Our Simple Christmas

Our simple Christmas looks a lot like our simple summer staycation. And our simple family vacation to Northwest Arkansas. And, our simple regular schedule.

Early bedtimes. (6:15… when we say early, we mean E-A-R-L-Y) 

Evenings at home.

Low budget.

Quiet, yet magical.

Fewer decorations than last year. Just the giant tree (a hand-me-down from my parents, which has so many precious memories) with tons of lights and ornaments. I left most of the knick-knacks in the attic. I did try to add some “natural elements” to this year’s decor, which I quickly killed. Now I know why folks use faux greenery… I’m a crazy plant lady, but I killed my indoor potted rosemary miniature Christmas trees and the fresh garland we hung over our bookcase almost immediately.

It looked good for a few days, at least.

At the beginning of the season, I made a Christmas bucket list. In past years my list has been long. Very long. This year I only wanted to do two things as a family: go look at Christmas lights while sipping on hot chocolate, and decorate Christmas cookies.

We’ve already done both. And, I’ve done all my shopping (online of course, because I refuse to step foot in a store after November 1… including a grocery store). There’s still plenty of wrapping to do, and maybe a Christmas movie or two to watch. But if I don’t get to it, that’s fine.

We don’t have an Elf on the Shelf. Wrenn asked me why we’re the only family on the street without our own elf, and I flatly told her, “because they’re not real.” Our very mature 5-year-old was totally fine with that explanation. Let’s be honest… I don’t have the energy to do the Elf. I hope to make it take the girls to get pics with Santa. But if that doesn’t happen, they’ll live. They’ve seen him from afar several times. Wrenn wrote him a letter (and he wrote back!), so her belief is intact for another year.

And that’s it for Christmas. No expectations. No pressure. We’re keeping it simple.

On purpose.

Each day ends with our advent reading. We turn out all the lights in the house, except for the white twinkle lights on the Christmas tree. We light the candles and read the daily Bible passage. It’s not a legalistic, have-to tradition. It’s a moment of peace in the midst of a swirl of celebrations, each night, where we think about what it must have been like to anxiously wait for a Savior to come. A King to arrive. All the waiting. All the hoping. All the wondering.

And then He came.

Our advent is restful. Magical. Unifying and clarifying and refocuses us on why we’re doing all this in the first place.

We’ll wrap up the season with some simple celebrations with both sides of our family (one we’ve already done), and then ring in the actual Christmas day in our pjs, inviting neighbors to stop in for food and drinks and an escape from the chaos and expectations of Christmas.

I like simple.

Christmas Bunting – In the shop!


I’ve got brand-new Christmas bunting in the shop, and I’m offering free shipping for the next few days. It features some of my favorite Christmas fabrics without being TOO Christmas-y. I mean, nothing says Merry Christmas like a little gray zebra print, right?


This makes me so excited to decorate for Christmas. When do you start your decorating? I like to have mine up by the weekend before Thanksgiving, because that way I can enjoy Thanksgiving and my time off work and not run around working on things. I realize there’s those “nothing ’til after Thanksgiving” purists, but I’m not one of them. My biggest goal is to be able to relax and enjoy being at home with my family.


I keep thinking back to last year’s Thanksgiving. I found out I was pregnant the Tuesday before Thanksgiving – Nov. 20 – which was also just two days before my birthday. That week was so special (and stressful – I was high risk and in the ER the day we found out I was pregnant), and I keep reliving those moments over and over while staring at my beautiful baby girl. I knew all along she would be amazing, but really, I had no idea.

So this year as I decorate for Christmas, I’m going to be extra thankful, and joyful. My little family has been so blessed.

Is it Christmas yet?

Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s taking every ounce of my being not to turn on the Christmas music, get down the decorations and just START my Christmas. I’ve already finished about 80% of my Christmas shopping, thanks to many middle-of-the-night feedings where I perused blogs and did online shopping on my iPhone right after Baby Girl was born. I had a lot of extra time on my hands back during those first few weeks when I was up 21 hours a day.

Man, I don’t miss those days.

My goal for this year is to check all of my to-do items  off the list early so I can just sit back and ENJOY Christmas. I tend to get so busy that I sprint through Christmas, doing and going but not always stopping to breathe and be thankful. Or, there was last year, when I was newly pregnant and so sick I could barely eat crackers, so I sort of missed the entire holiday season (along with New Year’s, Valentine’s, Saint Patrick’s Day, Easter…). This year, I kind of want to stroll through the month and relish those “firsts” with my growing family.


One of the things I am most excited about is taking Baby Wrenn to see Santa for the first time. A few years back we found this AWESOME picture of my dad’s first visit to see Santa. As you can see… it was a classic.


I experimented with Christmas bunting last night, and I’m so pleased with the result! I’m thinking about adding it to the shop. This one is already spoken for, but I plan to whip up some more soon – if you’re interested in some, let me know – I’m just going to make a limited quantity. I plan to use some for my mantle and bring a strand to decorate my new office.


I’ve also got a few quilted Christmas pillows available. I love this star pattern (I recently finished a star quilt top that I can’t decide if I want to list in the store, or get greedy and keep for myself).


And the back of those pillows – which just so happen to match the bunting.


I’ve also got Christmas prints – this one sat proudly on my Christmas mantle last year, and I also used it as a hostess gift.

What about you? Are you ready for Christmas, or are you closing your eyes and pretending like it’s a long, long ways off? What part are you most looking forward to?