Dec 20, 2013

Readying

I mentioned in my last post that I broke out all the decor for Christmas in readiness for the Savior.  We celebrate around here!  However, our "extravagant" decor is done with hand-me-downs, handmade kid crafts and nothing too expensively over the top.  But we make sure the season is special with every corner of our house welcoming the Savior.  I'll open up the front door to you and let you step in and see our little decor we have around.

This how we welcome Christmas into our lives each year:
I have verses posted year round above my shelf over my couch.  With the blackboard doing double duty as a star, I thought it would be fun to post verses from John 1, speaking of Jesus coming as the light for men, full of grace and truth.
I just got this canvas this year to put in my entryway.  I'm pretty super in love with it.  This is my kid's very favorite Christmas verse and we say it every night of advent (though this year we have also added in reciting Luke 2).  Ainsley was heard to quote at the beginning of the season, "And He shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Quiche."  We've got her straightened out now though - that being a Prince of Peace is much better.
I have a lot of stockings collected over the years so the kids picked out their favorites and I made little tags so we knew who was who.
Christmas kid's books abound in baskets that get pulled out at Christmas.  We have been working our way through them.

Here is our main living space.  Not fancy by any means, but kid friendly with Christmas cheer to the max.  I may or may not have picked a leaning tree this year.  No matter which angle we look at it, it appears to be leaning a different direction.  The poor saggy thing is struggling to support my tin angel. But hey! Bright lights, ornaments galore, wood beaded garland and red icicles can hide a mulitude of problems.
If you turned right around from the above picture, you would see my front kitchen windows.  Burlap, gingham, lace, polka dots... aww happiness.
We drink coffee every morning and hot chocolate often makes an appearance during school time for the kids.  Banish the everyday mugs, bring out the Christmas cheer! How about some marshmallows and a striped straw to go with it?
My desk.  My perpetually messy desk next to the kitchen table.  The dumping ground for all paper that comes into the house.  The place where the laptop lives while we do school in the morning.  It's right smack dab in the middle of our living space.  Therefore, it has to be pretty too!
Why does this little wooden bird and this sweater bird house make me so happy?
I just stuck this right on an old vintage globe for the holiday season and tied on some baker's twine.  It's supposed to be tape that peels easily up.  Here's to hoping that's true when the season is over....
If you send us a card, we'll display it next to my aprons hanging with Santa hats on a clothesline.  To the right is our school command center.
The centerpiece.  That napkin holder is two stands found in the dollar spot at Target and glued together.  How about that jolly vintage snowman tin plate?
Tessa is bound and determined to lose every stinking piece in this Nativity set this year.  The lid comes off the stable and they set in there.  She is often mixing it with our Veggie Tale nativity set.  Which is totally fine because we keep losing one or both of the baby Jesus' so it puts the odds more in our favor that we will have at least one at any given time.  We never seem to have two so it works.
This is our Jesse advent tree.  We are reading through the Old Testament to find out how the stories point to Jesus.  Each story has a corresponding ornament until Christmas day when He arrives!  That advent calendar behind it has 24 individual board books which tell the Christmas story as well.
One always needs wool blankets for couch reading at night.  These live here during the winter. If you back up you can see our little kid's table.  Tessa uses it for crafting and eating and pulling up her baby dolls and stuffed animals. Above it are chalkboard magnet trays hung on the wall and a cloth nativity countdown from when I was little.  They like moving the date everyday.

I'll show you one circle.  I put up our pictures of the kids through the years at Christmas.  They all wore that Santa suit in their first year.  In this circle, Hunter is on the left, Tessa is on the right.
A happy little kid space.
And there you have it.  Christmas at our house.  I am finishing up my Christmas postcards.  I made my own design in photoshop this year, used Vistaprint where I could get 250 postcards for $25 (including shipping), and they even let me put my own letter on the back for free.  Then I could mail them at the postcard rate, $.33, yippee!  I mailed 60, am handing out tons, and using the rest for crafts and that made Christmas cards $40 total this year.  I cannot tell you how excited it made me to realize that Christmas cards for all our friends were in reach this year by doing it this way.  We skipped last year due to cost and that made me sad.
And if you are reading this and perhaps somehow didn't find yourself on our Christmas list this year, just know that our family is sending bushels of love your way, and the wish that you will also celebrate the birth of our Savior in the best way you can.
To Him be the glory, forever and ever, Amen.
Merry Christmas!

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