Here's what decks our hall (or living room, as the case may be):
The stockings are hung with care above the door frame. I'll let you guess which one belongs to each person, though one of them should be quite obvious.
just in case you couldn't tell for sure
I love my miniature Nativity, and now I'm wishing I had a better picture to show you, but there it is. And the Wise Men (or Man in our case) is still traveling, since they didn't see Jesus in the manger most likely.
I tried to remember some decorating tips from my friend Michelle when decorating our mantle. The Christmas tree candle in the middle was passed to my mom from my great aunt Flo, who always had such wonderful decorations for every holiday. I like that I have it now. The nutcrackers were a gift to Isaiah from Mimi and JanJan several years ago.
I don't know if you can tell, but please forgive the white candles with red streaks on them. I keep meaning to get new ones, but it just hasn't been a priority at this point. They give the effect that I generally want.
For the past few years I have made an Advent calendar for our family to use, hoping that it will be easy to use the next year. But as you read already, each year I make a new one. However, this year, I think that I've finally come up with an idea that will last for years to come!
I made a felt tree, and each night we add a leaf so that the tree should be full when Advent is done. This way I don't have specific spaces to fill, we just put the leaf up wherever we, meaning Isaiah, want.
In addition to putting the leaf up each night, we sing and read portions of Scripture that Thomas has prepared for us. The first week we read about Christ in the Law. The second week we read about Christ in the Historical books. This week we are reading about Christ in the Wisdom Literature. Next week we will read about Christ in the Prophets, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we will read selections from the gospels.
And of course, we have our tree. Bigger than last year, but just right for our small room.
You know you love someone when you're willing to forgo your strong preference for white lights in favor of their preference for colored lights. It's a very pretty tree, I think!
We are also continuing the tradition of sharing the holidays with our families while we are here. Thanksgiving was celebrated with Thomas' family. We are enjoying our Christmas festivities in North Carolina with my family.
And now, I bid you all good night. May you have a Merry Christmas!