Christmas recap!

How was your December? (photo by Simply Beauty Photography)

I can’t believe I went all month without a post. It is my favorite time of the year. I always try to pack it all in while attempting to savor every moment so it doesn’t pass too quickly. (photo by Simply Beauty Photography)

However, I had something happen two years ago that began changing my perspective on Christmas. (photo by Simply Beauty Photography)

I actually wrote a blog post for you about it, but to be honest it was a little too raw to edit and actually finish. (photo by Simply Beauty Photography)

Every Christmas since 2015, I feel God speaking to me in a way that builds upon that new perspective. (photo by Simply Beauty Photography) Pajamas are from Sweet Honey.

This year was no different. (photo by Simply Beauty Photography)

So I decided that He isn’t done molding my Christmas spirit, and it’s not the time to share. Maybe next year. ❤️(photo by Simply Beauty Photography)

I do want to share with you all my Christmas decorations and some of the fun things we did!! (photo by Simply Beauty Photography)

It was fun to have a space of our own again. (photo by Simply Beauty Photography)

I look forward to adding to and improving what we did this season year after year in our new home. 🤞🏻 (Knock on wood that we aren’t moving anytime soon!)(photo by Simply Beauty Photography) Dresses are from Hannah Kate Clothing.

If there is anything you have questions about or want to see in more detail, leave me a comment or question! I hope you enjoy. So…here we go!

Every year our elves arrive on Dec. 1st with a welcome breakfast! I know a lot of people loathe this new Christmas tradition, but I think it’s fun! (Elf version of a hot air balloon!)(I decorate the table with ribbon packages, Christmas decor, really anything in the house.)

This year, we had two elves. Lizzie belongs to Alexa and Snowflake is Afton’s. (Sleepover Party!)

They rarely get into mischief or make a mess. Sometimes they are hanging from light fixtures. (Or taking a nice drive.)

Sometimes they are more creative.

We always purchase a real tree for the house. I love Christmas ornaments and all are welcome on my tree! I have handmade ornaments from the kids as well as sentimental ones. This is one of my favorites!

(I have one for each of the girls!)

We placed wreaths on all the windows hung by ribbon. Well, they appear to be hung by ribbon.

The wind off the east coast wasn’t kind to them. We ended up attaching them to window hooks to secure them, and the ribbon was just for looks or support when the wind kicked them off the hook. (I made this wreath this year! I love the simplicity of it vs all the glittery ornaments that were on my old one.)

That only happened on one particularly stormy and windy day. Next year, I want to add lights somewhere outside. I think we were the only house on our street without them!

Speaking of lights, it’s one of my favorite things about Christmas! We visited a botanical garden in our area that always goes all out for Christmas. Several local businesses do a great job with lights and it makes driving through the heart of town so beautiful! Even our local park wrapped the old oak trees in lights, and as I mentioned before our neighborhood impressed this year! (Savannah Mall’s Christmas set up!)

We saw Santa too which is always a HUGE hit! 😂

We went caroling with some friends from church. This was our first year participating and it was a lot of fun!! You could tell the neighbors really enjoyed it also. I hope this will be a new tradition for our family. Alexa had her class party at school, and we made some sweet treats for our teachers! We usually make a gingerbread house, but this year I found this cute gingerbread village. The small houses were easier to construct (in my opinion), and I liked that we each had our own house to work on.

Can we talk about how much I love Christmas outfits? 😍

It’s crazy how much I love them! 😂 I had so many outfits from when Alexa was little in addition to things I had bought for Afton AND outfits from last year that still fit, we couldn’t even get them all worn.

My living room Christmas decor is very traditional in color, and I love it, but I have always wanted a room that reflected a white Christmas theme. I attempted to begin that in the kitchen this year. Somehow I dropped the ball on photographing the kitchen as a whole, but you can see I hung wreaths inside the windows on white ribbon.

I wanted flocked wreaths, but found green ones on sale at Hobby Lobby. I decided to spray them with artificial snow spray. It actually worked better than I anticipated and was a nice option to keep the budget down.

I added this garland on the light fixture later and loved it. But it made me think maybe I should go for green wreaths next year and just add some white sprigs. We’ll see!

I found these flocked magnolia wreaths in the dollar section at Target along with the placemats for the kids! How awesome is that section at Target? Seriously, I find the best stuff.

Alexa has had this pink tree for years. I bought it online from Treetopia. We started with a handful of ornaments, and every year we add a little more to it. Ignore the shadows toward her bed. Apparently, we ran out of light bulbs and I didn’t realize it at the time of this picture! 🤦🏼‍♀️ (photo by Simply Beauty Photography)

The tree has candy garland and tons of ornaments that resemble ice cream, slices of pie, gingerbread, and other sweet treats! Afton doesn’t have a tree yet, but I plan on working on that for next year. My girls love window clings too! We found ours this year at Walmart. You can see here on the door in the kitchen we put this snowy scene of Santa flying over a little town.

I’m attempting to save it for next year even though most clings are a one and done deal.

The girls had snowflakes on their windows in their bedrooms we bought there too!

We finished off our season as we always do with a candle light service on Christmas Eve. This is a “come as you are” event, but it is our family tradition that the girls wear their best Christmas dresses and it makes it extra special for us. I have mentioned before that Afton’s 3rd Birthday was very hard for me – for so many reasons. But it prepared me for Christmas this year. She doesn’t get excited about new toys or opening gifts.

The thought of Alexa opening box after box for her while we attempted to rope her in and get some excitement out of her just crushed my spirit.

Then it occurred to me…why do that to myself?Or to her!

So…we didn’t!

We bought her a playhouse.

That’s it.

Nothing to open.

It was perfect.

We painted it like a house I had seen on Pinterest, and it was beautiful!!

You can see her playing inside it. It amazes me that she just KNOWS when something is meant for her.

I decorated it for Christmas, and we added the number 15 to the door to match our house number.

It has a little play kitchen sink and stove inside and a working doorbell!

I even asked our family to do the same. My mom and sisters went in together and got her this rollercoaster.

It has been a huge hit for every kid that has been over since Christmas! Ha!!

Even my mother-in-law & sister-in-law got in on the unique gift giving and sent her a book, therapy items, a music toy, & pajamas (just to name a few)….things she could really use.

It was perfect and a good lesson learned.

Expectations can be crushing.

Sometimes it is important to accept the way things are (for now), and make that time extra special instead of trying to make it into something it isn’t.

That’s exactly what we did for Christmas dinner too!!

You are looking at our Christmas dinner!🔝

We have never missed Christmas dinner with our family until this year, so we decided to make it our own.

Grinch night was the theme!!

All our food was green and we even made green punch. It was actually delicious.

Then we all watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

To wrap it up, December was great.

We dealt with some sickness and we threw expectation out the window.

Most importantly, we celebrated Jesus.

As always, I hope you leave this page feeling inspired and encouraged.

Thanks for following along on our journey!

4 thoughts on “Christmas recap!

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