Decorating: Not Just for Christmas
Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is 2 1/2 weeks away and Christmas is just around the corner. Many people are preparing for the holidays or at least thinking about preparing for the holidays. The Schoolhouse Review Crew is hosting a 5 Day Blog Hop: Preparing for the Holidays:Day 1 is Decorating. I don’t just want to talk about Decorating for Christmas because I don’t just celebrate Christmas. I celebrate Thanksgiving, St Nicholas Day, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Theophany.
Grab a cup of hot cocoa, or spiced cider, or hot tea, something that puts you in the mood for fall/winter festivities as we take a stroll through my decorating traditions from late October though January 6.
For me the start of the decorating season begins a day or two or three before Halloween. As I said in a previous post, I don’t really decorate for Halloween. I do, however, like to decorate for fall. I love the colors and I love the harvest theme. But it’s a process. I start by putting out the more generic harvest/fall items including my pumpkin shaped candle and bowls of pumpkin spice potpourri. When we’re solidly into November, I’ll bring out the more obvious Thanksgiving items like my Pilgrim Couple that will sit on my mantle. On Thanksgiving we’ll put out the special table cloth.
My house might appear a have a split personality though because the Nativity Fast (advent) begins on November 15 (revised calendar). On this day we hang up our advent chain. It has 40 loops: one for each day and containing scripture readings for each day. It almost looks out of place with the purple, green, red and white loops hanging on one side of the door while a friendly fall colored scarecrow decorates the other side.
I like to fully enjoy Thanksgiving. I stretch it out over the whole weekend. It’s called Thanksgiving Weekend, right? Well because for us the Nativity Season begins November 15 and ends Jan 6 and because I like to savor Thanksgiving we do NOT decorate for Christmas, other than the Advent Chain until the weekend AFTER Thanksgiving.
Sometime during the week after Thanksgiving, I start taking down the fall decorations and start sorting through the Christmas ones. I have some VERY Christmassy stuff and some that just looks like wintery stuff.
I dislike clutter and though I love Christmas, having the tree up from the end of November/Beginning of December until January 6 is too much for me. But I like decorating for Christmas. Decorating throughout advent helps me to focus on preparing my heart for why we celebrate the Nativity.
On December 1st we put up this cloth advent calendar. It’s not really an advent calendar, though more of a countdown to Christmas. It begins on the 1st. Since we’re already putting up the count down we also hang the stockings. The stockings are, in my opinion, essential for St. Nicholas Day, however, my children would be just as happy to just put a shoe in front of the fire place. I’m the mom so I win. The stockings are used twice. They are used for December 6th and are filled with gold foil wrapped chocolates and other bits of candy. The stockings are filled again after the children go to bed on Christmas Eve.
In this picture you can see that the stockings are already hung. We’re doing the digging out and planning for the tree and other decorations.
We have lots of things we use for decorating at Christmas time. We have stuffed animals that only come out at Christmas. Here are a few pictures
One more picture. This is picture is taken from our front door. This is what greets visitors to our home. I love the holidays and I love decorating for them!
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