Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Christmas Favorites

I really enjoy decorating our home for Christmas. It is fun to add something new or reminisce while putting up decorations that we have had for the last twelve years of our marriage. Here are some of my favorites...

I have had this small tree for the last several years but this year I decided to use on of my good friends ideas and put all our Christmas card pictures on for decoration. We are all enjoying looking at our friends every day of the Christmas season! Underneath the tree sits of basket of Christmas books. I love reading these books while snuggling on the couch with my kiddos.

This Nativity set was given to us by Ryan's Great Aunt for out wedding. Each year I let the kids set it up. They always make sure all the figures are looking at the baby Jesus.

We have had our stockings for several years. I bought six when we were only four in hopes that God might have six planned for our family. This year we hung up Melia's stocking to remember her as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I love that my mantle is full! Maybe next year she will be here to find surprises in her stocking on Christmas morning!
This is our advent calendar. Each day at breakfast the kids take turns putting up one of the Christmas characters and tells the rest of the family how that particular character played a part in the Christmas story.
Although our trees lighting is not the best this year (the prelit branches are dying) I love our tree. It is filled with homemade decorations and watching the kids decorate the tree each year is so special. My mom started a tradition when I was little that I have continued with my kids. Each of the kids gets a special ornament each year. Hallie's is a collection of stars, Jacob's are musical instruments, Zac's are candy canes and Melia's started this year with bells! After we decorate our tree we always drink hot chocolate and watch White Christmas!

This is our advent wreath that sits on the kitchen table. It is not much to look at and I could see it maybe getting a little pick-me-up next year but it is homemade and I do love that about it! Each week on Sunday we light a candle and talk about how Jesus brought peace, hope, joy and love when we was born. Then we read a part of the Christmas story and try to figure out a way we can share Jesus' hope, peace, joy and love with others. The last two years we have started a tradition of Ryan and I matching the kids monetary generosity and buying chickens or ducks for families around the world through World Vision.

These beautiful decorations sit on our piano. I really adore the Peggy Carr ornaments and this is one of my favorites. Also, this year I have enjoyed listening to Hallie play Angels We Have Heard on High, Jingle Bells and other Christmas Carols on the piano!

Finally, this is my favorite, favorite collection. Each year my mom buys Ryan and I a new character to add to our carolers. I managed to get all the characters on this piece of furniture this year, but I look forward to having the carolers extend to other areas of the room in years to come!