We’re sharing our soft and romantic farmhouse Christmas home tour today, so come on in!
Almost every morning this holiday season, I’ve gotten up between 4 and 5 am to have quiet time with a steaming cup of Santa’s White Christmas coffee and to take in the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree.
Without fail, every single time, I feel giddy inside thinking about how truly different our lives are one year after S’s accident.
Before the holiday season even began, we decided to make gratitude our #1 goal.
Neither one of us wanted to lose sight of all the gifts we had received as she recovered from a major fall.
We chose to create a soft and romantic farmhouse Christmas home tour by keeping our decorating on the front porch, in the entry, the dining room, and the breakfast nook relatively simple, save for the Christmas tree.
That way, we could spend more time soaking in every ounce of Christmas cheer the season has to offer.
I know it can be hard when you’re going through something difficult to see the beauty happening around you and to believe hope can be found around every corner.
Especially, at Christmas time.
Because the truth is when you’re going through something, you’re just doing your best to get through it all in one piece, you know?
I can remember wondering if I should even bother decorating for Christmas.
Between the surgery, the numerous doctors’ appointments, the daily medical care, and trying to balance life – I didn’t know if I could add more one thing to my plate.
Thankfully, my Mom talked me into decorating.
And while it was not the Christmas I had originally planned, we still found plenty to celebrate.
A week before Christmas and shortly after S’s surgery, she had a BAD case of cabin fever.
It was almost dark when she looked at me and said, “This is a huge ask. I know it is. I don’t even know how we’re going to pull it off. But is there any way you could take me to see the Christmas lights?”
So, here’s the thing about that request….
- At first glance, I realized neither one of our cars allowed S to keep both legs at a 90-degree angle.
- I’m not a great driver.
- Crowds put my anxiety in overdrive.
- I barely had enough strength to get the wheelchair in the car it was so heavy, much less navigate the rest of the gear we needed to make it all work.
- It was freezing outside.
- I had no idea if it was even safe to take her out in public.
I’ll freely admit, I hesitated for longer than I probably should have.
I looked at the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree and then back at her pleading eyes and agreed to face my fears and give it a go.
It took several tries to get S into the car.
We used all the pillows we had in the house to create a little barrier around S’s trunk and elevated legs.
Then we s-l-o-w-l-y headed to the place where we could see the most Christmas lights at one time – the zoo.
I’m not even going to lie, it was BANANAS!
Every time someone got too close to her legs, I jumped in front of them like a ninja.
I was so worried S was going to get sick, that I made her bundle up like we lived in Chicago instead of Florida.
About halfway through the zoo, she started breaking out from all the layers which had inadvertently created a heat rash.
Then we passed a kid having a total meltdown while a frantic Mom tried to calm her with a candy cane which somehow went airborne and flew across the bench and landed in S’s lap.
It was a total mess.
But it wound up to be one of the most memorable nights of the entire year.
Since we were already out and about, I decided to drive S to Cracker Barrel for some comfort food.
I had burned almost every meal we ate that week.
So, I figured since we’re celebrating Christmas cheer, we might as well spring for meatloaf and mashed potatoes too.
By the time we got in the door, I must have seemed pretty frazzled because the staff of Cracker Barrel took over almost immediately.
They found a table that could accommodate S’s wheelchair and leg situation and made sure we had whatever we needed while we ate.
Just being able to relax for that hour felt like the biggest gift.
On our way out, we passed an older couple that looked to be in their late 80s.
The wife had oxygen tubes draping from her nose with a large portable tank next to her chair.
Her husband was seated across the table wearing faded overalls and a thick flannel jacket.
With trembling hands, he split open a biscuit then lightly buttered it and placed it on his wife’s plate.
I’m sure it was something they had done a thousand times before.
But that night, that seemingly mundane gesture taught me a lesson in kindness I’ve never forgotten.
The wife caught the edge of my jacket as we passed by their table.
I felt her tug and stopped to wish them both a Merry Christmas thinking it might have been an accident.
She looked at me with deep blue sparkling eyes and said, “Things will get better, honey, I promise.”
I could barely thank her because I had a huge lump in my throat.
We made our way to the checkout, quietly paid for their dinner, and drove home in complete silence.
Lost in thought, S said, “Thank you for taking me to see the Christmas lights. I know you don’t like driving or crowds all that much. I know you worried some little kid was going to hit both of my legs and we’re going to have to go through this all over again. I know you’re frustrated you’ve burnt everything from hot dogs to tea bags this week. I know you could be skiing with your family right now and that this experience has not been easy. But I just want to say, thank you for helping me through this and for standing beside me.”
And then she said, “Even though I’m in the back seat, I know you’re probably crying right now so you don’t have to say anything back, it’s ok, I just wanted you to know.”
We all have benchmark moments in our lives…. a painful divorce, a financial setback, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a home, our health, a relationship, or like S the temporary loss of the use of both legs.
These benchmark moments are valley moments where the lessons we’re learning are so painful we simply want to get them over with, so we rush through them as quickly as possible.
But make no mistake, there is a message in the mess.
Then there are the mountain top benchmark moments.
Those are the moments we can clearly remember deciding to reclaim our power.
The moments we let our most treasured resources and gifts reflect our values rather than reflect the latest trends on social media because we’re trying to keep up.
Those are the moments we feel amazing.
I know there is a lot of pressure to capture the magic of the holidays in just a few short weeks.
But really, we have the power to carry the magic of Christmas into every situation we face.
Even when it feels difficult, no matter what the season.
As we inch closer to the big day, I hope that you’ll remember all the gifts you’ve been given this year, both big and small.
And that you’ll find a way to pass the magic of Christmas along to someone who least expects it but greatly needs it.
After all, you never know just how impactful a random act of kindness can be this holiday season.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our soft and romantic farmhouse Christmas home tour!