Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Christmas Around Our House

We got a real tree for the Family Room this year.  As in we-went-to-a-Christmas-tree-farm-and-cut-down-our-own-tree real tree.  This was the kids' first experience with a cut-your-own (that's another post for another day).  An hour and a half drive to the farm and 2,400 lights (that have actually gone out TWICE within TWO days and required two strands to be replaced . . . BRAND NEW strands, I might add) later, we're finally getting somewhere.  The kids decorated today with our special ornaments.  We had the best time going through the bins and pulling out each ornament one-by-one, talking about it and where it came from.  I still need to do the topper, and I'm still waiting on the new tree skirt I ordered, but here it is so far.

Today I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals to show you the beginnings of Christmas around here.  

I say beginnings because there are a few more things left to do still.  And I'll also tell you that what you'll see didn't come out of Southern Living or Pottery Barn.  I spent the last four years trying to emulate the "perfect" I saw in those magazines and trendy boutiques.  But I'd look at it every year after I did it, and I wouldn't like it.  It would look nothing like it was supposed to, or like I thought it was supposed to.  The most important lesson I learned is that I'm not a mesh kind of girl.  I tried.  I really did.  And I love it on everyone else's trees.  But not on mine.  So this year there isn't any mesh on our tree!  

This year I also decided to start over.  I looked at all of the decorations I've collected over the last 15 years in a new light.  Some I used and some I didn't.  Some I've already donated.  Some are where they've always been, and others are somewhere different.  You won't see my Christmas decorations in a magazine.  But I love it, and I don't even want to leave my house for the next month!  My idea of perfection has radically changed during the past couple of years.  Seth looked at our tree and told me it definitely wasn't perfect.  But I told him that it IS perfect . . . it's exactly what I wanted, and I LOVE IT.  There is so much beauty in imperfection, so much joy, so many stories.

It's so simple, but I love the mantle and the tree in the Family Room.  My favorite part of the day is when the sun has gone down and the house is still and quiet with the glow of the lights. 

I have several nativity scenes.  The one in the Family Room was given to us by Uncle Charles and Aunt Gail our very first Christmas as husband and wife.  Each Christmas I look forward to getting it out and placing all the figures just so.  It was with us at our two apartments, the very first house we bought, our house in Mississippi and now here.

My little nutcracker collection sits on top of my console piano.  I try to add to it each year, but I haven't picked up a new one this year yet.  I have my eye one one, but I might wait until after Christmas before getting it.  We have a "tree" in the music room, too!

Seth and I went to San Antonio at Thanksgiving several years ago.  We took a day trip to Fredericksburg.  I saw the cutest tree in one of the boutiques there and decided to use it as my inspiration for my own tree.  I started playing the piano in my church when I was 12 years old.  I took a hymn book to my piano teacher and told her I wanted her to teach me how to play those hymns.  I didn't want to play just the notes on the page.  I wanted to PLAY those hymns.  So she taught me four different methods of improv, and I went through that hymn book page by page until I'd played every single hymn.  That hymn book went with me to college and then it came with me to Louisiana after I got married.  It even had notes written in it from some of my friends.  It was so old and worn that the pages began falling out, and the binding came undone.  I never could part with it so it sat in my piano bench.  I always wanted to do something with it, but I didn't know what.  So that's where this tree comes in.  I stated with the pages of the Christmas hymns.  And then I pulled out the pages of my favorite hymns.  All of those are glued and mod-podged to a triangular frame my father-in-law made for me.  I wrapped a garland of sparkly, red balls around it, and here's my tree! 

The Christmas tree in my bedroom is really special, too.  It's the very first Christmas tree Seth and I had as a married couple.  We didn't get a real or fake tree our first Christmas because we honestly didn't have the money, and we also didn't have any room in our 500 square foot apartment.  But I was okay with that.  What I didn't know was that my mom had gotten us a table top tree, a really pretty glittery one.  It's been with us ever since.  It stands a little crooked now because it's been across two apartments, three houses, two states and 15 Christmases.  But it's the perfect tree for our bedroom.  

The kids have trees in their bedrooms, too.  

We were at Hobby Lobby last week getting wrapping paper.  The girls saw these little wooden signs and pitched a fit over them.  So we got a couple of them and put them in the kitchen.  This one is on the coffee bar.

And, of course, we have our Advent wreath and another nativity scene on the kitchen table.

We've had a tree upstairs in the playroom the past several years.  But this year I changed things up a bit.  The decorations that were on the upstairs tree are now on the big tree in the Family Room.  Those were our family decorations, the ones we've collected for 15 years, the ones the kids get every year, the ones the kids have made.  Those are my favorite ornaments because each and every one of them tells a story.  I could sit and stare at those ornaments for hours.  But not if they're upstairs, and I'm downstairs.  So I ditched the red-and-green theme tree in the Family Room for our special ornaments instead.  

The tree that was upstairs is now our Advent tree and sits off the corner of the kitchen.  The kids are adding the Advent ornaments each day.  By the time we're done, I doubt you're going to be able to see any of the tree!  And, if I haven't already mentioned this, I'm having a lot of trouble with lights this year!  The main reason we have a real tree this year is that 1/3 of the lights on my artificial tree went out last year.  When I plugged our Advent tree in, I noticed one of the strands on it was out, too.  But now you can hardly tell.  I took this picture earlier this evening after the kids added today's ornament. There is an ornament for each day that they've colored.  All three have ornaments so there will eventually be 75 ornaments on this tree!  I'm not quite sure where they're all going to fit, but we'll figure it out.

I've mentioned several times that I really want outside lights.  I was hoping someone else would come along and do it for me.  But that still hasn't happened yet.  So today I strung a few lights outside.  I need to get some more lights tomorrow to finish, but at least we have outside lights this year!

I love burning my Christmas candles and eating off of our Christmas china.  My Christmas tea set sits on my great-grandmother's tea cart in my dining room.

And that's just a little of Christmas around our house!  

And now I'm going to finish watching this cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie under the glow of my mantle and tree lights while sipping my mint hot chocolate!  There's no more perfect ending to the day than that (except maybe if it wasn't 75 degrees outside so I could also have a fire in my fire place!).


Trac~ said...

I adore your decorations and the sentimental behind them all! The music tree is fantastic and I love the cute sign in the kitchen! :)

Suzanne Hines said...

I love your home! So beautiful.
I am really interested in your spiral candle wreath...can you explain that to me? And also, the kids advent tree! We are doing a Jesse Tree Advent (which I love!), but I'm really interested in all the other ways to celebrate the season, too! Maybe we will change it up every year!