Our Thanksgiving Day
Coffee & Gingerbread for Mum's Birthday

The Holiday Home ~ Preparing

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The last crumb has been swept up and the wineglasses are all back on the shelf ~ another Thanksgiving has come and gone. So it shouldn't come as a shock (but somehow it always does) that Christmas is just 31 days away! It's high time we mother birds get busy - our families are depending on us! It's time for us to feather our holiday nests ...

To that end, I began my holiday preparations this weekend, and I'd like to share what I've been up to. :)

Early this morning, just before I did the grocery shopping, I ran into the bookstore and bought our Christmas cards. This is such a highlight of the year for me! I looove Christmas card shopping, and I usually mull over the decision for days (weeks?) upon end, but this year I really want to get our cards out early. So I didn't dawdle, but made up my mind on the spot (buying two kinds just to be safe) and hoped Bill would agree they were lovely. (He did!)

Tomorrow I will make up a basket in which to store the cards and all the necessities like my address book, holiday stamps, a favorite pen and pretty stickers for the envelopes. I've written up a schedule for myself, too ~ to work on a few cards a night beginning tomorrow night. As a treat I'll have a cup of tea each night while I work and maybe a little peppermint patty as well. ;)

I also made visits to my favorite craft stores to stock up on items for upcoming projects. Once home, I made up a box for these supplies. This is just a cardboard storage box that I got at the office supply store. It will hold anything I need for upcoming projects - but that's all! (I'm thinking I might need more than one box!)

I got this idea from my friend Jennifer who once described a craft-storage bureau with drawers for each season. I thought a storage box could stand in for a drawer. And since it's portable I can keep it handy in the learning room (where we do most of our crafting) and quickly whisk it away when company is coming.

Here's a peek inside:

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Then I began working on our windows. If you've read my blog for a while, you know how much we love our windows! I decided to start our holiday decorating here.

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I dug up an old grapevine wreath (this would be the very same one we use for the Lenten crown of thorns) and purchased a new 5 foot strand of "woodberries" at the craft store.

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I didn't do anything other than wrap the berry strand around the wreath and it held. Easy as pie. I hung it on a thumbtack (which was already in place) and added the cute little bird-on-her-nest that you see in the top picture. I placed a burgundy gingham bow at the top. (I love gingham in country shades.)

I then tied up a length of twine across the windows and attached miniature clothespins (another craft store find). I remember seeing this idea somewhere (blog, magazine, I can't recall) and I thought this would be a fun way to display the Christmas cards we receive.

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The twine stretches over the wreath and is held in each corner by a thumbtack and ribbon.

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And as if on cue, our very first Christmas card arrived in today's mail! I don't have a picture of it in this post, but I placed a ceramic pie dish at the head of our table. Each day I will place any cards that arrive into the dish and at supper we will open them all together. We'll say a prayer for that family and hang up the card on our line. If we are so fortunate as to receive more cards than one line can hold, then we'll string another line along the front set of windows! :)

But perhaps the most exciting thing we did today (in the kids' minds anyway) was the putting up of the Christmas tree! We don't usually put it up this early, but I really wanted the lights - so lovely and warm on these dark afternoons. We won't hang ornaments for a while - for now, we'll just bask in its glorious light.

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It's a good start, but there are many more feathers to add to our nest. None very grand, mind you - just those humble little things that make a family Christmas what it is - the most wonderful time of the year. :)

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