As always Christmas sneaked up on me again. I know it’s coming every year, and yet I wake up one morning and am astonished that it’s December. Then after several hurried grocery store, mall, Hobby Lobby, and Target runs, Christmas parties have happened; Christmas is here and gone; and the decorations are put away. Your husband then proclaims, “It looks like we’ve been robbed! Was the house this empty before?” So while it was fleeting, this Christmas was especially special. It was our first Christmas in our new home and our son’s very first Christmas. It was also the first Christmas that I was able to put out a lot of my Mom’s Christmas decorations. She would have loved it and loved this house. It was special being able to remember her through her decorations; many of which, I remember from my childhood. I will get to that later on in this post. Let’s start at the beginning …
For the last several years, we have made it a family tradition to pick out a real wreath from Ted Drewes Christmas Tree Lot. This year was slightly different in that instead of placing our wreath on the front door, we hung it on the side of the house and placed a spotlight on it. And like in the past, our Christmas card photo was taken during our time there. Maybe one of these days, we will not include a picture of the Christmas tree lot on our Christmas card. For now, it’s fun to watch the kids grow and change amidst the trees. There’s nothing like a lit up Christmas tree lot. Something about it is nostalgic and magical.
Since I knew we were going to be out of town for Thanksgiving and weren’t returning until the 1st of December, I knew I had to start on Christmas before we left. Our new home has 9-foot ceilings on the first floor, and so I was super excited to buy a big tree! So before we left for Thanksgiving, we went to Hobby Lobby and picked up a 9-foot Christmas tree. I was just a tad giddy! I’ve always wanted a tall tree! The tree went up and that was pretty much all of the Christmas decorating that was accomplished until after Thanksgiving. It took me a good week or so to finish getting all the decorations up. It was an adventure for me as I had much more space to decorate! I’m a traditional Christmas gal. If I can only have one tree, it’s going to be traditional Christmas colors. But I was able to have two Christmas trees this year! It was fun using my creative juices and decorating our “formal” living room. It quite possibly is one of my favorite rooms in our house.
The satin gold ball ornaments used to adorn my mom’s piano when I was growing up. These ornaments are older than I am and, amazingly, have stood the test of time! The Christmas in the Country
child’s book belonged to my mother when she was a little girl, and I remember reading it as a little girl myself. I remember loving reading about the children making popcorn garlands. The gold clock belonged to my grandpa, and many of the pine cones were my mom’s and picked from the forest when she lived in California. The rocking horse was a gift to Audrie from her Gramma one year for Christmas. It fit so great in that room.
Out of the many ornaments my mom and I accumulated over the years, I chose the ones that were most neutral colored to place on the tree in this room. This tree was the last tree my mom used in her house. The sweetheart ornament was one my mom bought for Aaron and I one year for Christmas. The angel ornament to the right, Mattie made in preschool this year!
These ceramic ornaments were hand-painted by my mom. They illustrate the poem “The Night Before Christmas.”
The ceramic bell on the piano was hand-painted by Mom as well and has a miniature ceramic nativity inside. The antique chair to the right of the fireplace was owned by Aaron’s great grandfather. So many memories in this room alone, but I won’t bore you with details!
On to the kitchen! When we were looking for a new home, my wish list included an all white kitchen. When we fell in love with this home, I told myself and my husband that I could handle the yellow. After about two months, I decided the yellow had to go. As you can see, it’s still here! But hopefully soon, it will be a lovely shade of the lightest of grays!
I originally had decided that I would not keep my mom’s Christmas dishes and let them go. When they didn’t sell at her estate sale, I decided to keep them. I’m glad I did!
My 9-foot tree went in our family room. And this is where you’ll see my traditional Christmas colors!
My tree is filled with many ornaments that have special memories attached to them. I love pulling out each ornament every year! Here are all of our Baby’s First Christmas ornaments!
This was the first year, that I did not hang my childhood stocking “on the mantle.” But I had to hang it somewhere. My grandma crocheted this stocking for me. And it has hung on the mantle waiting for goodies to be placed in it every year for 34 years! It was a good run!
I was so happy to be able to put this nativity out this year. My mom hand-painted this large nativity set before I was born. It was a Christmas staple in my home growing up.
This wreath was made by my grandma. It hung in my house growing up. I absolutely love it. The velvet ribbon is becoming hard. The snowmen are missing noses. If you get close enough, you can smell it’s musty smell from its years of hanging out in a storage shed during the off season. But I loved seeing it all my wall this year.
The girls adore their shelf elf named Holly. It was always an adventure to wake up in the morning and find where she had hidden herself during the night.
A Christmas Eve tradition in our home is baking cookies for Santa! I’m wearing the apron my mom wore every year at Christmas. And I’m pretty sure I have a picture of her wearing this exact apron when she was pregnant with me…I’ll have to check on that!
After the cookies are baked and cooling, Dad tells the true story of Christmas and the girls help act it out with their Little People Nativity. This year Mattie brought a slew of Little People as an audience to the Savior’s birth.
Waiting on the stairs until mom gives the okay signal!
Stockings are always first after seeing what gift Santa brought.
Great memories were made this year. I’m already looking forward to our second Christmas in this home. I love making family traditions, and my desire for my kids is to have wonderful Christmas memories just like the memories my mom helped make for me!
My goal for this new year is to try to be more purposeful in capturing our personal family memories. So I have “committed” to a 366 project. I’ve already missed a few days, but if you fall of the horse, get back in the saddle, right?! I will try to share bits of this project soon!