decorating picDuring the next several weeks, we will be enjoying a beautiful series of very special holiday posts! Some of them are from familiar writers, and some are guest posts…All are from remarkable women whose words will be sure to give a breath of fresh air to your spirit during this holiday season! Keep reading for inspiration, encouragement, and of course, yummy recipes!

I have to admit that I chuckled a bit when Julie asked me to write about decorating for the holidays. About two months ago, I decided in my heart that I wouldn’t decorate this year for the holidays. This decision all came about when I was cleaning out a room in our house that we kept all of our decorations in. I found myself actually getting depressed as I sorted through all the boxes, and was truly worried about what was coming out of my heart. Decorating has been a constant source of joy for me and has been my favorite avenue of expressing creativity. As far back as I can remember, I have always gotten a thrill out of decorating, and Christmas is no exception! When I was little I practically begged my parents to get the tree down from the attic. So for me, getting depressed about Christmas decorations was a huge shock.

In my moment of overwhelming pain, I made the only sensible decision, which was to just avoid what was causing me pain. So therefore I stubbornly said no to decorating ever again. Great decision, right? Well, my sweet and loving husband thought otherwise. As he saw me sitting there on the floor in the middle of trash piles and boxes, he uttered the most profound words ever uttered: ”What’s going on?” It’s then that I began to actually let myself feel the pain in my heart and really figure out what was going on.

Going through all the boxes reminded me of all that I had “accomplished” last year in decorating, and I knew in my heart of hearts that I couldn’t do it again this year. I was comparing myself with…well…myself. The thought of decorating left me feeling tired and overwhelmed, because I thought I had to live up to what I had done in the past—when really, last Christmas, I was in a completely different season of life. So why should I expect the same standards of decorating to hold true to me in this season? I have decided that one of the greatest gifts I can give to others (or even myself for that matter) is the gift of letting others run in their lane how it best suits them. I’m not any less of a person because I can’t run in my lane of last year, or the lane of those who are in a different season than I am. I literally can’t do what I did last year, and that’s ok. I had to find out what best suits my family this year and give myself the freedom to enjoy what that looks like.

When discovering what best suits your family this year, you might find that going bigger than usual is your route; or, like me, it might mean keeping it simple. I have chosen this year to decorate in ways that best suit this season of life I’m in, and I encourage you to do the same.

Blessings!

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It’s a family tradition to make cream cheese and corn for the holidays. You just add a block of cream cheese to a few cans of regular corn; it was my favorite food during the holidays growing up =)

This post was written by Abbie Kellum. To read more about her, click here.

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Here are some simple, practical ideas for decorating your home this Christmas—without adding to the stress!

  • Use candles. Even plain, white candles are a fairly inexpensive way to bring a warm, cheerful glow to any environment. Or (especially if you have little ones) try battery-operated flicker candles.
  • Take advantage of nature. Use pinecones, evergreen sprigs that have fallen down, or even fresh apples (green and red) to brighten up your dinner table, mantle, or even the bathroom counter!
  • Layer fabrics. You are sure to find many types of fabrics around your home that you can use to enhance your decorating: a light scarf, a cloth napkin, or even a spare sheet…Whether used as a table runner, or gracefully gathered under a lamp, fabrics add an element of warmth and comfort to your home.