It’s definitely looking a lot like Christmas in our home…and I love it! I just love how our home transforms during this special time of year. In the early morning and late evening, I love sitting and gazing at everything as I reflect on the joy of Christmas!
We wanted to take this opportunity to invite you into the heart of our home…into our great room where all our Christmas celebrating takes place and lots of family memories are made. Here are some of the highlights of what we do to deck the halls and redeem our space to more fully enjoy the Christmas season!
- Our tree: We always choose a live tree…and the bigger the better! We want it to fill our great room’s large space and high ceilings. We love our tree being the focal point of the room and placed where we can enjoy the most throughout the day. We turn the lights on first thing in the morning and they stay on until the last one goes to bed. And the glow of the lights just seems to draw us into our great room more often than usual. It’s just magical!
- Ornaments: Our tree is adorned with a wide variety of ornaments representing many years and many memories.
- Ornaments given as gifts…and ornaments we’ve bought while on vacation. Instead of buying t-shirts or trinkets when we go on trips, we buy an ornament to remember the places we’ve been. We also adore all the ornaments given to us by friends as they cover our tree with love!
- Ornaments made by our girls…and ornaments we’ve given them. Every year we give the girls an ornament representing something meaningful in their lives…whether it’s an activity they are involved in or a symbol of who they are – think sports, hobbies, school mascots, play parts, favorite things, milestones, etc. We write their initials and the year on the ornament so that when they are grown and have a home of their own, we will pack up these treasures for them to use to fill their very first Christmas tree. But for now…we all will enjoy them! But I must say…some of the most treasured ornaments on our tree though, are the ones our girls have made with their small yet creative hands. They are priceless!
- Ornaments given to me by my mom. This is a tradition my momma started for me and my sister when we were growing up and what a treasure they were when my Resident Gardener and I had our first Christmas tree. Those very ornaments from the 1970s and 80s helped fill our small first tree and still adorn our tree today! So… as we unpack and hang our ornaments each year, it’s like a trip down memory lane for all of us….seeing the ornaments from my childhood, from the trips we’ve taken, from the handmade ornaments made in preschool, to the gifts reminding us of seasons past and dear friends. They are each a treasure with a memory attached. It’s probably our girls’ favorite thing about decorating the tree as we “remember when”.
- Nativities: I love nativities…so much so, you could say that I collect them. We have at least one in every room of our home…either bought or made. For our great room’s mantel, I specifically bought a large nativity that I was absolutely in LOVE with….it’s my favorite! I wanted it to always take center stage to keep our hearts and minds focused on the greatest gift of Christmas…Jesus. And it does just that. And to help fill the mantel, I gather remnant branches from the Christmas tree lot (free!) to use to decorate behind and around the nativity and bring a little of the outside in! The end result is beautiful…if I do say so myself. Sometimes I wish I could leave it up all year round…I just love the way it looks.
- Books: I bought a basket a few years back just for our Christmas books because our collection had grown so large! They are stored throughout the year in a bin in the attic and come out the first of December for us to enjoy all month long. It’s like opening a present every year when we get them out. Our Littlest One cannot wait to start reading them as soon as they are put out on the hearth.
Here are some of our favorite books if you want to add to or start a collection of your own.
- The Littlest Christmas Tree by Janie Jasin
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever By Barbara Robinson
- Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold
- This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotton
- The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
- Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
- Mr. Willoughby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
- Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki
- The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
To bring all of this together for you…we did a time-lapse movie of our Saturday Christmas tree trimming efforts from a couple of weeks back. Click here or on the image below to see the Christmas transformation that takes place in our great room for yourself. And it goes by really fast (it almost makes it look too easy)…so don’t blink. I hope you enjoy it.
I’d love to hear about any special Christmas traditions your family has…or any Christmas decorating tips for your home. So please…do share!
In the meantime…I hope you take time to enjoy this glorious season and the beauty of your own home this Christmas!