Blue and White Christmas Home Tour
Today, we’re excited to share the Blue and White Christmas Home Tour at Bliss Barracks!
Early Christmas Plans at Bliss Barracks…
In just a few hours my sisters, their families and I will walk through the front door at Bliss Barracks to settle in for an early Christmas with my parents.
It’s one of those “off years” where my sisters will be with their in-laws. So, our tradition is to have Christmas with each other the weekend before “the big day” to make traveling easier for everyone.
As with Thanksgiving, we’ve continuously traveled to celebrate Christmas with extended family over the years which makes these moments together at Bliss Barracks even more treasured.
Our Favorite Christmas Traditions…
Our Christmas weekend begins the minute we open the door. My Mom always has a wonderful citrus simmer pot on the stove in the kitchen. It literally fills the entire house with smells of the holiday season.
She sets a beautiful table for twelve, complete with Christmas crackers. And we linger over dinner and dessert until the littles get us up for the jingle bell bike parade.
Once we get home, we change into matching pajamas (even the Dads), bake cookies for Santa, and exchange sister gifts.
Then we head upstairs to watch The Polar Express with big mugs of hot cocoa topped with heaping spoonsful of mini marshmallows and bowls of popcorn.
We always think by then the littles should be ready for bed and all twelve of us pile up in their room while my Mom reads the Christmas story from the Bible.
You know how it goes though…the littles are usually so excited about Santa’s arrival they don’t fall asleep right away…
…if at all.
About 430 or 445 am the following morning, I get a text from one of my sisters asking if I’m awake because the littles are itching to come downstairs.
Of course, I am ?
Celebrating Christmas in a Military Family…
Next, we do the cheesiest tradition EVER.
We’ve done it for as long as I can remember which is funny given we haven’t always woken up at our own house on Christmas morning. It’s totally a nod to our life in the military.
All the kids and the grands meet at the bottom of the stairs and choose an “air instrument” (you cannot make this stuff up).
Then we march around my parents’ bedroom (in the dark, no less) singing and playing this song.
As you can imagine, they’ve heard us all giggling and tramping down the stairs like elephants for at least 15 minutes.
But they graciously play along and act like they can barely make it out of bed because they are so tired.
Gathering Around the Christmas Tree…
Then we head into the living room and gather around the tree to see all the goodies Santa has left.
You read that right; Santa still visits every single member of our family. It doesn’t matter if you’re 4 or 70.
And bonus, he leaves a trash bag by your stack of presents. That way, you can open your gifts in an efficient manner and place your trash directly in the trash bag “making clean up so much easier on everyone” ?
We always watch the littles open their gifts first. Once they’re playing with all their toys, we open our gifts.
One at a time. Oldest to youngest.
After that my parents, open all their gifts. And despite Santa’s best efforts to make things as orderly and efficient as possible, the living room always looks like a gift exchange free-for-all.
It’s totally chaotic but in the best “this is our life” kind of way.
Gathering Around the Dining Table for Christmas Brunch…
Then we gather around the table in the dining room for a big Christmas brunch complete with my Dad’s cinnamon rolls. He makes them from scratch and even uses a ruler to make sure they’re all the same size and evenly spaced on the pan.
In fact, the day I was taking these photos he was fighting a cold and flu and was on the couch watching The Great British Baking Show learning how to proof icing.
It’s no wonder I’m a recovering perfectionist ha ha.
After brunch, we open our Christmas stockings. The rest of the day is spent as you can imagine…lots of playing, dancing, singing, bike riding and games.
There is very little napping save for Santa who woke up to the best rendition of “Reveille” ever.
Savoring the Christmas Weekend at Bliss Barracks…
We usually end our Christmas weekend taking in a light display or a holiday movie, eating something super easy for supper like slow cooker chili and grilled cheese sandwiches or takeout pizza.
There’s no schedule or planning or rushing to the next event like we have at Thanksgiving.
Merely soaking in all the small stolen moments with each other we possibly can.
Completely ordinary moments like wearing paper crowns at dinner while we say what we’re thankful for, using tiny marshmallows as place holders for Christmas Bingo, seeing Santa’s boot prints in sugar snow and fairy dust, herding 12 people in 2 cars in less than 10 minutes, singing Christmas carols all the way to town, eating too many licorice whips and candy canes, hearing the sounds of jingle bells as we ride around the neighborhood in a bike brigade.
It’s the best!
My Wish For You This Christmas…
Over the years, I’ve realized these seemingly mundane moments hold the real magic of Christmas because we remember them long after the presents have been opened and enjoyed.
My wish for you during this busy holiday season which can be easily filled with hustle and bustle is that you’ll find some magical mundane moments of your own to treasure.
May the magic of Christmas wash over you in a fresh way and have you celebrating the gifts of love, family, hope, grace and renewal in the coming year.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the blue and white Christmas Home Tour at Bliss Barracks. We’ll be taking a bit of a blog break to spend time with our family over the holidays.
Thank you for being part of our lives each day via the blog and through our social media channels. Your gifts of support and encouragement are appreciated more than you can even imagine, and they mean the world to us!
A Few More Posts on Bliss Barracks to Enjoy:
- Blue and White Rag Ball Christmas Ornaments
- Blue and White Guest Bedroom Makeover
- Bliss Barracks Lanai Makeover
- Bliss Barracks Outdoor Dining Table
Many blessings for a Christmas season filled with delight,
It all sounds perfectly blissful CoCo! I especially loved the air instrument parade in your parents room??!
Have a wonderful early family Christmas! Vee
ha ha we definitely try to do it up right when it comes to the air instrument parade in my parents room, Vee. Unfortunately for them there is plenty of space to prance around and play as long as we want 🙂 Sending you lots of hugs from Florida. I hope your Christmas seaon is filled with lots of love and laughter and your 2020 is richly blessed, CoCo
Your parents’ home is incredibly beautiful and your stories are too sweet! We also watch The Polar Express and have a few other family traditions we hold onto, even as the kids are getting older. I hope they’ll enjoy them with their own (not-yet-born) children some day:) Absolutely love the blue! Best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful holiday season and happy new year. xo Kathleen
I can’t wait to read your sweet comment to my parents, Kathleen, thank you! The blue and white has definitely been a fun change. Especially, during Christmas. It’s so exciting to hear you watch the Polar Express and continue to celebrate your family traditions too. My sisters and I are almost all in our 40s now, there are 4 grands, and I’ve gained 2 of the sweetest brothers in law who graciously chose to be part of our Christmas memories from day 1. They wear the paper crowns, the pj, the jingle bell parade – they are such great sports. We always have a fun time. On a side note, the older the littles get the harder it is to explain why Santa comes twice every other year 🙂 Wishing you and your family lots of happy memories this Christmas and a 2020 filled with love and adventure! Hugs, CoCo
Such a lovely post, CoCo! I love your wonderful family traditions and the way you make your time together truly special! Wishing you the happiest Christmas!
I really appreciate it, Linda, thank you! I think we lived in a military family for so long we just sort of became each others best friends because we moved so often. Even after all these years and with a current age range of 4-70 it’s still fun to all be together and celebrate the traditions we’ve carried with us from house to house. I hope you and your family have a richly blessed Christmas season and 2020 finds your heart filled with love and light. Sending you hugs, CoCo
The house looks so beautiful!! Blessings to you and your family, CoCo, in the coming year! We’ve both had some hard times the past couple of years – hope for a brighter future! Love you…
Thank you so much, Patty, my parents will be so excited to read this! I definitely have to hand it to my Dad who was sick with the flu while I took these shots and graciously moved several times in order to accomodate all the different angles I needed 🙂 I was just thinking the other day how bananas things have been for us the past few years. And I have to say, I’m super proud of us for not giving up or giving in even when it would have been easier to do so. Despite the hurricanes, the changes in our family’s health, the heartbreaking losses – we’re still here counting our blessings, appreciating the big wins and the small wins, living each day with purpose and hope. Wishing you more happiness than your heart can hold this Christmas season and all the things you desire most in 2020! Love you too and big hugs, CoCo
Happy New Year to you, Coco! Love this post and the story of getting together with your sisters, their families, and your parents (and yes, I DID go look up how your poor parents get woken up, LOL!!!)!!! Happy to feature your post on Share Your Style #237 this week/today/New Year’s Day. <3
Really fun and your home is beautiful!
I appreciate your kind words so much, Barb, thank you! My parents are crazy generous to let us wake them up like that on our Christmas mornings. I would probably need some coffee first ha ha. Even though our ages are basically 4-70 we all have a great time together no matter what the season. I’m definitely looking forward to what 2020 has in store for us and for your family too. It’s always exciting to start the year off making happy memories together. Hugs, CoCo