The Christmas season is among us and the Thanksgiving feast is behind us. Hopefully everyone had a fun and memorable Thanksgiving. I have to giggle because this year my sister hosted The Feast and of course of all the pictures I could have taken, this is the only one I took...she was all "cinderella like" so I had to take the pic!
Our house, for the most part, is Christmas ready. That doesn't mean I am! We don't have one gift wrapped let alone bought. I guess I just haven't gotten in the mind set to shop. I keep thinking that it's still November so I have time, but we all know how time sneaks up on us. But, right now I just feel a bit mentally "checked out" so I'm giving myself till the end of the week and starting December 1st I will give all my attention to shopping and doing all the CHRISTMASY things! That gives me 4 hopefully good days to get lists together and Pinterest some good cookie recipes and possibly dinner recipes. I also look for ideas for some homemade sentimental gifts to give a family member or two. I know I'm going to kick myself in the butt for waiting so long to do everything, but hopefully I'll be in the Christmas spirit and won't mind it!
Speaking of recipes, I personally like to try something new at different holiday gatherings. With so many people trying it, it gives me an idea if the recipe is a keeper. Some recipes have turned into "must haves" at these get togethers. About 4 or 5 years ago I tried a new recipe for baked Mac N Cheese. And now it's required at almost every event. This year at our Thanksgiving Feast I decided to give Corn Pudding a shot. Corn pudding is a southern dish and served with just about anything, but it's very popular when having BBQ. I've had it at a couple of different restaurants and love its sweetness and "mushy like" texture. For those of you who have never had it, it's like corn bread with whole kernel corn mixed in, but the consistency is like a creamy bread pudding. And it's good! So, this year I browsed for that perfect recipe and after reviewing several comments, I chose one that was even titled, "Grandmama's Corn Pudding". Good Lord, if Grandmama made it, you KNOW it has to be good because Grandmamas are from back in the day and the ONLY ones who knew how to cook! For time's sake I prepared the dish the night before and refrigerated it before cooking. It takes an hour to cook. Unfortunately, when we got to my sister's, we had so much going on in the oven that the pudding didn't get to cook thoroughly through, but I'd say it was about 85% done. And even at 85% done, it was so good. So, I am going to give it a shot again at Christmas 🌲 and hope it's a success. For those of you wanting to try it or for those looking for a new recipe, this one is super easy and I've posted it over on the Home Page under the Recipe button. If you do try it, please let me know what you think!
In the mean time, I thought I'd share some pictures of our house all decorated for Christmas. I can't tell you how many boxes of Christmas decor I have, but year after year I go through the boxes and don't use 1/2 of what I have. I keep hoping I can pack some stuff up and keep them for the kids when they have their own place, but I'm not sure they would even want it! Then, as I start to decorate I get bored with what I have and want to go buy new decorations! It doesn't help that Hobby Lobby has about everything or that I keep finding new things I want to do and create from Pinterest...😫 Then, to top it off, the decor only stays on display in our house for maybe a good 33 days...that's it, and all this money spent to decorate for just 33 days...😳 So this year I tried to keep it as inexpensive as possible with the decoration shopping. That's when it dawned on me, we have nothing for the exterior of the house! It looked pitiful. Barren of plants since everything is all but dead and leafless. I even bought decorative yard stakes, but those just brought attention to the barren lifeless landscaping! At least our door had a little bit of something going on!
I thought, if we put some decorations in the window, maybe that will draw the eye to the house and not the yard! We even put our tree in the other front window in hopes that would add a focal point! Finally, we decided to shop around and see if we could find something to put in the landscaping and came across a semi-inexpensive white deer (which I love) to put in the dead space. Of course I would have preferred a life size open sleigh decorated in lights, but this little 30 something inch deer works well enough!
And this year I decided to put our sled on the dining room table! And of course, Bill's first sarcastic remark was, "...uh yea, because that's where it belongs..."😐 Yes, this year it does!
If you look behind the sled, you'll see my Woodland Santa. I love to decorate with the "nature" theme and use the flannel/checkered print as much as possible. Next to the Santa is a decoration I bought in amish land this year. It opens up and you can put seasonal greenery in it, a candle, or really anything you'd like.
And speaking of candles, I have them everywhere! I have an obsession with the candles with a timer lol. They're all over the house! This little glass is just one of 7 candles I have on my kitchen windowsill.
And then there's the mantel...with a candle on a timer in the big vase in the center lol. You really can't see the candle until we turn off all the lights, but I refuse to not have the lights on at all times during this season! And when there's a fire going, it is just so cozy!!
And add the Christmas tree lights into the mix and it's heaven! This year we decided to just go with the small artificial tree in the front window. We normally put this tree in our dining room and cut down a tall live tree for the family room. We opted out of the live tree and decided to keep it simple and just do one tree. This is the tree I like to put all our animal and bird ornaments on, but more importantly, my owl ornaments! It's even topped with a beautiful snowy owl I received from Bill and my daughter for my 45th birthday. And yes, those are real antlers from all the hunting excursions Bill and the kids have taken.
Then we move into the kitchen. I took down the drapery/valances because I decided I want to SEE all of winter this year. I decorated the rods with vines of red berries and continued that theme with the back door wreath. It's amazing seeing all the birds eating from the feeders and watching the sunrise at the kitchen table with no fabric hanging from the ceiling! A true picture window it is! Sadly, no matter where I stand to take a picture, the glass never looks clean!! In my defense, it was a foggy morning when I took these pictures!
And see that little table by the back window? I received this framed quote from my "friend" last year. (that's how we refer to each other ☺️) And from "friend" this year for my birthday, I received this gift that goes comfortably by the fireplace! She just gets me!! Love ya friend!
Oh, and that big picture window gives me this view to my potting bench that I HAD to put lights on! I love seeing lights on neighbors' decks. It gives life to the back yard especially if your yard backs up to someone else's back yard like ours does.
But the reason for the season isn't in the decorations or the food or the gift giving. It's a celebration of a very special birthday which has to be my favorite story in the Bible. When I was dating Bill, I accompanied his mom and his aunt a couple of times to a ceramic class. I totally had a blast! While there, I made mention to his aunt that I absolutely loved one of the items that she painted. Remembering my adoration, she duplicated her work and wrapped it nice and neat and presented it to me for a wedding shower gift. I specifically remember how I felt when I opened the box and saw this. Of all the people in his family, I adored her and this gift can never be replaced. Here it is...
It is an 11 piece Indian Nativity set. The picture doesn't include the little teepee that's actually sitting on top of the crate. I have this crate I use for decor in my house and when I looked in it, I noticed that if I turned it on its side it creates a little barn like scene. Add in a little gold finely shredded gift paper and viola, my manger...💕
I hope these pictures have added to your holiday spirit or helped create some if you're not "feeling it" just yet. I am always posting pictures on Instagram (link at top of home page) as well. Feel free to share the blog with a friend or family member who could use a little holiday spirit and feel free to leave a comment below if you like. Don't forget the recipe that I added if you want to give that a try! It was seriously sooo good!