create With Joy, Imparting Grace, Shabby Art Boutique, The Pin Junkie, Jenerally Informed, Stone Cottage Adventures, Katherine's Corner, The Cottage Market, Our Hopeful Home, Finding Silver Pennies

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Christmas In The Kitchen 2020

For many people the heart of the home is the kitchen. It is where everyone seems to gather and during these times when gathering is more difficult I am missing it. To add a little magic I put twinkle lights in the swags above the windows. 


This is probably as clean as my kitchen will be for the next several weeks but that's okay. 

There is baking to do, gifts to bake and send out from this kitchen. I'm looking forward to Christmas morning, cinnamon rolls, time with my family and an earnest focus on why we can celebrate in the midst of what has been an unusual year. 

Praying that your reason for celebrating is wrapped around the One who was the 
greatest gift ever given. 

Linking to these parties:

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Autumn Home- Dining Room & Kitchen

I don't know about you but I was ready for autumn this year. I was decorated for the season early! Don't get me wrong, I hated seeing summer go. My dining room looked like this for summer. 

As the sun moved in the sky and the calendar turned another page I was determined to be ready for the season. I am not having much luck shopping lately so using what I have made sense and I was not ready to give up on summer entirely (no big surprise there) so I left some beach stuff in my autumn dining room. 

And the kitchen got the same treatment of using what I had. The little sunflower plates made me so happy this summer. They were my first purchase after everything opened back up. I used them all summer long and they get to stay through autumn. The pumpkin artwork are pieces I have shown you how to do before on this blog. 

The dining room and kitchen have been dressed like this for a while and I am ready to move on and start decorating for Christmas! It will be here before we know it. I have much to do and I bet you do, too! Busy, busy, busy! 

I pray you have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

 It may be very different for some of us and there will be loved ones missing. I just want to encourage you;  that we even have loved ones-ones we love and ones that love us- is cause enough to be thankful. 

Joining these link parties: 
Shabby Art Boutique

Friday, October 30, 2020

Autumn Home- The Bedroom

I really do live a beautiful part of the country/world for all things Autumn. Maybe the fact that I am getting older has something to do with my growing fondness of the season or maybe it's just because this year has been so crazy that I am looking for some comfort and coziness. 

Whatever the reason, I decided to add a little Fall to my bedroom this year. This is not a grand master bedroom with an en suite and sitting area, it's just a bedroom. I usually do not seasonally decorate the bedroom, except a small tree at Christmas, but this year is different, right? My favorite flannel sheets were on sale (and I had a coupon) so I bought two sets to mix and match. A duvet cover with shams from Home Goods and a gray quilted coverlet with matching shams add to the comfort and cozy factor. That was the base layer that will not change much throughout the fall and winter. A couple touches of orange was all the room needed to make it fall-like.

As you can see, I took these photos on a bright sunny day but today it is snowing. I think I might indulge a bit and crawl back into this cozy bed with a good book and cup of tea. 

                                                      Til next time... 

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