To say “I love Christmas!” is a huge understatement. I absolutely ADORE this season!

I love the fresh greenery everywhere, the simple beauty, the sparkly lights, the music that sets an atmosphere like none other can [especially Sarah McLochlan’s album ‘Wintersong’], the cookies & baking, the times spent with family [and this year, hoping for a northern snow!] and most of all ~ a whole month to celebrate the coming of Christ!

Here are a few of our Decemberings!

:: Operation Christmas Cards ::

This is just so fun. I love hand-lettering, and preserving an old-fashioned art form.

I love to give cards; I love to get cards! The mail this time of year is an excitement for not only me, but now my kids. I try to share at least some of the Christmas cards. :)

Decemberings 118

This little guy followed me out to the mailbox.
The sunlight on his long blonde hair was a perfect melt-me-mommy-moment.

Decemberings 121

:: Unusual Couples ::

It’s not every day you see a shepherd and Cinderella hitchin’ up.

Decemberings 133

 

:: Gingerbread Houses ::

As I said when I posted a similar picture on Instagram:
“Excitement.com for the kids. Frustration.com for the mom! :)”

Lesson 101 when making gingerbread houses with little kids:
Let go of any and all expectations before beginning. :)

The picture was not decorated by a 4-year-old, and I’m pretty sure they had special decorating tips & supplies too. Also, in the picture there wasn’t an 18-month old candy thief who brought his sisters nearly to tears by his fistfuls of gumballs and other very small bits of candy that ended up over the entire floor.

But also not included in the picture were the giggles & squeals of two little girls who had the most fun ever, and who kept saying, “This is soooooo fun!!!!” So yes, it was worth it. :)

:: Gold Glitter Headbands ::

Decemberings 039

I was so excited to add a bit of elastic to a pretty gold ribbon to make it a headband.
She, however, isn’t a headband fan. I’m still trying to convince her it looks lovely.

:: My Favorite December Outfit ::

Decemberings 1 018

My sister gave me this adorable sweater for my birthday the end of November, and I love pairing it with red shoes for a festive look!

:: My Faire Lady Designs ::

Running a sale around Christmastime results in many orders. Thank you for your support of small, American-owned businesses!

Christmas Wreath 006 My Faire Lady onesie

Christmas Wreath 011

:: A Glitter-Crush ::

Not only do I have a gold-crush, it’s also a glitter-crush.

Decemberings 052   Decemberings 047

This is a fun project I’ve been working on, and need to finish up. But I love it so much!

And, did you know you can make your very own glitter paper? Me neither.
Not until Mod Podge & Gold Glitter married on cardstock paper. ♥

Decemberings 063

[Yes, my house looks like a glitter bomb detonated.]

Also, I’m very excited because next week there will be three little house tours here!
One will be mine, and the others, two of my sisters! We’ve all said we’ve done Christmas décor so simply this year, so it will not be a glamorous display but rather hopefully an inspiration and a toast to beautiful real life! So do check back.

**************************

I’ve also been thinking about the sad part: there can also be some difficult things at such a beautiful time of year.

For some, it’s the Comparison Trap: I don’t have a house that looks anything like those big bloggers’ houses all decked out! I can’t make cookies like the people all over Pinterest! My kids are missing out – I’m not doing Advent calendars like everyone else! We don’t even have a Christmas tree! And so we set out to over-extend ourselves, not for the sake of our families or what would be best for us and them, but because we feel like we don’t measure up to what everyone else surely is doing.

For some, it’s the Busy Trap: the constant stream of events and parties and decorating and baking and it’s one thing after the other, and suddenly Christmas is over and we feel like we never even had a real Christmas! We missed not just Christmas Day, but… JESUS.

And there’s more, because everyone is different. But those two are the two biggest things I’ve realized for myself this year, and had to just step back and take inventory of my own heart.  Motives are tricky things, and I’ve had to do some confessing and repenting in my heart. I’m so grateful for a God of Grace ~ who deals so gently with me.

This month has been a time of great joy, so deep it feels like I can’t contain it. Kind of a bursting-inside feeling, that life is just SO precious, my family is SO dear.

And running on a parallel track, the realization of such brokenness and pain in the world; in MY world. It seems like Christmas intensifies both joy and pain.

Last week I was feeling so burdened by so many areas of brokenness – broken relationships, broken friendships, broken families, broken marriages – and some of those in my own life. I think everyone has their own battles they face, even if you don’t hear them speak of it.

And I was so struck by a fresh realization of why Christ came, and Christmas itself became all the more meaningful. Christ came not only to bring Joy to the World, although that is a huge part. But He also came for the brokenness in the world; He came for the sins I’ve done, and for the sins committed against me. He came so I don’t have to live in bondage to the brokenness. He came for redemption, for healing, for restoration. It’s freedom. And out of that comes joy. Not a pretending about our life, but a true joy that He is greater, even greater than the stories that our lives have written. And I am so, so grateful! What a precious Jesus!

Happy weekend, my friends!

Image3

13 thoughts on “Decemberings.

  1. Oie

    You are SO right about the competitiveness of Christmas, even if it’s just in our minds!! I feel my mind overwhelmed with the business of Dec, that I make my actual tasks seem insurmountable! I’m glad of quiet times to regather my thoughts & focus. We’ve done gingerbread houses for the past two Christmases, & you surely have to let go of expectations with the kids in control of decorating, I even let them do the tree this year too *gasp*!

    Thank you for your kind words regarding my Granny also xo

  2. beklovesjeremy

    lovely post. truth. the pictures aren’t loading for me… so I’ll check back on that later… and THANK you for calling to wish me a happy birthday!:) so fun to catch up again. looking forward to our coffee date in two weeks!!!!!:) MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  3. shelly

    I love the little glimpses into your house and life with each post . . . the blonde boy, the unusual couple, the gingerbread houses created by children instead of professional adults who work for magazines . . . . (I made two batches of gingerbread cookies this year~one for them, one for me~ just so that I could leave my hands COMPLETELY out of their happy little mess and still scratch my itch for a little more like-i-imagined-them-to-look cookies. Seemed to work well. Oh and the best part is that I don’t have to crunch through a tablespoon of crunchy sprinkles each time I’d like to eat a cookie. ;))

    Those last paragraphs are so true . . . the various reasons we allow our joy and rest to be taken from us at this beautiful time of year. I don’t have it down perfectly, by any means!! But I think I’m getting it a little more each year. And the things that work for me and mine, bringing joy and peace to our lives are probably different for everyone. But for us it’s a lot of staying home with a few special outings. . . enjoying simple things . . . and expressing love and gratefulness ~kinda like the other 11 months of the year. :) Children certainly don’t appreciate crowded stores, stressed out moms, or perfect decorations or cookies as much as we’d like to convince ourselves that THIS is what will MAKE Christmas for them. Once again, I love your thoughts and “decemberings” here. xoxo

  4. Rach

    …a great post. Thanks for the honest reminders in the last 2 paragraphs.. I will be waiting for your little house tours!! ;)

  5. April

    I love your handwriting Clarita! I love that you find joy and pleasure in tasks that could be considered tedious :) I can’t wait to see your house tours!!!

    This years Christmas has been one of mixed emotions. My sweet childhood friend, now a wife and mother of 4, was diagnosed with incurable cancer. This year every memory I make with my family is paired with the deep pain and sorrow I feel for my friend. But God is good and I will praise Him for the days He has granted me and I will continue to pray for a miracle.

    As always Clarita it was been such a pleasure to see your projects and hear your heart!

  6. Denise Carruthers

    I loved reading your post. It is truly what Christmas is about. My birthday was yesterday which adds to the busyness of the season but it is good. Since my children were small we enjoyed seasonal activities. In 2005 we moved to the Nashville area and I immediately looked for a new seasonal memory. Every year we now go to ICE which is a total exhibit made of ice. At the end is a nativity scene that just makes you stop and reflect. When visitors enter this room there is a hush. And even though my children are now 17 and 19 they still want to go. These type of memories will always be with me.

  7. Elizabeth

    I get so excited when I see a new post pop up from your blog. :)
    Oh Clarita..Glitter!..if you only knew how much I love glitter! My house is a glitter bomb too. Being the crafting, creating queen that you are you probably already know this…but they make these markers that write blue glue that you cover with glitter. I LOVE them! They make my written words feel so fancy. I used them on our place cards for Thanksgiving.

    Love all of your thoughts. Love your heart Clarita. You are the sweetest.

    And don’t beat yourself up with the whole comparison trap.. I’m sure people look at your blog and think they don’t do enough! (We are not making gingerbread houses this year! ;) It’s funny, but I started a post about this very subject..just haven’t posted it yet…we just had a great big discussion about this at our mom’s meeting for our homeschool group last week. You make so many great memories with your children..you are a blessing of a mommy to them! Look at your Thanksgiving table!!! It was amazing! I could go on and on about how great you are. :)

    Happy Weekend to you.
    XxOo

  8. omega57

    We don’t even have our tree up and I’m okay with that! But we have eaten dinner togehter every evening this week. It’s hard with 2 teens’ schedules plus one of them and i are in physical therapy. I come home wiped out. Seems to me, you are getting it just about right this year. To see Christ with new fresh eyes and with His heart is an amazing gift! Love that you love glitter so much!! We don’t do too much glitter any more but in our day…!

  9. Jolynn Friesen

    I like your last portion – writing – about this season. Christmas or December can be such a busy time and easy to get lost in it all trying to fill a certain expectation. It’s hard to relax and be ok with things not going a certain way. I like what you said about motive checking. Motives are tricky things and even trickier to be honest with them/ourselves.
    I love your honesty and your heart! You are such a dear! Thanks for being real and I love reading your blog! :)
    Happy Decembering! Looking forward to your next post… ;)

  10. Chelsea

    Hi, Clarita. I just stumbled upon your blog today and I have to say, my heart relates to this so much, not just at Christmas, but year round! As a photographer and blogger, I spend much of my time in front of a computer and it’s so easy to fall into the “so-and-so-is-doing-it-bigger/ better/ faster/ more sparkly-than-me” trap. I constantly have to remind myself that it is not man whom I seek to please, but God. As a wife, as a mother, as a friend, even in my career. And there is NOTHING that I can do to make Him love me more- or less! It’s a comforting feeling especially at this time of year.

    Anyway, love your blog and so glad I found it! God bless!

  11. Erika R.

    I always enjoy reading your posts. And I love your pictures! I adore Sarah M.’s Wintersong too. Also, your Christmas cards are so, so precious!

    I can relate to your last paragraphs, particularly about the pain of broken families and marriages, which is a heartbreak that I am currently experiencing with my parents’ broken marriage. This is my first Christmas away from my family. And, while we never have done much for Christmas, somehow this year feels the most heavy around this holiday season. And it is hard to smile when you are carrying around the hurts. But I am learning what it means to celebrate and REST in what our dear Lord has accomplished for us. That is truly enough for us when everything else has fallen.

  12. C

    The snowflake detail on the envelopes is so cute. Hudson is adorable!!! The sun in his hair and his little green jeans…aww!! :).

Comments are closed.