Getting ready for CHRISTmas…

December 17, 2011

It’s a week before CHRISTmas Eve and I have a lot to do. It seems like time goes at warp speed from the moment we dump our Halloween candy from the pillowcases we collected it in, to the count down of the crystal ball drop in Time Square, NY. I always wish I had more time to do what I want and need to do.

That said, to me, this season is a true celebration of Christ’s coming to Earth to fulfill God‘s redemption plan. Because of this, I try to do things that remind me of the love He has shown during the year and I try to show love to others hoping they will see Him in my actions. (Of course, I have my moments when I quote Fred Flintstone and say “rattin, smattin, rattin…” regarding traffic at malls, tape dispensers that keep getting lost, or gifts I bought but misplaced when I tried to hide them from our kids. Still, it is my desire to truly honor the Baby, who is now the King.)

Here are a few that have worked fairly well:

CHRISTmas DECORATING – Instead of having one big tree, I put up a few smaller alpine trees in different rooms. (I got mine at Hobby Lobby.) The small alpine trees are super easy to erect, take fewer ornaments and give me a chance to savor the thoughts of CHRISTmas in more rooms. This year the ornaments on one tree are earth-toned and I love how the tortoise glass orbs reflect the light – which remind me that He is the light of the world. Small aluminum ornaments are stamped with peace, love, joy, or faith. One tree has a glass cross near the top rather than a star. The smaller trees make me feel like it is a little less about the gifts.

Alpine Tree, from Hobby Lobby

On the stairs, I love the way garland looks. I top mine with fabric ties. I bought a few yards of paisley fabric and stitched them into scarves. Just cut across the width of the fabric and then sew around the three sides to finish the edges. They last forever and are a unique way to connect your decorating to your home décor.

Fabric Scarves on Newel Posts

Babbles in pretty bowls look very festive. I just add a little reminder of the season to enhance the items I already have. Greeting cards can be corralled in small baskets too.

Since my trees are not “real” I cut a few branches from a pine tree in our backyard and placed them on the mantle in a glass vase. The aroma is nice and they remind of the wonder of God’s creation. Can you imagine entering the world that You created? Amazing….

Vase with Pine Branches from the Backyard

Take-out Containers from Meijers

GIFT-GIVING – CHRISTmas is a great time to say “thank you.” Most years I make homemade fudge to give to our kid’s teachers and coaches, my girlfriends, hair stylist, mail carrier, etc. This year, I saw the cutest paper “takeout” containers. They are the perfect size for three or four pieces and look even better when placed inside of a cellophane gift baggie. (Plus the bag keeps the fudge fresh longer.) If you don’t bake – buy a yummy treat and package it up with love and a hand written note of affirmation and encouragement.

CHRISTmas MORNING – One of our traditions came from an article I saw in Women’s Day magazine many years ago. The author said that her mom didn’t have very much money when she was growing up and to make the small number of CHRISTmas gifts seem like more, Mom would blow up a dozen or so “party” balloons and toss them on the floor with the presents. The author went on to say that she continued this tradition with her family and for her, CHRISTmas doesn’t seem like CHRISTmas unless there are balloons. And… our kids agree. So my husband and I blow up 15-20 red balloons and we scatter them on the floor amongst the presents. Ironically, the kids almost always play with the balloons as much, if not more than the other items. What a cool reminder that we are celebrating a birthday.

Balloons remind that CHRISTmas is a Birthday Celebration (2010)

To continue the birthday theme – we have birthday cake with our CHRISTmas breakfast or brunch. Yep… we sing Happy Birthday and just eat the cake right along side the scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, toast and hominy grits in homage to my Southern born parents. Sometimes I buy a sheet cake from a local bakery. Other years I bake one myself. And I suspect that this is a tradition that our kids will take with them to their families in the future.

I hope one of these simple ideas will enhance your celebration.

Home-ista Kelly

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