From the Front Porch

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.

British Themed Traditional Christmas Tree with Plaid Ribbon and Ornaments-The Crowned Goat

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.

British Themed Traditional Christmas Tree-The Crowned Goat

A Few of Our Favorite Things from Around the Web…

Pretty Pastel Christmas Décor

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

The Most Beautiful Bookshop

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!

Leave it to Michele to come up with glittered ice cubes and a fabulous NYE-themed tree

Speaking of NYE how pretty is this tablescape from Ella Claire too

Girl Scout Thin Mints Hack Using Two Ingredients (sign me up)

Beat the Bloat: How to Boost Digestion When You Overeat

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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On the Menu this Week…

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)

Sweater * Tulle Skirt * Rose Gold Dress * Black Sequin Dress

Eye Shadow Palette * Clutch * Statement Earrings * Shimmer Tights

Edible Stars * Champagne Coupes * Dinner Party Chargers * Candles

Instax Mini * Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone * Curtain Lights * NYE Party Pack

If You’ve Missed Anything from the Blog Recently or the Archives, Here’s a Peek At What We’ve Been Up To…

Royal Inspired Glitter Ornaments

Royal Inspired Glitter Ornaments-The Crowned Goat

Blue and White Jeweled Ornaments

DIY Blue and White Jeweled Ornaments-The Crowned Goat

Traditional Christmas Home Tour at Bliss Barracks

Traditional Christmas Home Tour at Bliss Barracks-The Crowned Goat

How to Make Overnight Holiday Guests Feel Welcome

How to Make Overnight Guests Feel Welcome-The Crowned Goat

How to Make a Coquito

How to Make a Coquito-The Crowned Goat

Last Minute New Years’ Eve Tablescape Idea

Last Minute New Years Eve Tablescape Idea-The Crowned Goat

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.

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. Such a beautiful Christmas memory CoCo! I always enjoy reading your stories. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year.

    1. Such a kind thing to say, I really appreciate it. These posts are always fun to write. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year as well. I’m still shocked at how fast it’s all going by! Big hugs, CoCo

  2. Vee Thomas-Muller says:

    Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday to you and yours CoCo! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the new year! Vee

    1. You are the sweetest, Vee! I wish we lived closer I would give you the biggest hug ever. I’m beyond grateful for your friendship, kind advice, and gentle nudges out of my comfort zone. Your thoughtful comments throughout the years have changed me in the best possible ways. Wishing you and your family a Happy Christmas and a New Year full of love and magical adventures, CoCo

  3. Hi Coco! Love your stocking story! Santa always left our gifts inside pantyhose with an orange in the toe! Not sure how old I was when I found out he didn’t do that at everyone’s house, lol! I hope you have a wonderful break and enjoy the holiday to the fullest! Merry Christmas! Blessings, Donna

    1. That is so cool, Donna! I love that you have a pantyhose memory similar to our tube sock stocking memory. I think about how he saved our Christmas all the time! Grandparents are special like that. It’s been a wild year and I’m ready to slow down and savor the season. I hope you and your family have an amazing visit filled with lots of love and laughter. Big hugs and happy Christmas, CoCo

  4. CoCo, thank you so much for sharing the link to my winter tablescape. I always appreciate it. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

    1. You are so welcome Jen! I have a winter birthday coming up and I’m hoping to incorporate some of your ideas. They are so beautiful! Sending you lots of hugs for a warm and happy Christmas season, CoCo

  5. CoCo
    what a sweet memory of Christmas past. I’d probably not forget size 13 tube socks, either. You have the best stories. Thanks for sharing your talents with us. Merry Christmas!
    PS… Thanks for the share.

  6. What a beautiful post Coco. It is so true that it is the most minor, most out-of-the-box thing that we remember. I love the tube sock story. Your mom certainly found a good solution that was memorable for all.
    I remember one year we were to go to my sisters for Christmas dinner, and their entire family got sick. My family loved it that we had to scrounge in the freezer to find something for dinner, and we all stayed in our jammies all day and played games.

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