And what a glorious statement that is! In a world full of despair, darkness and fear, it can often seem like things truly are hopeless. And what a year we’ve just gone through, the second in a row….when will it end? We’re waiting. And as we approach Christmas, we are reminded of just how much the world waits in eager anticipation. We’re waiting…but for what?
Let earth receive her King;
Into the darkness the Light comes… through the birth of a baby in a stable thousands of years ago. The world waits, and the answer comes in an unexpected way. God leaves heaven, to come to earth; God with us, Immanuel.
Let every heart prepare him room
If you are burdened and weary this Christmas, and wondering what it is we are waiting for anyway, I invite you to turn your heart to him. In the darkest month of the year, we remember Jesus, who “came into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Him will stay in darkness”. He is the one who brings hope and salvation to our weary, groaning world.
And heaven and nature sing.
I hope and pray that you will have a wonderful Christmas this year, remembering and celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ!
I just love Christmas decorating! Do you? I change my decorations each year- I can never do exactly the same thing or I get bored with it. This year, while I do have lots of vintage and retro decorations such as glass ball ornaments, mercury glass pieces etc., I didn’t use most of them and instead went for much more laid back, natural and simplified look. In past years I have done a lot more decorating, but this year it just felt right to have a more subtle look for my new space.
If you want to add some festive wintery touches, without going crazy with the faux snow and garlands, here are some ways to incorporate Christmas touches into your space without it looking like Santa’s workshop.
Faux berry branches look more realistic when you pair them with real branches. You also need very few stems to create an impact. (To see how make a little Christmas tree like this one, see this post here.)
Sometimes a tiny wreath hanging on the back of a chair, or a vase with evergreens in it is enough to add a festive touch. And of course, candles always add a warm and cozy feeling to any space, at this time of year!
Switch out your summery artwork for wintery artwork. On my dresser mirror, I added a vintage Christmas postcard. (And a little wooden snowflake garland).
I also have two beautiful encaustic pieces by this artist; one is a summery field and blue sky scene, and this one is a beautiful snowy scene. I switch between them, depending on the season.
Pinecones make great natural seasonal decor. I like to place them around in vignettes. If you have access to pine trees then they are free, and if you don’t feel like storing the pinecones, you can always go and toss them back in the bush after Christmas.
Sometimes you can add a festive touch just by making a few tiny presents to adorn your existing decor; in this case a glass hot air balloon! Or, like with this little cloche, change what you have displayed under the glass.
Also, if you don’t have a tree, you can also hang pretty ornaments in your windows from thread or fishing line, or loop some (unbreakable) ornaments over your doorknobs.
For my mom’s living room mantle, this year we kept it simple with bouquets of evergreen branches and candles of varying heights flanking both sides of the nativity.
And, again, pinecones made a great natural garland to ground the candlesticks. I made this one by wiring bunches of pinecones together onto a piece of sisal rope, which we then arranged along the mantle. Lovely golden beeswax tapers finish off the look.
Finally, my favourite piece of holiday decor, which is new this year for me, is an advent calendar. I made this one last year out of origami “masu” boxes. (not very well, I might add- I’m definitely not an origami professional. Don’t look too closely, or you’ll see how crooked it is!)
Each box contains a scripture passage and a chocolate to countdown to Christmas; and the best thing about making your own calendar is that you can put better quality chocolates in them, instead of those waxy tasting ones!
How about you? Do you like to change up your decor each year, or stick with a tried and true formula? Do you like to DIY your seasonal decor?
Now that it’s the Christmas season, it is time to start dressing for the occasion. (OK, it’s been the Christmas season for a while, I’m just kind of late at getting a holiday post up). But how do you dress for the holidays when when you don’t own “Christmas” clothing, or you just don’t like wearing novelty prints of Christmas trees? I’m all for a festively, kitschy holiday outfit. . . on other vintage loving gals, but it’s just not for me. However, I do love to dress for the season. So how do you dress for the season, when you don’t want to wear poinsettia dresses, red is not your best colour, or you don’t want a wardrobe full of themed items that can only be worn at certain times of the year?
My go-to solution for dressing for the holidays, whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, or Family Day (wait- no- you don’t really dress up for Family Day. . . ) is to take a regular outfit, add different accessories to it, and thus turn it into a holiday outfit. For example, at Christmastime, take a whole bunch of gold bling and sparkly jewellery, and voila! With a few changes, it’s suddenly a holiday outfit!
I wore this exact same outfit last week, minus all the gold, and it looked like a regular old unholidayish dress. But taking the same basic pieces: a striped dress, a black bolero, black tights and black pumps and then restyling them with a gold belt and clutch, metallic gold nail polish, sparkly eyeshadow, and sparkly rhinestone jewellery made it suddenly seem more festive. Making those few changes made it the perfect thing to wear to the Christmas lunch at our church.
I’ve also worn this dress in the springtime, here, and the accessories I paired that time made it look the farthest thing from Christmas you could think of. Imagine if I had paired this dress with spider jewellery, a veiled hat, and a velvet jacket- suddenly it would look perfect for Halloween. Accessories really are a girl’s best friend- a few key pieces can completely change the look of your outfit to suit whichever holiday you are going for.
So, if you aren’t into outfits that scream “CHRISTMAS!!!!”, but you do want to add a bit of a festive touch, accessories are where it’s at.
Here are some more ways to add a bit of holiday cheer to your outfit:
Wear a bow in your hair. It’s like dressing up as a present. . . only more subtle. 😉
Plaid is the perfect Christmas material because it has nothing to do with Christmas, and yet it looks so festive when worn this time of year. And you can wear it any other season, and it looks lovely- I’m all for fabrics that do double duty.
Wear darker hued shades of “Christmas colours”. Instead of wearing bright red and green, try jewel tones like burgundy and emerald. Rich colours like navy blue can look very winter appropriate too, with some silver jewellery added, for example.
Christmas jewellery adds a festive touch, but is a bit more understated than a Christmas dress. And, it doesn’t take up tons of space, so collecting Christmas earrings and brooches doesn’t take up your entire wardrobe, but adds a nice festive touch.
‘Tis the season for rich and sumptuous fabrics like velvet and taffeta. They are great for both Christmas, and also New Years, and as most people don’t get the opportunity to wear them year round, it’s time to bust them out of the closet!
As I said before: gold and sparkles is where it’s at. In a society where people are more likely to have ugly sweater parties, I say- bring on the glam and the glitz! Any excuse to break out the cocktail dresses is good by me.
So, do you like going all out dressing for the season? Or do you like your Christmas outfits to be a bit more subtle? Or maybe you don’t dress for the holidays at all? Do you have any other holiday outfit tips?
ps. This is the same vintage Laura Ashley bolero from last week– and here you can see the fabric better!