It feels weird to decorate our new home for the holidays. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love decorating for the holidays. At the house on the mountain, we had every nook and cranny stuffed with some sort of holiday decor—in a tasteful way of course. However, this year, it just feels a bit weird to me because so much of our new home is still bare, unorganized, and half-finished. Even with all the holiday decor, everywhere I look, I see something that needs to be changed or finished.
Nonetheless, I’m doing my best to not let our current situation dictate how I feel this holiday season. This is a time of rest, peace, and joy—a time to connect with others in a meaningful way, and a time to remember the past so we can have hope for the future.
As we continue to settle into our home (how long will that take exactly??), we pull pieces of our last home and find places for them in our new home—connecting our past with our present to create the vision I have for our future. And while I don’t exactly enjoy this middle period of settling in and getting our home to the place where it feels together, I accept it, and I’m trying to be intentional during these days. They’ll be gone before I know it, and I want each one of them to feel special.
Decking the halls for the holidays has certainly helped to pull the feeling of coziness and warmth into this place. Holiday music (We have this Spotify playlist and this one on repeat constantly) and the scent of holiday essential oils fill the air. I finally have kitchen appliances installed so home-cooked meals are back on the weekly menu. It also snowed today so the landscape is covered with a light dusting of white. I don’t know about you, but curling up in a chair with a cup of coffee and my morning devotion in a warm house, decked out somewhat for the holidays, with a winter wonderland outside is just the thing I need to clear all the to-dos from my mind and cheer my heart.
One of the things that make this year extra special, compared to past holiday seasons, is that we can have an actual Christmas tree this year.
Because our house on the mountain was small, there was no room for a full-sized Christmas tree. While we did have a little mini tree that we set up on our kitchen island every year, it wasn’t even close to having the real thing. I did my best to bring fresh evergreens into the house in various ways, like decorating the table with our Advent Yule Log, but even that wasn’t a great replacement for a real tree.
This year, we bought a tree from our local volunteer fire department. We came home, put the holiday music on, made cups of hot cocoa, and the boys trimmed and decorated the tree. It was a lovely time—one I’ll look back on with fondness for years to come, I’m sure. I’m also saving all the trimmings to make some fresh garland! I am so looking forward to hanging fresh garland over the doorways!
Another thing that will make this year extra special is that my parents will be coming here for Christmas morning. In the past, we have always gathered at my parent’s house for Christmas. It was a yearly tradition to spend the night with them on Christmas Eve (my birthday) and then spend Christmas morning together before heading to Dean’s parent’s house that evening. However, as the boys have gotten older, that has become a bit harder to do.
Not only that but this year, my mom just isn’t in the holiday mood as much as years past. Her dad (my grandfather) passed away a few months ago, and she’s missing him terribly. She lost her mom when she was little (I shared a bit about that in this post), and so she has always been close to her dad. I’m not sure what it’s like to lose a parent, but I know the grieving process takes time. With the holidays coming so soon after a loss, I’m sure it’s a little harder. While she would be happy to host us if we wanted to spend Christmas with them, for the past couple of years I’ve been wanting to do Christmas here at home, so making that change this year seems appropriate.
I’m excited to create a new Christmas Eve tradition here at home with Dean and the boys. What that will look like just yet, I’m not quite sure. I’m also excited to plan out our Christmas breakfast which is something we always do on Christmas morning as well. Our Christmas breakfast is usually a southern-style breakfast complete with eggs, bacon and country ham, grits, biscuits, and sausage gravy. Definitely not something we eat regularly, but oh, so delicious! I’m even considering making these cinnamon rolls from my friend Kristen who blogs over at Live Simply. We’ll see.
Anyway, while the decking of these bare-ish halls has commenced, we still have a ways to go. One of my pre-Christmas goals is to get some decor on the walls which will help tremendously with warming our home up and making it feel less empty. Wish me luck!
Happy holidays, friends!
Love and light,