We experienced an unusually mild and extended fall, but winter finally arrived this morning. And just in time as Christmas is 5 weeks away.
As our family prepares for Christmas, I stop and reflect on the reasons we adorn our houses with brightness and splendor; why we give generously to some and out of obligation to others; why we honk our horns in a rage as we try to find a parking spot, only to then plow through shopping centres; why we cook lavish meals and glutton ourselves until we can’t take another bite. My soul reminds me of the true meaning of this season. Not for the presents, the food or the nicest decorations. But to celebrate the birth of the Saviour; the one that was born in a manger amongst sheep and cattle. Not on a golden cradle or wrapped in fine linen.
Growing up as a child, Santa was not really the center of Christmas in my parent’s home. While we received one present from Santa, my parents never really made it a big deal and therefore, neither did I nor my siblings. Christmas celebrations would commence on Christmas eve, where we would all gather at my grandparent’s house. There, we would eat, dance, and celebrate and just before midnight, we would have a countdown to Christmas day. We would then open our family presents and while the kids played with their toys, the adults would continue their celebration. On Christmas morning, we would go looking for Santa’s gift which was hidden somewhere in the house.
As hubby is British, we wanted to marry both cultures and embrace the beauty of both which meant we still put a lot of focus on family and gatherings, but also tried to make our kiddie’s Christmas magical and embraced good ol’ Saint Nick. Sadly, Santa doesn’t visit our home anymore as our children are now young teenagers, but we thoroughly enjoyed writing notes to Santa, leaving cookies for him on the table and carrots for the reindeer outside. The kids would awake to find cookie crumbs on a plate, an empty glass of milk and scraps of carrots in the backyard, surrounded by hoof prints in the snow. They would also find a note from Santa, expressing ‘his’ gratitude for the snacks.
It feels like just yesterday when we would have to hide presents and buy ‘special’ wrapping paper that despite promising ourselves we would do better next year, we inevitably found ourselves wrapping Santa’s gifts at 3am Christmas Eve. ha.
There were many times that getting certain things on the kiddie’s Christmas list seemed nearly impossible, but hubby or Santa always seemed to pull it off. One of the funniest requests came from Bella when she was 8 years old and she wanted an autographed photo of Santa. I’m pretty sure it was her way of reassuring herself that Santa was real. Well, ‘Santa’ pulled it off and he sent a selfie of himself. ha. I’m definitely going to miss those days, but won’t miss the 5 am wake ups (after going to bed at 3am).
It’s so fun to reminisce on these beautiful memories of our little ones and I will probably sound really old, but if you have little ones, treasure those moments, because ‘they’ were right. Kiddies don’t stay little for long.
But let me now tell you about my mantel and this little ‘Here comes Santa tour’ being hosted by my dear friends Annie and Ahsley and the kind folks from Grandid Road. The mantel isn’t anything fancy and grand as I simply lined it with some bay leaves that my friend Rachel gave me, candle holders from the thrift store, my homemade trees and some paper houses from Michaels. They were ‘buy one, get one free’ and as you can see, I moved the mirror that was in our living room here and I think it works well.
The initial plan was to place this gorgeous mirror from Grandid Road, but I wanted a little change so I placed it behind the couch instead. Make sure you come back tomorrow to see this space.
I also ordered this beautiful soft faux cowhide rug.
This is one of my newest Christmas pillow designs.
I can’t wait to show you the rest of this space in detail during our Christmas home tours, but in the mean time, I’m sure you will find gorgeous inspiration by visiting my friends below.