We’re getting ready to sign off for our annual Christmas break but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share one last word of encouragement before we leave.
Several decades ago we lived about five hours from our hometown.
Despite having just celebrated Thanksgiving there a few weeks earlier, my parents would make the long drive back every year so we could be “home” for Christmas.
It was a lot on all of us.
Especially my Mom who took on the lion’s share of raising us while my Dad was away.
My Mom loves Christmas and each year she coordinated gift deliveries with her sisters to make sure our presents arrived in our hometown before the big day.
Now that I’m older, I deeply appreciate the massive effort it must have taken to haul Santa gifts, family gifts, and a mountain of luggage that far all while continuing to create Christmas magic for my sisters and me.
It’s a labor of love I still don’t think my big farm family can truly even understand.
As were unpacking and settling in, my Mom realized she had forgotten our Christmas stockings at home.
Her disappointment was apparent immediately.
Still, my parents and grandparents went about the evening as if nothing was amiss and that night my sisters and I fell asleep under a tree that was covered in so much tinsel you could barely make out the branches.
The next morning, Santa arrived right on time.
Much to our sheer delight, he had found a way to repurpose my grandfather’s extra large size 13 tube socks into stockings.
I can’t tell you a single thing I got for Christmas that year but I remember those tube sock “stockings” like it was yesterday.
Over the next few days, there will be a million different things that threaten to steal your Christmas cheer. A forgotten present, shipment delay, tired littles, curt tones, teenagers who roll their eyes, long drives, unmet expectations from loved ones, pressure to please, burnt meals, and holiday exhaustion.
I want you to know, you’ve done enough though.
It’s ok if it doesn’t come anywhere close to perfect.
That’s how the most magical memories are made anyway.
So don’t be afraid to pivot, to think outside the box, to create new traditions, to put your family’s needs first, or to say no when you’ve reached your limit.
Christmas was never meant to be perfect.
It was meant to be a divine invitation to love.
A Few of Our Favorite Things from Around the Web…
Be still my blush-loving heart. This tree is gorgeous!
These salt dough ornaments are stunning.
Speaking of stunning, have you seen these DIY mercury glass ornaments yet?
These wreath ideas are so pretty I totally went down the rabbit hole planning for next year.
Holidays at the Farmhouse (and an inspiring tribute to slow living this season)
There is a ton of inspiration in this post, A Classic Midwest Christmas
Both the outside and the inside of this holiday home are gorgeous.
How pretty is Rachel’s candlelight farmhouse Christmas tour?
Loved Jen’s post on How to Set a Table for a Cozy Winter Dinner Party because you can literally use these ideas through February!
Speaking of NYE how pretty is this tablescape from Ella Claire too
Girl Scout Thin Mints Hack Using Two Ingredients (sign me up)
And finally, if you’re still trying to keep all the balls in the air, you’ll love this post On Preventing (Or Preparing or Coping) With Overwhelm During the Holidays and a Letter to the Universe on Behalf of All Women and all the comments too!
Words to Live By…
Fourth Quarter Books of the Month and Devotional…
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- October: Celebrating Home by James T Farmer, III (This would make a great last-minute gift idea)
- November: How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K White (A funny and completely relatable book for anyone sick of the constant mess and chaos) OR How to Keep House While Drowning by KC Davis (a good book if you’re in a difficult season)
- December: The Power of One More by Ed Mylett (just started this one and I’m loving it already!)
- Devotion: Courageous Kindness by (in)courage (helps me start and end the day on a positive note)
On the Menu this Week…
- 12/24 Saturday: 75 Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas from Fancy to No-Fuss
- 12/25 Sunday:
- Christmas Menu Ideas and Recipes (including apps and desserts)
- 60 Creative Christmas Ideas That Will Steal The Show
- 15 Make Ahead Christmas Breakfast Ideas
- 12/26 Monday: Boxing Day Menu Ideas
- 12/27 Tuesday: Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna
- 12/28 Wednesday: Crunchy Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad
- 12/29 Thursday: The Ultimate Immune Boosting Soup
- 12/30 Friday: Skinny Chicken Pot Pie
- 12/31 Saturday: 50 New Year’s Eve Dinner Ideas to Deliciously Welcome a New Year
Sweet Treats to Try This Week…
New Year Inspired Finds We Spotted Online at Amazon and Target This Week…
(Amazon and Target affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon and Impact Media Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
If You’ve Missed Anything from the Blog Recently or the Archives, Here’s a Peek At What We’ve Been Up To…
December Bucket List…
- Observe Advent
- Celebrate December Birthdays and Anniversaries
- Donate to the Sweater Drive
- Hang a Stocking for Piper
- Attend Dance and Piano Recitals and Cheer on The Littles
- Sip Cocoa at The Lights Festival
- Christmas Lunch with Extended Family at The Farm
- Make Christmas Fettuccine and Watch The Holiday
- Celebrate Christmas with The Pod at Bliss Barracks
- Leave Cookies and Milk for Santa and Veggies for the Reindeer
- Enjoy Holiday Vacation
- Set Goals, Dreams, and Intentions for 2023
- Create a Vision Board for 2023
- Celebrate New Year’s Eve and Midnight Gift Exchange
- Read the Book of the Month
- Keep Sundays Sacred
December Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…
Focus of the Month: Holiday Planning & Preparing for the New Year
- 12/03 – Mail Christmas Packages
- 12/10 – Finalize Christmas Menu & Grocery List
- 12/17 – Purchase New Planner & Set Goals for the New Year
- 12/26 – Organize Holiday Storage Items
TCG Housekeeping Notes, Dates to Remember, and Upcoming Posts…
- 12/24 Christmas Eve
- 12/25 Christmas Day
- 12/26 Boxing Day
- 12/26 Hannukah Ends
- 12/26 Kwanzaa Begins
- 12/31 New Year’s Eve
As always, we appreciate you more than you could ever know, and we hope your holiday week is peace-filled and relaxing.
We wish you and your family a perfectly imperfect Merry Christmas and more love than your heart can hold.