She loved Christmas Eve. Christmas was always so much fun, so lovely, but Christmas Eve was extra special, magical in a way that only the holiest of nights can be.
Most of the day on Christmas Eve was spent finishing up in the kitchen on all those handmade goodies–cookies, candies, gingerbread, and hot cocoa mix– before we delivered baskets of them to neighbors and friends in the afternoon. Then the four of us, Mom, Dad, my brother, and I, would gather at home.
Christmas trees are my thing. My thang, y’all! I’ve had some favorites over the years, my Scandinavian tree, the Woodland theme that got featured on RealSimple.com, and last year’s cheery Vintage Tinsel tree.
This year I went a different way. And it has a lot of meaning to me. Every bit telling my story.
Little white birds floating somewhere between heaven and earth. Free. Resting in the fact they’re taken care of.
Red berries and bare winter branches.
Tiny white lights and tiny silver ornaments that reflect that light.
You’re one of my favorite months. You’d be my favorite but you’re gone too fast. That’s why November beats you, because I still have you to look forward to when it’s only November.
I love the cold. Cheeks red from it. Cuddles to get warm. Coffee and cider to fight the chill. Kitties warming my lap, fuzzy socks, blankets made by people I love.
I love how people want to be nice. They want to give, to remember those who don’t have enough and make sure they do. We call and visit our family and friends. We even send them real-life, actual post-office-delivered mail!
As you probably know if you’ve been following me for any length of time, I live for Christmas. It’s so bad. So, so bad. But I’m a proud Christmas nerd!
I like having themes for my gift wrap every year and this time, it’s red plaid and brown paper and twine. A throwback to my 90’s days maybe? Or lumberjack chic? I like that. I’ll go with lumberjack chic.
I started out by making the tags. I used regular store price tags, glittered them on the edges, and replaced the string with a pretty gold ribbon. Then I made a bazillion origami paper stars out of brown paper. Here is a great tutorial on the specifics of how to make them. For this size, I started with a 3 1/2 inch square of paper. When they were finished, I threaded them with twine using a large-eyed needle.
This year, it was all about vintage. Colored lights, tinsel, and the billion and a half old glass ball-shaped ornaments I’ve been collecting for years. I even had the perfect topper: a Santa star wreath from the 60s that my grandma gave me years ago from her own stash.
Here’s the breakdown:
So excited to be featured on RealSimple.com ! They included my woodland Christmas decor in their “How to Fake a Mantel” article and as the representative photo for the article on their Instagram account. Click here to read the Real Simple article (so many cute ideas from other designers!). Click here to read my original post.
She Loved Beautiful Star of Bethlehem. It was her favorite Christmas song.
It was her favorite because it was her mom’s favorite. Mom told me many times about how Grandma used to sing it all year long. It was more than a Christmas carol for her: it was a hymn and a lullaby, too. I think the song rings so true in part because it was written in a barn, someplace very much like the place Jesus was born.
I remember Grandma singing it to me while I sat next to her in her living room, her arm around me and my head nestled against her. I’d watch the little figures swing back and forth on the clock across the room while she sang, and listen to Grandpa turn the pages of his newspaper as he read it at the kitchen table in the next room.
This song is my mom, my grandma, my grandpa and his ever-present newspaper. It’s mantle clocks, purest love, warm cuddles on a cold day. It’s peace.
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem