Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Cozy Christmas Season & A Happy New Year!

After a few whirlwind weeks of Christmas preparations, fun family parties, visiting with out-of-town guests (and more than a few visits from the stomach flu, too!)...

We are finally settling into a quiet routine in our home again. :)

Every year I'm thankful for the official "12 days" of Christmas.  These days after the holiday are truly my favorite time of the Season!  Traditionally, the Christmas Season doesn't begin until December 25 - and continues on until Epiphany on January 6.

So I am planning on spending the rest of this week ~ and next ~ enjoying my family, the glow of our tree, and the coziness of home during these dark winter days.
AND....catching up on some of my blogging, too :)

Here's a few Christmas-y pictures from around the house I thought I'd share with you today.


It's always exciting on the night when Daddy brings home the tree!  This year, the children were able to *almost* decorate it all by themselves.  General requested a little help with the lights, but other than that they handled all of the rest!






Ever since seeing a Christmas Village on display at a store earlier in December, Little Monkey has been asking to start a town of our own.  Just before Christmas, the store had marked these down by 70% (plus I had a coupon!)...so Chris & I surprised him ~ and all of the kiddos ~ with the beginning of a new collection.... a little church, complete with a silver bell that tinkles in the bell-tower.


I needed something to dress up our front picture window, and it fits very nicely.
To fill in the space, the kids made a few paper-snowflakes to hang on our twig-tree...


...and we added a few snowflake ornaments, borrowed from the Christmas tree.
I think we'll be able to leave this up long past the Christmas season. :)



Inspired by Aunt Ruthie over at Sugar Pie Farmhouse, I decided to go through my cupboards and closets to see what I could come up with for some fun Christmas decor in the kitchen.
I just love re-using things that are already on-hand, in creative new ways!

Cinnamon sticks from the spice drawer, ribbon scraps leftover from last year, white pitchers found at garage sales last summer.

This old candle is sitting in an apple pie-plate, surrounded by a berry wreath that I haven't used in a while....


...and I've always loved the look of adding a chalkboard to a kitchen's decor, so I put one together myself.  Cute?

Maybe you could tell??... it's actually not a chalkboard. :)
It's really a black piece of construction paper taped right onto the front glass of an 11x14 white frame.  Our school chalk worked very nicely on the paper....and everyone thought it looked just like a chalkboard.


I wrote "Merry Christmas" in Italian as a little surprise for my hubby.... which made him smile.... partly because of the memories this phrase brings to him....and partly because, without realizing it, I spelled natale with an "i" instead of an "e" on the end. :)
Made for a few good family laughs, so I decided to leave it as it is!



Our little nativity scene....which used to belong to my parents, and has passed its way through all of my siblings, on down to us.
One of my favorite Christmas decorations of all. :)



Stockings were hung on the railing with care....



Two white stockings for Mama & Daddy, four red stockings for the children....and we decided to hang up our extra fifth stocking this year, for our dog, Duke. :)



Christmas hath a darkness
Brighter than the blazing noon;

Christmas hath a chilliness
Warmer than the heat of June;

Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show;

For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

~Christina Rosetti

~~***~~

Wishing you a beautiful and peaceful Christmas Season, and much joy in the New Year!
~Collette

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful.

    It makes me want to "celebrate" all over again. Again and again. And we can!

    Christmas is all in the heart...it shouldn't just be "one time a year"... but everyday. ;)

    Blessings on you and yours~

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  2. The homemade snowflakes just make me smile!! Looks like lots of love and coziness during your Jesus celebration:>) I really admire your photography - your vignettes are captured beautifully. Couple more favorites are the decorating-the-Christmas-tree, Peanut by the stockings, LOVE the candy canes-cinnamon sticks with all the white textures, and buon natali. Add in your falling snow, and all is perfect :>)
    Hoping to blog again soon, too. At the moment, the guys are enjoying some snowboarding and I will be visiting Grandma shortly.
    Now, here's hoping good health invades your family soon and stays....

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  3. Beautiful photos...so warm, cozy, and inviting! Love the snowflakes especially:)
    Many blessings to you and yours in 2013!

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  4. We finally got everyone unpacked and settled at the hotel and I couldn't wait to read your blog. I love it! You are so creative and such a good photographer, too! Your warmth and sweetness comes through in your words and your pictures. I hope you post again soon! :)
    Blessings!
    Aunt Kathy

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  5. Hi Collette! I read through your blog the night you told me about it. I posted a comment telling you how beautiful your words, your home and your photography all are! And I just looked and the comment never appeared. :/ So I'm trying again. You are very talented! I hope you'll post again. Your sweet personality shines through. ��

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Aunt Kathy!
      Thank you so much for the sweet comments you posted! You are right - you did post a comment back in December & I'm sorry I completely missed it (and this one, too!) until today! I've had the comments set to be manually published/moderated & I didn't make it over here until this morning. Thank you so much, again!! You are so kind!! I'm glad you were able to stop over & read...I'm getting ready to type up a new post, so there should be some new pics up soon - by tomorrow if all goes well. :-)
      I hope you guys are all doing well! Have a great week!!
      Blessings,
      Collette

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Things are pretty busy around our house, so I can't always leave as many replies as I would like to. But please know that I look forward to reading every note you send my way - they brighten my day! Blessings,Collette

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