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Monday, November 5, 2012

5 Days of Preparing for the Holidays Blog Hop Day 1 Decorating

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  Being part of The Schoolhouse Review Crew is not all work, we get to play too, like participating in fun blog hops. Like this one, today is Day 1 of Preparing for the Holidays 5 Day Blog Hop. Feel free to join in the fun.  Today we are all talking about decorating, inside, outside or anywhere in between.

     Decorating is always a huge deal in our family, well at least it was up until last Christmas. In the Summer of 2011 we suffered a tragic fire to our garage where many of our storage tubs were housed, this included all of our Christmas decoration. I was devastated to say the least. Many friends and family members tried to help us out by giving us many ornaments, a tree and even stockings. No matter how generous our friends were it was very hard for me to get into the decorating spirit last year. We had no outside decorations, and none of the ornaments were ours. I had ideas to make ornaments but I just could not bring myself to do it.

   I am a bargain hunter by nature, so I could not bring myself to spend full price, even sale price for new decorations with our insurance money, knowing I bought almost all of our stuff after the holidays year after year at rock bottom prices. So we trudged through the holidays last year in anticipation for after Christmas Clearance Sales and we hit Jackpot! Alyx and I went out every week for over a month gathering all of our new decorations in hopes that this year would be a bit more jolly. We accomplished our goal and are just itching to decorate for the Holidays. I have a rule in our house though, one holiday at a time. I put out some decoration for Thanksgiving, such as a beautiful runner or placemat in the middle of the table, and I just yesterday purchased a cute little bird trio of bakers that are perched on a loaf of bread, the bread says "Give us our Daily Bread". While it is religious, I bought it at Family Christian on Clearance yesterday, regular price $20, my price $7.50. It is also symbolic of my boys, small, medium and large birds. I love finding things that have 3 in them so it signifies each of my boys.


  We also do a Thankful tree, with foam leaves from the dollar store hung on a tree branch from our yard that has fallen and we potted it in a bucket with stones to keep it upright, every year we add to it and write what we are thankful for each Sunday on a leaf and hang it on the tree. Our tree is not nearly as full as it used to be since we had to start over last year, but we are looking forward to watching it bloom this year week after week, until December.

    We have begun watching Christmas movies to get in the spirit of Christmas but our decorating will not begin until day after Thanksgiving. Alyx is itching to put up our new outdoor lights and inflatables. We do a mixture of Religious with a touch of whimsy. We normally have 2 or 3 trees, our family tree in the living room is a 7 ft prelit tree with all  of our family ornaments and handmade ornaments and then we do a couple smaller theme trees. I always have to have a Disney tree and last year Alyx started collecting to put up a Nascar Tree this year.

   Another fun tradition we have in our family is when family and friends go out of town, when they ask what they can bring the kids as a souvenir, I started long ago saying please do our family a special favor and just bring us a Christmas Ornament for our Tree. So when we went on our recent road trip I continued on with that tradition and picked up an ornament from each state we stopped in and the major attractions we visited so  could look back each year and remember the fun we had while we see each ornament as we hang it on our tree. This always makes decorating the tree so much more special as we can remember who gave us each ornament and now also the stops on our own journeys.

   We always decorate the kitchen table with a holiday table covering and a Christmas Cookie Jar, since cookie baking is a big part of our holiday traditions a cookie jar is a must have. We hang the Christmas Cards we receive in the mail from friends and family around our doorway to the living room so as we pass through it each time we can see how blessed we are to have so many friends and family that love us.

      We always create photo greeting cards to send to our friends and family that include a collage of pictures of the boys from the past year. I know many relatives enjoy seeing the boys grow, especially if they are not on facebook.

   Be sure to check back after Thanksgiving to see all of our new decorations and our home all decked out for Christmas. When do you start decorating? What are your decorating traditions? Join our hop and tell us about decorating for the holidays. Be sure to stop back each day this week and see other ways to Prepare for the Holidays.







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2 thoughts shared:

Lora @ my blessed life said...

Buying Christmas ornaments while traveling is one of our favorite things to do! They are great souvenirs (and not expensive either!).

Brandy Brockhausen said...

I am so glad this holiday will be brighter for you!! We also love watching Christmas movies all month at our house!