Thursday, December 23, 2010

All is Calm..All is Bright

~The fireside is blazing bright...~

Every year I find myself in the same position...In disbelief that Christmas is HERE and wanting it to slow down before it whirls right by.

{Our front porch}

I've never looked forward to a break like I have this one. After moving, moving IN, starting my first job, and now starting a second new job, I am going to appreciate a "stay-cation" like never before.

We're still in the process of "everyday" decorating, but I could not neglect to sprinkle a little Christmas spirit around the house.

Our Christmas tree is ginormous and lovely. I didn't realize just how big until I set out to decorate it and realized that what was once a large assortment of ornaments, barely covered it. But like everything else, I am learning, it is a process and will be built up over time. It also took me hours to string the lights...

I have always wanted a train around christmas tree, and dad delivered. He gave us an unopened Lionel train set from a few decades ago to put around our tree. We LOVE it! Watching it ride around and whistle with smoke blowing still hasn't gotten old.

I used pinecones, snowflakes, and decoupaged music sheets on canvas to fill in spots for a natural, rustic feel.

I couldn't find a natural tree topper so it was made by placing an already constructed birdhouse into a small wreath. I added branches from the yard and pieces of random greenery and berries then spray painted silver lightly in places. I wanted the red cardinal to pop as the only bright color on the tree. I couldn't seem to get a good picture with it being 9 feet in the air, but it looks adorable on the tree.

I threw garland, lights, more pinecones and vases of ornaments on the mantle. I found the nativity scene pieces in the garage in a box of Meemaw's old stuff. The pieces are greenware; unfired, unpainted ceramics. I liked the way they looked plain white and put them in this wooden, rugged nativity.

The star above the nativity scene was a gold basket that I spray painted quickly with silver spray paint.

"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care..."

I'm trying to share Christmas decorations without showing too much of the living room. It still needs alot of work and I want to save it for the after pics!

One of mom's paintings:

I found my old Precious Moments nativity to sit on my very first bible.

Our dining room is still void of chairs, so the table was perfect to display my Christmas village. It's not Dickens or Dept 56...It's way cooler. All the houses, people, and trees...everything you see, was made by Meemaw. Poured into ceramic molds, handpainted, and fired in the kiln.

I also love that it's so colorful and whimsical.

{The carolers outside the church}

{Santa on the roof}

{Ice skaters and snowball-fighters}

~~City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas.

Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you'll hear
Silver bells...~~

The entryway is my little hallway of hope...devoted to my hopes of waking up to a white Christmas.

Here in the mid-south, the weather is showing a chance for a "White Christmas". This area has not seen "measurable" snow on Christmas day since 1913! Flurries have fallen a few other years, but in all, 4 out of the past 137 Christmases have had snow. But I'm hopeful and pulling for it!

~May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white~

The weekend before last, we woke up to a surprise light snow. We had no idea there was even a chance and it was a beautiful scene come morning.

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
-Norman Vincent Peale

I know our boys would love a white christmas morning too!

Sean and I agreed to get each other one thing. We both need new digital watches for work and went shopping for them together. But we both ended up secretly slipping extras under the tree, the contents of which neither of us know. That too will be a surprise which is exciting!

As lighthearted and joyful as Christmas-time is, it is also very "heavy", as the radio dj I listen to during drive time describes it. The season evokes a homesickness and a longing for loved ones like no other time of year. And as exciting as it is for those of us who are fortunate, it is the most difficult time for those who are not.

At Sean's family Christmas last weekend, his little 5 year old cousin blessed the food with a precious and pure prayer in his little voice:

"Dear God,
Thank you for our food.
And please help all the people who are homeless, to not be homeless anymore.
Please give them a warm home and food to eat and a place to sleep for the wintertime.

Out of the mouths of babes.

I want to enjoy my own Christmas as much as possible, and pray that all others can do the same.
Merry Christmas everyone. God bless you all.


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