Monday, December 15, 2014

I'm going with the less is more theory of decking our halls

So here's how an impromptu friend party came about... and some pictures of our house finally decorated for Christmas.  I'm going with the less is more theory of decking our halls.

Last night I learned that kid 2 and two buddies had organized a gift exchange between the three of them.  With a $20 limit.  Which tells me that one person will spend $20 and another will spend $5 because that, too, fits the $20 spending limit rule.  So the impromptu party was born.

Which involved me dropping 6 kids off at the movies so I could ready the food and decor - meaning I heated the chicken nuggets and put a cloth on the table to catch queso cheese dip drips.  Then brought everyone back here for some play time, snacks and the reason for the season - the giving.  Today's theme - the North Texas Food Bank.  So instead of the planned gift exchange, which was in and of itself, a thoughtful gesture on the part of three sweet friends, the good news is that we already have plenty.  And the fact is that we all have.  We have what we need. We have lots of what we want.  And we have the choice to share some of it with those that don't.  So I had the kids donate what they felt good about to be donated for food donations instead of buying a new video game for a friend. 

And we didn't raise tons for our cause, but we raised enough for young teens and tweens to have a moment to think of someone other than themselves.   And a moment is about how long the thought lasted till they went on to play more football.  But it seems like I'm on a forever quest for learning moments big or small.  So I hope they're all adding up in their hearts for later in life. 

The end. 

So here is the house at Christmas.  Missing the rug in the den, thanks to a dog that had a terrible accident for her dog sitter over the Thanksgiving weekend.  And as of this writing we have no gifts.  But I finally convinced husband to place some Amazon. com orders this week to make sure the kids don't cry on Christmas morning.  So we're definitely on the right path. 

And the mantle.  Simple but I happen to think I may love it.  We're not a fancy people, as you may have guessed.  But we're festive in our hearts where it counts.  It was kid 2's idea to gift wrap the giant print that is normally above our fireplace - the one of the three boys in the back of a vintage red truck - kid 2 calls it the farm boy picture.  And he thought it had no place here at Christmas.  So we just wrapped it all up and put a bow on it and called it cute.

The little Santa is a painted gourd that we've had for years.  A gift from my mother in law and was hand painted by a lady in North Carolina. Love. 

My favorite ornaments on the tree are cut out hand prints of my kiddos when they were babies.  Because when we were just starting out there just wasn't room in the budget of a rookie fireman and a stay at home mom for fancy ornaments.  So I made salt dough, cut out some traced baby hands and now they have an annual home on our tree.  At least till I die.  Because husband isn't in love with them.  And that'll probably be the first thing he throws out -  if and when he marries the Nicaraguan nanny that he hires to care for the children upon my unfortunate demise. 

And once again fireman Dave showed his talents as a home decorator and turned our front porch into a place I want to sit in every night.  I may even have him figure a way to permanently attach these lights for all year use.

Both the porch chairs were trash pile finds.  And I love them all the more because of it.  A can of brown spray paint from Lowe's later and they found their way into our hearts.  

The dining room is finally finished.  And I'm loving the plate display on the wall. But one of the prettiest has already been knocked off and broken in an after dinner rush from the table.  But y'all, stuff like that happens.  So I don't cry over broken whatevers, because there are plenty of broken things around here.  But I still want the boys to live with and around pretty things.  I'm growing future husbands and fathers here and they need to know how to live in families - not just in manly frat house environments.  Amen. 

The front living room is probably the least used spot in the house.  It's the formal living room that came with all 1950's houses and we have thoughts of one day building a Murphy bed into the wall and using it as a bedroom for whatever kid gets along the worst with the other 2.  Or maybe it should go to the best kid and let it be a reward.  We have no clue.  But this is the room where I put my 2 recent thrift store chair purchases. And with each costing less than $50, it just made the room complete.  Now one day I'll hang something on that big blank wall and call it done.  

Not a lot of Christmas going on in the kitchen except that I put out the cute red and green towels.  And as you can see inside my glass cabinets, we are celebrating fully by eating a lot of chips.  And lots of fudge which is stored in the fridge because the ants are wintering in my kitchen again this year. 

And finally, the nativity.  Which I placed in the monogrammed section of our house - my growing collection of W's.  Because I don't know if anyone can say for sure, but it may or may not have been Mary and Joseph Walters named in the Christmas story. 

No Christmas fun in the bathrooms or hallways.  But if I wanted to, I could probably gather all the boys' dirty laundry that they stuff behind the toilet and make a wreath out of it.  

End of tour.  I'll be better prepared next year.  Y'all just wait and see.  

But here's the big deal.....  I resigned my PTA Board post this past week.  And I felt a little bad about leaving in the middle of the school year.  But you know what I felt worse about?  Leaving my kids.  Leaving for meetings and projects and other stuff that my heart just wasn't in.  And I just know there comes a time when no is the right answer.  And if it requires a big no to spend more quality time at home - making a home for the people closest to me, then no it is.  

And we're enjoying not running around crazy to extra events and such.  And enjoying the freedom of having friends over and play time and TV time and us time.  And these are the feelings I want my kids to remember about their Christmases growing up.  Not that we had the best decorations, but that we had ones that were built on tradition.  Not that we had a full schedule of social commitments, but that we had our full time and our full attention to give to each other.  

The end.  Really this time.   

post script... I took the kids' money to the local grocery store, Tom Thumb, who makes giving easy.  They have already packaged bags ready for giving to the North Texas Food Bank with enough food for a family for a day.  And they deliver it for you, too.  So for less than $10 per bag that you can add to your grocery bill, you can feed someone locally.  Good and easy - can't go wrong there.  Try it.  You'll like it.  

Would you like to comment?

  1. Another good one! Thanks for letting me spend some time tonight with people we love! I remember when Mom bought the Santa here to take to you!

  2. House looks comfortable & homey- perfectly decorated!


Love your comments. Leave Your comments.