I also realized that in the six (what?!) years I've been blogging, no matter how intermittently my posts have come, I have never not shared Christmas. So I'm here...a little late...a little tired...but sharing my Christmas because I LOVE it, and because I reference these posts yearly to remind myself of where I put things.
It looks crooked...and it kind of is, but I promise it's very sturdy!
I'm still hearing it about our bald, skeleton tree from last year, but I think I've redeemed myself this year. In other news, we selected it in the daylight with no rain, and I did not drive my buggy into the sliding doors at Lowes. #winning
Every year our tree stays a lot the same, but I love all of our ornaments! Pretty themed trees are beautiful on my Instagram explore page, but these special pretties are my absolute favorites, and I could never do Christmas without seeing them. As always, some favorites include my butter ornament from the Paula Deen store and my giant stuff ins.
This nativity is one of the things I most look forward to putting out each year. It makes a huge statement on the shelves and is so pretty to look at!
I did something totally different with the mantel this year. I have got to up my garland game next year though. I'm going to do some after Christmas ornament shopping to zhuszh it up.
I also went a little nativity-themed on these shelves. I cannot stop with nativities...there are worse vices.
Keith's favorite part of our home is obviously the deer head on the wall. He tells me frequently that it's a "once in a lifetime deer." Whatever that means... Anywayyyy, this year I mentioned that I wanted to fancy Rudolph up a little with a pom pom garland, and I came home to a grinning husband and this...
He is so pleased with himself.
I kept the dining room pretty similar to last year, but I did add a giant poinsettia that I got from my Secret Santa.
Every year I think of moving my pom pom, glitter picks to the living room tree...but I just love how they look with the red and green and gold!
This basket tray is my decorating life!
Every year, some part of the season kind of settles in with me, and this year was no exception. In Sunday school a few weeks ago, we read the verse "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19). I have always loved this verse, but I never really "got it." Of course Mary treasured the moments surrounding Jesus's birth. Of course Mary thought about how special He was and probably was honored still to have been chosen and for the shepherds to have come to worship...but then what?
We talked about how Mary may have treasured up these moments and pondered them for the rest of her life and throughout the life of Jesus. When she was in the throes of mothering a toddler and possibly feeling like the task was beyond her, did she ponder again those moments? When Jesus was in ministry, and she couldn't protect him the way mothers always want to do...did she ponder again that this was part of God's plan? When Jesus was arrested and tried and crucified, did she look back on those moments of worship in Bethlehem and treasure that time anew? Her calling was unique and undoubtedly hard. She didn't know that first night in Bethlehem what Jesus's life was going to look like. But the Word does tell us that she treasured up that time and pondered it. I'm thinking she pondered it a lot. I would have clung to those moments, to the call, to the words of the angel like a lifeline. When the world seemed to turn against her Son, she had such moments of glory to treasure and ponder...but we do too!
That first moment we experienced salvation. That time that the Lord gave us a "peace that passes all understanding." When we heard the call. When a prayer was answered. When a fear was stilled. When we were given a strength and a conviction that we could not explain. Those are the moments we can treasure up and ponder in our hearts. When life gets hard (and it does), we can ponder those moments again. I'm reading that verse differently now than I ever have before, and I'm so thankful for it!