Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Decorations at Karen's House!

I've kind of had a bad attitude about decorating for Christmas this year.  I think it started when I realized that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was shorter than usual.  Just thinking of dragging all the Christmas decorations out of their hiding places, and the mess that follows as I shuffle through stuff I've accumulated for years, trying to locate the few really meaningful things I love, (like nativities), was discouraging at that moment.  I began to think it all takes so much time and effort, when in a blink of an eye, (or so it seems), it will be time to take it all down.  And like every other year, all the stuff never does fit back into the same boxes they came out of!  (That I don't get!)

But as I started opening boxes, and taking out treasured items that reminded me of wonderful Christmas memories throughout the years, my mood began to change:  a nativity from a special friend when we lived in Missouri, a hand made decoration from my mother-in-law for our first married year, a silly musical, bell ringing Santa that makes us laugh every year that my mom gave our children, ornaments from New Zealand, etc. etc.  My 'bad' mood was no match for these special memories.  So now, finally,  I'm in the mood for Christmas carols, decorations, presents, and yes, EVEN the snow that has been falling all day!  It is the beautiful dry kind of snow with huge delicate flakes that softly float down and cover the ground in a 'mantle of white.'  (A perfect winter scene, made even more perfect because I am sitting by a warm fireplace, enjoying my decorated house and watching my wonderful grandsons out the window as they shovel the snow off our sidewalks.)

This Christmas I want to remember the blessing of a warm, toasty home all decked out and ready to welcome family and friends.  I want to remember that despite all the decorating hassle, I really do love my home at this special time of year.  I especially want to remember that the extra effort to make my home a place of faith and peace that reflects the joy and happiness our family feels as we celebrate the birth of Jesus definitely, positively, worth it all!  I decided to take a few photos of my Christmas home to help remind me of my thoughts today:

 Welcome to our home.  (Front Entrance.)

 Entry and peak into the dining room. 
(Oops...I forgot to remove the small rug and towel my grandsons used to dry off after shoveling snow.)

 Great room.

A different view with a glimpse of the winter wonderland out our back windows.

 A picture of our special angel Grandson, sitting among my angel collection as a reminder that he is truly our beloved Heavenly Angel.  We miss him so much!  (Our other earthly angels are with their parents in the large photo, except we are missing our two newest angels, recently born.)

A closer look.  On the shelf are two nativities collected from our travels.  The dish shows a pohutukawa blossom.  They grow on large trees in New Zealand and Kiwis call this their Christmas tree because they are in full bloom at Christmas.

My happy little collection of snowmen in the kitchen.

 A favorite piece of artwork depicting Jesus Christ.  This is not a Christmas decoration, as it stays year round.

P.S.  Do you notice anything missing???  Where is the Christmas tree you ask!  We have a lovely family room / recreation room on the lower level where our Christmas tree usually resides.  It is decorated with children's toys and ornaments and includes the ornament we bought for our first Christmas 43 years ago, all the ornaments our children made while they were growing up, as well as special ornaments from the countries we have visited.