We’re sharing a traditional Christmas home tour at Bliss Barracks today as we team up with fellow creatives for the Vintage Christmas Home Tour Blog Hop hosted by Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home.
If you’re coming over from Debra’s blog, Common Ground, welcome, I’m so happy you’re here! Debra’s home is always such a special treat no matter what the season and this Christmas is no exception.
Growing Up In a Military Family…
As some of you know, my entire life was spent growing up in a military family. The Fab 5 (my parents and sisters and I) lived in 13 different houses during that time.
But we rarely ever spent Christmas in any of them.
In fact, I can only remember waking up to spend Christmas morning in 3 of those homes because we always spent the holidays with our big farm family.
No matter where we were living though, my parents always created a very traditional Christmas home for us.
My Mom LOVES everything about the holiday season!
She would spend hours clipping out new recipes, ideas to try, and ornaments to make all year. And once the last pumpkin had been put away, she would spend weeks preparing a festive holiday home.
When my Dad finally retired and my parents fell in love with a house we affectionately call Bliss Barracks, it was the first place that finally felt like home in decades.
While our immediate family has grown from The Fab 5 to a pod of 12, we look forward to gathering together at Bliss Barracks for a very traditional Christmas each year.
As always, we’ll share a big Christmas Eve meal, pop Christmas crackers, bake cookies for Santa, cut up a few veggies for the reindeer, read The Polar Express and the Christmas Story from the Bible, wear matching pajamas, enjoy the jingle bell bike parade, exchange sister gifts, and snuggle in and wait for Santa’s big arrival on Christmas Day.
Embracing the Christmas Chaos…
I’m not even going to sugarcoat it, Christmas morning is COMPLETE CHAOS, but in the best possible way.
Despite being in our 40s, my sisters, brothers-in-law, and I gather at the top of the stairs with all the littles, grab our best air horn or air instrument and march down the stairs singing and “playing” Reveille.
If you grew up on a military base or had a parent in the military, you’ve probably already heard this song a million times!
All ten of us actually carry our air instruments into my parent’s bedroom to wake them up on Christmas morning. We march around their bed singing and clapping while the littles totally lose it and start climbing up the bed stairs 🤣
I secretly think my parents love that we still do this!
They act like sleepy heads even though I know we sound like a band of elephants coming down the stairs and they’ve probably been awake for hours.
Thankfully, both of the coffee pots are ready to go!
We put my Dad’s signature cinnamon rolls and breakfast casseroles into the oven, pull out my Mom’s breakfast grazing boards that have been prepped and refrigerator kept overnight, then let the littles go wild opening gifts.
It’s kind of crazy and magical all at the same time.
After the kids have opened all their presents we take a “refueling break” and while the littles are playing with their toys, the rest of us open gifts by the fire sipping on coffee and hot cocoa still wearing our matching Christmas pajamas.
Once our gifts have all been opened we head back into the dining room to enjoy a traditional Christmas breakfast and to relax a bit.
The rest of the day is spent playing, napping, face timing with family at the farm, and just enjoying being together. We try to keep it as low-key as possible because most of the time the littles wake up around 4 am.
The anticipation just overwhelms them every.single.year. 😂
What I love about the traditional Christmas home my parents create for us each year is that it still feels just as warm and cozy in my 40s as it did when we were young.
Here are a few of our favorite super easy holiday traditions at Bliss Barracks…
- Make a delicious simmer pot
- Greet your guests at the door with a big hug (even the ones with keys to the door) or a warm greeting
- Have a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day meal by candlelight
- Say something you like, love or appreciate about the people gathered around the table
- Create a menu filled with favorite family recipes and a few new dishes.
- Sip on a signature cocktail or mocktail
- Open Christmas Crackers – wear the crown during dinner and tell the funny jokes or facts
- No cooks in the kitchen during clean up
- Walk or bike around the neighborhood wearing jingle bells to see all the Christmas lights
- Create an epic hot cocoa, tea or hot drink station
- Watch a Christmas movie
- Read The Polar Express
- Read the Christmas Story from the Bible by the fire
- Play Christmas Bingo, Apples or Apples, True or False, Family Fued or put a Christmas puzzle together
- Host a Christmas karyoke night
- Attend midnight mass or candlelight service
- Make reindeer crunch or add red and green m&ms to your movie popcorn
- Bake and decorate Christmas cookies or Happy Birthday Jesus cupcakes
- Prepare food for the reindeer
- Wear matching Christmas pjs, festive sweaters, monogrammed sweatshirts, or cozy socks
- Open sibling gifts or a special Christmas ornament on Christmas Eve
- Surprise a widow or someone special with an unepected dinner or gift
- Create a breakfast menu that can be prepped in advance and will be easy to put together
Even though we’re celebrating our traditional Christmas at Bliss Barracks early this year (it’s my sisters’ turn to be with their in-laws on Christmas Day) we’re still looking forward to keeping these traditions alive and well.
Without a doubt, the holidays are always a busy time of year and take extra planning! But with a little creativity and intention, Christmas can still be filled with magical moments no matter what day you’re celebrating!
Up Next on the Vintage Christmas Home Tour…
Up next on the Vintage Christmas Home Tour is my sweet friend Kim of Shiplap and Shells! Kim not only has a stunning garden, she is also a talented decorator and like Debra finds the most amazing ways to incorporate vintage and antique pieces into her home.
Once you’re finished there, be sure to check out what the rest of these fabulous ladies are sharing!
Also, if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you can find our Little Sparkle Holiday Home Tour here.