It all began with this:
he got me thinking about how cheerful and special we try to make our home at Christmas, so on a whim I decided to commit myself (with fewer adjectives) to a Christmas house tour.
Then, in an intense 24+ hour period at the end of November, I got the unanticipated call. My Dad has leukemia. And all the plans I had for crafts, new recipes, getting all the decorations up were put on hold. Not because I had so much to do. He's in Boston. I'm in West Michigan. I don't have an in the trenches role right now. But, my thoughts turned away from nesting and I've been much more reflective and philosophical than I thought I might, so the tour just kept getting pushed back.
And then, one day, while chatting on the telephone my parents (well, actually my mom), asked when I was going to post pictures of Christmas at my house. Gasp-somebody is paying attention and now I've got to "pay up" ! And, then, an idea was born.
I'd like nothing more than to be sharing Christmas with my parents right now, but for some obvious (and some not) reasons we did not travel east. But wait-they faithfully read everything I write, and they study the pictures too. Why not share Christmas Day with them after all?
So, spoiler alert-this may become world's longest post. You're welcome to stick around, in fact I'd love it if you did. But, I'm probably breaking obvious blog "rules" by doing this. Hey, I'm a newbie and can plead....ahem, I can plead. So, I hope Mom and Dad, this takes on a family tone and that you feel as though we shared this day. And for my other
From yesterday, driving to Weekend Farmer Husband's childhood home:
At the end of feasting, playing, unwrapping, and worshiping...
And now, welcome to Liberty Farm.
As you enter we want you to know this is what we have in our hearts as well as our home because we know Emmanuel, God with us.
We love lights at Christmas. Like the Shepherds we have had our starry nights boldly interrupted by an angel proclaiming Good News! And, like the Wise Men who saw His star in the east, we follow.
Hospitality is an important part of our family lifestyle, not just at Christmas, but we sure do like to get ready for you at this time of year!
We remember how our praise is like a sweet aroma to the Lord, and we fill the house with tangy citrus and spicy cinnamon fragrance as the wassail is on the stove for days.
Coffee is always on. Mugs and treats often rest ready on the counter.
(Thanks to my sister in law for the adorable snowmen and cake balls-must look those up for next year!)
Each child has their own ornament theme, and slowly (and inconsistently) we've added to them over the years. Six themes has addled my brain more than once, but I do try since they are truly delighted when they receive another.
In order from youngest to oldest I'm on the lookout for birds, angels, stars, hearts, bears, and transportation themes. This year I only got 4 of the 6.
And, while I'm on it...when my eldest (19 yrs.) was itty bitty, I had this grand idea that I'd start gathering porcelain houses that you light with night light bulbs from within to collect over the years, and then when he (and subsequent siblings) established their own homes they'd have a neato collection of their own. I had no idea then that we'd have six children. Every Christmas when I pull out the boxes I wonder whose brilliant idea this was...but, then I put Grinch in a mental chokehold, because who am I to be so grumpy in this abundance. The children love it, and soon, I'm captured by the lights and remembering the natal star.
I should make it public that I've failed to keep things equal. Sorry kids...somewhere along the way, I lost track.
I admire neutral colors and muted tone decorations. But I seem to be unable to restrain myself from always having strong color elements throughout the house. And, since I don't add decorating into my Christmas budget aside from the tree and replacing lights, I often use what we've got around. And, I try to over time curate classic colors and accessories that I love so I'm inspired to use them in different ways all year.
For the record, I did succumb to one impulse buy this time around...That cute mercury glass tree by the poinsettia was a Target find. Are you keeping track by the way of what I write about? There are those bookshelves filled with my favorite accessory!
Oh, yes, I agree, it is a lovely table. It was constructed by my son and his friend using the last of the wood and dimensional lumber that we were able to salvage from the demolition. I must cover it every meal with a table cloth since there are gaps between the boards and we're pretty messy, but you can bet that the cloth comes off right after the meal to feast our eyes on the lovely wood.
I bet your finger is tired from scrolling down, down, down, down...There's a certain numbness creeping up my lower back as I sit and write. Must be time to draw this to a close. So here's a few more pictures for you mom and dad before I really conclude...
Back to Christmas, as the day lengthened clouds rolled in and covered the brightness that had started the day. It seemed fitting since we had recently had family worship centered on some of the more difficult themes of Christmas and had talked about them as being "dark".
And then, this.
The sky split open.
And the glory of the Lord shone around us. Thanks be to God, we were not afraid. We rushed out into the light singing at the top of our country lungs,
"Joy to the World, the Lord has come! "