Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas in our First House

I have no idea why I have been absent from this blog for a month! I've had several things I've wanted to write about, but never seemed to have the time to write. Today I'm getting a chance to do so because our plans were canceled because Neil is sick at home. I took care of him earlier this morning and he's feeling better now. I hope he continues to get better because it would be so sad to be sick over Christmas!

Anyway, I love Christmas and I love getting to decorate for Christmas! We don't have many decorations which is fine since we don't have much room to decorate, but I wanted to share with you our decorations. Here is our tree! Pre-lighted, hand me down from my dad. We only have enough ornaments to fill up the front of it! I can be tempted to want a full tree because 'thats they way it's suppose to be', but I'm thankful for our tree and it fits our life. This is our second married Christmas so it makes sense that we wouldn't have a lot. I cherish this is an example of us starting our lives together and establishing our traditions as a family. It also makes me chuckle that our tree is kind of bare! This is our family tree with ornaments I've grown up with and ones we've received as couple gifts or bought from our trips together as souvenirs. And I cherish that since we are starting out everything is small, simple, and maybe a little bare. The 'tree skirt' is a hand me down table cloth from a friend.

This is our homemade Nativity. It's also called a creche', but don't ask me how to pronounce it because I can't. We made this last Thanksgiving at Neil's parents' house. Neil's mom found instructions on how to make this and had all the stuff out for each of us to make one as a craft for us to do over the Thanksgiving Break. It was exhausting to make! I made the animals and maybe a few of the wise men (they are on the right) and Neil made the rest. He really got into it! I petered out after awhile and went to watch basketball with Neil's dad. I'm thankful Neil finished it and that we have it to put out. I love that it's homemade and feel like that detail fits our family very well!

These little guys have been around for as long as I can remember. I guess they are elves? They aren't special in that they were a favorite decoration of mine growing up. I'm actually indifferent to them, but they were in one of the boxes my dad gave me last year of Christmas decorations so they stayed. Now I appreciate having them since I grew up with them. Its a sweet little piece of childhood.

These stockings are purely for decoration and we found them in our tree box. I've never seen them before in my life! I liked them though and we found a place on the side of our book shelf to hang them. We just recently got the stockings I grew up with from my dad, but we decided to not hang them. Each stocking has Santa on it and Neil and I aren't planning on celebrating Santa or focusing on Santa during Christmas, with or without kids. We are keeping them boxed up since I did grow up with them and so they are sentimental, but Neil and I have decided that we don't want a lot of 'Santa' related items in our home.

This is all we did to the outside of our house. I love it and I am actually the one that did the railing. It took about 15 minutes and I did it all by myself! (applause is appreciated, thank you) Neil and I love to go look at Christmas lights and Christmas decorations around town. We will get in the car and just drive to neighborhoods in areas of town that we think will have lots of decorations. I've realized that each house or style of decoration that I really like is the more traditional style of lights, greenery, and bows. I like it sweet, simple, and classic.

So here is our home of the Holidays. It has been interesting for us to consider how we should celebrate Christmas and what the purposes are for trees, lights, bows, presents, etc. We don't know how to figure it all out and so we are just trying to do what we can to focus on Christ in our own hearts and as a couple. In our family devotions we have been reading through the beginning of Luke and singing the Christ oriented Christmas Carols. We know that we want to worship and make much of Christ this season and since that's hard enough with all the 'hustle and bustle' of the season I think we are off to a good effort and I think we both are eager to learn more on how to make our home more Christ centered and to know why we do the things we do such as trees, lights, presents, carols, etc. Anyone have any good resources?

Merry Merry Christmas!

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