Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Home Tour 2016

Welcome!  The very first batch of Christmas biscuits are fresh out of the oven
and filling the kitchen with that just cooked shortbread smell.  Love it.  This year has been a tumultuous one for many reasons, some good and some not so.  Yet, Christmas is coming, Summer is here.  Commitments are winding down, diaries opening up and pages blank .. nice.

I bought this wreath for our front door but it's too thick to go between the door and the screen ... I don't think it looks bad at the window at all.  What do you think?

Focus point of the family room.  This is where the family devotions tradition continues.

Really simple and inexpensive Christmas ornaments on top of my favourite cake stand.  Perfect table centrepiece.

Really love the red and green and gold.  When the heavy beige curtains close at night, the wreath stands out beautifully.

Each night the children pray in turn and role the dice.  The number on the dice is how many chocolate treats each bag receives.

This small tree has fibre optic lighting.  I didn't even know last year when I bought it.  What a surprise to see a power base on it as we set it up.  It lights up in different colours and slowly changes the colours at the tips of the fronds.
Emmeline made the Christmas village houses last year and our first gift is under the tree.  A box of special Biscotti from one of my dear pastoral care families.  Thank you Margaret!

Special chocolate and a dice.  Props we employ to keep Christmas focused on Christ and the things of God.

I remember watching this nativity all through Christmas sales one year a long time ago.  At least 20 years ago.  I waited until Christmas Eve, packed the children in their car seats and tackled the Christmas Eve parking lot and crowds only to find one nativity left and less than half price.  I snatched it up and was triumphant and a little rattled I nearly missed it ...

It plays hymns and shines a light onto the baby Jesus all the while the shepherd boy bows and the kings move and bow down also.  It has mesmerized us all each Christmas ever since.  On December 2nd when I set all things up and we hear the first notes of the hymns we are all immediately transported back to those days sooo long ago as a young family celebrating our first Christmas's together.  It's a nice memory.

Our last child, Jedidiah, loves to sit in my special chair by the nativity watching the light on the baby Jesus.  It's kind of wonderful to see him enjoying it after all these years and all these children.

I've shared before on the blog our struggles with celebrating and not celebrating Christmas from the Christian point of view.  The fact Christ's birth was not in December, the fact it is indeed a festival of the winter solstice and carries much pagan traditions.  I've yet to voice our concerns well, our take on it now, our reasons for embracing the season now.  I guess this last paragraph is an apologetic for those who wonder "why now".  I can only say it is going well.  Celebrating and trying to keep this time Christ focused has seen more peace and real joy in this home than in the lonely, dry years we shut up shop most of December and got all out of shape with everyone we met about how this was not about Christ but about Santa (satan respelt).

I don't know, sometimes both positions seems such blasphemy.  God forgive us all as we stumble through this life worshiping Him well and not so well.  He is a gracious God.  Long suffering, patient and kind.  Praise Him.  Every day!

Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy.
Micah 7:18
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