Monday, December 14, 2015

Meaningful Christmas Decorations

I am not a person who normally decorates at holidays. I wish I were that person. I enjoy going to houses that are decked out for whatever special day is coming up that month.

But more often than not, Halloween or Thanksgiving pass us by and I realize that the handful of decorations we've somehow amassed over the years for that holiday never made it out of the attic.

Basically, it's a question of cost-benefit analysis. A decade of parenting has shown that decorative items in our house are 2-3 times more likely to be broken, hidden, flushed, or eaten by a child than seen by another living person. And besides, I'm not sure visitors to our house can even see through the permanent kid-related debris of colored pencils and balled-up socks that lives here.

But then Christmas rolls around, and I have to admit I'm a sucker for decorating at Christmastime.

Meaningful Christmas Decorations -- what are your most special Christmas decorations and why? Here are a few from my house: feel free to steal the ideas - I mean, be inspired by - my favorites.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

I made the picture on our mantel a few years ago and I'm still really excited about it. I saw something similar to it and stole the idea thought, "Hey, I could easily make that!"

Meaningful Christmas Decorations -- what are your most special Christmas decorations and why? Here are a few from my house: feel free to steal the ideas - I mean, be inspired by - my favorites.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

I designed it after learning a vector graphics program on our computer and had it printed on a 16x20 canvas. I look forward to taking it out every year. There's just something I really like about synthesizing some of the fun (but sort of random) holiday traditions like Christmas trees with my personal beliefs about why Christmas is important.

Speaking of Christmas trees, I love decorating ours. It's like a trip down memory lane because we've gotten an ornament from every place we've ever lived or visited, from our honeymoon in Aruba to our last summer vacation to Washington, D.C. to the colleges and grad schools we've attended.

Meaningful Christmas Decorations -- what are your most special Christmas decorations and why? Here are a few from my house: feel free to steal the ideas - I mean, be inspired by - my favorites.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Not pictured: copious amounts of needles and a few random kitchen implements that are always under the tree for some reason. (Ask the toddler.)

But also, many of our ornaments point to the real reason we celebrate Christmas. I'm not sure why, but my favorite of all is probably the simplest one. My daughter made it when she was 3, and it's literally 4 big popsicle sticks glued around a picture. 

Meaningful Christmas Decorations -- what are your most special Christmas decorations and why? Here are a few from my house: feel free to steal the ideas - I mean, be inspired by - my favorites.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

We have several other ornaments that depict the Nativity somehow, but I have a particular fondness for this one:

Meaningful Christmas Decorations -- what are your most special Christmas decorations and why? Here are a few from my house: feel free to steal the ideas - I mean, be inspired by - my favorites.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

At the top it says "God So Loves You," a play on words from John 3: 16 in the Bible: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I like it because:

  1. It personalizes just a bit why it really was that the Savior came; if you or I had been the only person on Earth, Christ still would've come down and did what He did.
  2. When my daughter first brought it home I looked at the funky script writing at the top and thought it said "God No Loves You," which we have a good laugh over every year when we take it out.

And then there's this ill-fated project. Using my trusty vector graphics program and a repurposed frame that was here when we moved in, I got it in my head to make this:

Meaningful Christmas Decorations -- what are your most special Christmas decorations and why? Here are a few from my house: feel free to steal the ideas - I mean, be inspired by - my favorites.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

However, it spent years half-finished collecting dust in the basement.

It wasn't until last July, when in a frenzied attempt to be the kind of person who finishes things, I finally took the picture file I'd designed to Staples and had it printed. I got a raised eyebrow from the woman at the counter, who apparently didn't understand how a person can fail at life to the extent that they're still working on Christmas projects 7 months later.

(I prefer to think of myself as 5 months ahead of schedule for next Christmas, by the way.)

Lastly, I got this as a gift from a little girl I taught in a Sunday School class years ago and it's been one of my favorites ever since.

Meaningful Christmas Decorations -- what are your most special Christmas decorations and why? Here are a few from my house: feel free to steal the ideas - I mean, be inspired by - my favorites.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


Although it's a simple plastic frame from the dollar store (love you, Dollar Tree!) and three simple silhouettes I could probably find with a 20-second Google images search, I absolutely love it. Three scenes that tell an abbreviated version of the Christmas story.

Admittedly, I'll probably never get into decorating the house to the nines for St. Patrick's or Valentine's Day. But that's alright with me. Those holidays are fun but not particularly meaningful to me like Christmas is.

I do, however, want to get a start on collecting some Easter decor that's as significant to me as the things I put out at Christmas. It seems ironic that it's much easier to walk into Target and find religious decorations for Christmas than it is for Easter. Why is that?

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6 comments:

  1. I think its because babies are cuter than crucified Saviors.
    Love your decorations.

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  2. Lynne from UK
    Love your decorations. I look forward to Christmas and putting up my five nativities alongside my trees snowmen and plushies. I also like to change my artwork to the Christmas story. For Easter I like having pictures of the resurrection up.

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    Replies
    1. I have a friend who puts a large picture of a stone tomb with a stone rolled away from the door in Israel (it's actually a photo she took when she went there, the one they take tourists to and say it *might* be Jesus' tomb.) I love that idea!

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  3. Lovely! We bought a supposedly unbreakable Nativity set to put out years ago. I have had to glue that thing more times than I can count.... Someday my house will be decorated, I think, maybe.

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    Replies
    1. I think when something comes labeled as 'childproof' or 'unbreakable,' the kids take it as a personal challenge.

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