Christmastime is Here.

I know.

It’s been too long.

Between friends and family in town, Thanksgiving, putting up the tree, decorating the mantle, writing jobs on the side, and a dishwasher breaking, I have not had time to blog.

Honestly, it’s mostly just the dishwasher’s fault. Hand-washing and drying dishes for 6 people leaves little time for anything else. I’m telling you,  if your dishwasher works, do a little dance right now.


In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about Christmas and the little things we do.



Christmas Traditions

I’m not one to start creative traditions, but I’ve come to realize that traditions have been created in our home while I wasn’t looking.

This year the kids demanded eggnog while we decorated the tree, because “that’s what we always do, Mom”. They also insisted we get the tree right after Thanksgiving because that’s what we’ve done for the last 3 years. So, while Sufjan Stevens holiday radio played in the background (I insisted!), with eggnog-sipping in full effect, we bought and decorated the tree just TWO days after Thanksgiving.

Trimming-the-Tree IMG_9498 IMG_9501 IMG_9505


Last year, I bought a miniature stocking chain, numbered 1-25, to hang on the mantle for Advent. So, (theoretically) each day the kids reach in to find a treat and read the Scripture passage for the day. We’re following along with our church’s Advent devotional. It’s a great plan, though we’ve missed a few days, and the Dum-Dum lollipops keep falling out of their assigned stockings.

I’ve also realized in the process that the stocking line over the fireplace really isn’t such a good idea when you actually have to build a fire. Melted chocolate candy everywhere.

Live and learn.





On Christmas morning, we always open presents first (who doesn’t?!) AFTER the coffee is made for the parents. Then, we have Christmas brunch together. They always ask for homemade cinnamon rolls. I’ve been making them since forever.

I also  make a 2-layered fudge–chocolate and butterscotch–during the holidays to give to teachers and friends. The best part about it is that you don’t need a candy thermometer and it comes out smooth and  creamy every time. Check it out here: Foolproof Fudge {without a candy thermometer}.

This year I’m still making fudge, but I think I’m going to try this, too: White Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bark.


sugar cookie bark, Christmas dessert

Looks amazing, right?

Christmas Decorating {on a Budget}

I’m not a major decorator–I don’t even decorate for fall (erg, I feel like I might lose my American citizenship with that confession). But I do decorate a few things for Christmas and I actually enjoy it.

Last year, I made this and I liked it so much, it stayed on the back of my front door ALL. YEAR. LONG. I just removed the fresh  dead greenery last week to spruce it up ( see what I did there…) for  Christmas this year.

Christmas Pinecones 2 - Version 3


Last year I found a great, budget-friendly Christmas decoration at okiobdesigns.blogspot.comI have a few of theses on my mantle and other places in the living room.



My newest addition to the mantle is a gift I just received from a good friend.



And that pretty much sums it up.

And that pretty much sums it up.

The crowning glory (besides the tree) is probably the centerpiece on our kitchen table. I love the two-tiered silver tray, but I NEVER use it. So, I always pull it out at Christmastime, fill it with fresh greens, a few pine cones (store-bought) and a few sprigs of (fake) berries.
I think it’s lovely.



Last, but not least…

Christmas Hymns

I love the traditional  hymns that we all sing each Christmas. My only problem is that I think we should sing them all year long. Seriously, read the words to some of the hymns you’ve been mechanically singing for years; they are rich with the GOSPEL.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found. (Joy to the World)


Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing)

I need to be reminded of these truths everyday. All the time.

So seriously, Joy to the World in July? Who’s in?

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

What are your Christmas traditions?
Are you trying something new this year?
Is Christmas hard for you to celebrate? (It’s not always the most wonderful time of the year.)
I’d love to hear you thoughts in the comments below.



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  • Kristi

    I was just going to say YOU SHOULD LINK THIS UP TO THE SHARING CHRISTMAS THING! And then I saw you there. I love your mason jar decorations! I remember them from last year. And those little stockings are SO cute.