Welcome, friends! I’m participating in a Christmas home tour today, and as a way to give back to our readers this festive season, we’re also giving you the chance to win $600 in PayPal cash. Make sure you scroll right to the end for your chance to enter!
But first… a story.
Decorating for Christmas was one of my favourite things to do as a little girl. We had a scrawny little plastic tree, a bunch of home-made ornaments featuring craft sticks and glitter, and a truckload of tinsel. We used to put on some Christmas carols and wrap that thing until it resembled a tinsellified mummy.
It wasn’t classy in the slightest, but it was FUN.
I kind of miss those days, in all honesty. As a blogger, there’s a lot of pressure to produce something that looks nice on camera. It’s been a busy couple of weeks with various deadlines, and I think I kind of lost my joy in what I was doing. Decorating for Christmas became an “I HAVE to” (by a given deadline) instead of an “I WANT to.”
The other day, as I was frantically trying to get the tree up in whatever small window of time I had available right then, I stopped and gave myself an attitude check. How had I managed to turn something I used to enjoy so much and look forward to all year, into a chore that was stressing me out??
Christmas hasn’t changed. But I’ve changed. I’ve grown up. I’ve gotten busy. I’ve lost the magic and the innocence of the season that I enjoyed so much as a child.
I’ve started caring more what other people might happen to think of my decorating, than about the joy I can bring to my family.
In all my frantic Christmas preparations, I haven’t stopped once to think about the coming of Jesus, the one who gives my life meaning and hope and purpose and so, so much more.
Instead, I’ve let myself become stressed out over truly insignificant details like what colour scheme I should use on the tree, and how to set the table so it looks different from last time I participated in this tour.
In short, I’ve lost the point.
So today, I’m not going to give you a blow-by-blow of my decorating choices. I simply want to share our home with you.
It’s not perfect. It’s not even all that fancy. But you know what? Once I pulled myself up and changed my attitude, I enjoyed doing it.
I put on some Christmas carols and belted out the tunes. I let the kids “help” and moved the baubles when they weren’t looking.
I had fun.
Decorating my home reminded me of Christmases past, of the joy I felt as a child, when I created for the sheer pleasure of it, with no inner critic judging my efforts.
And I remembered that the choice is always mine.
We live in a world that puts a lot of value on the external things. But the state of my heart is far more important than the “wow factor” of my table settings.
I can choose to stress over what others may think, or I can focus on reframing how I think.
I can choose to find joy in the simple things.
Like trimming a Christmas tree.
Like seeing the kids’ eyes light up when they walk into the room to find the table set all pretty.
Like hearing my son say, “wow, THANK YOU, Mummy!” as he fingers the little green wreaths on the plates.
I can choose peace instead of stress and acceptance instead of pressure.
I pray this for you as well.
That you’ll enjoy the season. That you’ll create with unselfconscious delight (if you want to.) Or not (if you don’t want to.)
That you’ll experience laughter with family, and times of togetherness, and delicious food, and all the love in the world.
That you’ll take a moment here and there to step away from the hustle and bustle of the season and just… be still.
Be still with the One who it’s all for, in the first place.
Thank you for letting my share my rambling thoughts with you today.
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway before you go!
And make sure you take some time to browse the other beautiful blogger homes as well. You’ll find them below the giveaway.
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Designing Vibes says
Not only does your home look beautiful, but you really are such a great writer. Like you, I have been stressed and preoccupied with perfection. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the little things.
Karen Schravemade says
Thanks so much, Erica! Your encouragement is so sweet. xo
Emily, Our house now a home says
The green and gold is such a beautiful combination! I love the elegance of it, yet it feels very comfrotable and perfect for the season!
Karen Schravemade says
Thank you, friend! xo
What a beautiful reminder of the real reason for the season – I think it’s easy to get stressed and over-extended around this time of year. But I’m so happy you were able to regroup and reassess. I think we all have to have an attitude check every once in a while.
I think your home is just beautiful – I love your table settings and the subtle color scheme. I’m sure it’s a place your family will have etched in their own wonderful holiday memories as well.
Karen Schravemade says
Thanks for those sweet words, Kim! I appreciate you! xo
Angela, Blue i Style says
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts about slowing down to enjoy the season. Your home looks beautiful, but more importantly, your family will have wonderful memories of this season!
Karen Schravemade says
Yes, I hope so Angela! Thanks, girl 🙂 xo
Right there with you; I always have such mixed feelings come Christmas blog tour time! On the other hand, it forces me to get it all done early enough that I can relax and enjoy my December :). Your table is just lovely–those little wreathes are perfect!
Bettina Johnson says
Gorgeous, Love the mini wreath on the plates and the beautiful wall art.
Lindsay Eidahl says
We all need to slow down and that is my plan this season! Your home looks amazing! Have a very Merry Christmas!
Laura @ The Turquoise Home says
Your decorations are beautiful but your sentiments are even better! Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year!
This is exactly what we have been discussing in my advent bible study group. Present over perfect. Peace over pressure. Rejoice before retail.
Tara @ Lehman Lane says
Karen, your home and your table look absolutely beautiful! I agree as a blogger decorating does sometimes feel as something we have to do instead of want to do. Thanks for the sweet reminder to slow down and Be Still :).
Carrie Spalding says
I love what you shared – such a great reminder of what the actual point of this all is. And I absolutely love your simple place settings – so pretty.
Ashley Mayes says
Pom pom trim on the tree?! Such a fab idea!
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Merry Christmas to you and your family, you have a beautiful home <3
What beautiful words, so important. And they go so well with your beautiful home. You know what too? Reading your honest truth has transformed this into decorating that even I could achieve because I know I have that same struggle oftentimes. I am “just a normal person”, someone who re-uses decorations each year and wants only to create something nice to share with family and I think I can incorporate some of your beautiful ideas. I especially loved your candle centrepiece!