Christmas at our home(stead)

Today has been one of those rainy, stay in your pajamas all day, kind of days. Both of the littles were up well before dawn, so we snuggled on the couch in our cozy clothes, listening to the rain beat against the windows.

I love the rain. The light tinkering sounds on the roof and the smell of fresh earth leave me longing for more rainy, stay at home days. There’s something remarkably cozy about lighting a candle and watching water pour down in front of the kitchen window. I guess I should make a mental note (for whenever the rain stops) that we should clear the leaves out of the gutters.

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Note the bowl of compost that needs to go out to the garden. But I’m comfortable in my slippers and holding my coffee mug, so I’ll just let the eggshells pile up for now.

Something about the rain that makes me want to slow down. To take in the sights, look around the house and reminisce.

We’re halfway through the Christmas season. One thing I love about our Catholic tradition is the prolonged Christmas celebrations. While the rest of the world ends Christmas and packs up their decorations on December 26th, we maintain a festive spirit until the Epiphany of the Lord, which is celebrated on January 6th. Which means, it’s not too late to show you how I decorated the house for Christmas this year. 

Because, I’m sure y’all are dying to see.

Having two small children (ages 2 years and 9 months), makes decorating a bit more difficult. There are fewer surfaces, in general, on which to place decorations. And anything even remotely fragile has to placed up high. For our home, that meant Christmas decor primarily took over the fireplace mantle.

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To one side is our “advent wreath”. Instead of making an entire wreath of greenery, I opted for simple candles. Each candle has a ribbon pinned around it to signal the celebratory color of the week and a corresponding amount of twine wrapped around each, so the second week’s candle has two layers of twine.

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Front and center of the mantle, is the rest of our nativity set. Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and the “baa’s” as Simon calls them. Back in the corner behind the shepherds is a small figurine my sister brought us from Spain. Supposedly, the tradition is to place this little figure in the corner of your nativity set as a reminder that we’re all human and we can only give to Jesus what we have – not all of us run around with spare sets of gold, frankincense or myrrh.

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Then, I topped off the fireplace with a decorative banner. Because nothing says Christmas like red and white candy cane stripes hung on twine. and scotch tape to hold it in place. What can I say? I like to keep in classy.

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Keeping in the rainy day spirit, I’ll sit a while longer and enjoy the soft glow of our Christmas tree lights.

And then the dog will come inside to get mud on the carpet and my children will drive me bonkers running laps around the house and I’ll be praying for sunshine to dry up the yard soon enough.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas, y’all. I hope your days are merry, bright, and full of family and love.





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