Sunday, November 13, 2016

I'll Be Home For Christmas

We signed the papers for this house the day before Thanksgiving.  I remember the intense nerves that plagued the holiday as we planned a weekend of staging the townhouse for sale. Everything was happening so fast.  Just days before, the thought of moving was the last thing on our minds, and then this home found us, like a gift from God, and we knew that we needed to take a leap of faith.  When I toured the house, I imagined stockings hanging above the hearth, and the rag garland I had just tied draped over the mantle.  I remembered all of the chimney-less years I snuck out of my bed on Christmas Eve to unlock the front door for Santa and realized my children would feel some security that Santa could easily find his way in.

On November 7, 2014, I went to a Relief Society activity with my daughter and left my boys at home. After an hour or two away, I walked through front door to find my Christmas tree prematurely built and lit in the corner of my living room.  My husband turned and smile at my stunned look.  I was raised that the Christmas tree doesn't go up 'til the first week of December and especially not before Thanksgiving.  But there it was, mocking me in the corner.

"Paul, why is there a tree in the living room?" I asked through gritted teeth.

He shrugged.  "Sam and I got bored."

By now, Annie's eyes were as lit as the tree, and her mouth hung open in wonder.  I knew I had already lost a war that had not yet begun, so I kept the tree up, and in the morning, I pulled out the rest of the decorations.  While my initial attitude was sour, I soon fell in love with my festive abode and the way it prematurely shifted my focus to the birth of Christ.  Thanksgiving was not forgotten. I found my heart more full of gratitude when I was surrounded by nativities than fat, brown birds.  So, we made decorating the first week of November a new tradition at my house.

This year was more special though because we finally got to hang our stockings on the mantle.  I made these stockings from this pattern when Sam was a baby. They are blue and zebra to match our old living room. Next year I want to make new stockings in more traditional colors.  I won't be in school, so I'm hoping I will have time.  The Christmas plaque and count-down charger were last year's Relief Society Super Saturday crafts.

The garland was inspired by this post. My mom made one for her fireplace a couple of years ago, and I fell in love with it, so much so that I spent an entire year planning my own garland.  I purchased clearance fabric and LED lights the day after Christmas and saved them for the next fall when I could tie the fabric strips onto the sting whilst enjoying a holiday comedy on Netflix.  I had so much left-over fabric that I bought a wire wreath form and tied a wreath too.  They look adorable in the light of day. . .

But magical in the dark of night.

Blue and green might not be the most traditional holiday color scheme, but since I'm not biggest fan of red, I don't mind. Besides, it matches our living room, so I think it all works somehow.

The kids sure love it.

While our Christmas decor is typically limited to our living room, this year, it spilled into the dining room.  The large passway facilitated extra flourishes to maintain flow.  I found Santa hat chair covers at The Dollar Tree.  THE DOLLAR TREE, PEOPLE!  I have been wanting to make these for years but haven't had the means or time, but when I realized I could have jolly chairs for just four bucks, I squealed with delight and shoved these bad boys in my cart.

On our TV-stand-turned-hutch, I made a snowy scene with Dollar Tree tinsel.  It's giving me all the feels, and I am itching to host a holiday friend party.  Can't you just imagine sitting in Santa chairs arguing over Monopoly?  Yes, please.

I know my decorations are cheap and simple, but they make me incredibly happy.  Every day when I'm preparing meals for my family, I look out over the joyful scene and tear up a little.  I'm so incredibly grateful for this beautiful home that is filled with happiness, laughter, and a spirit of peace. After years of temporary lodgings, I finally feel home for Christmas.

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