Master Bedroom Mantel

Restful, calming, inviting.

Adding beautiful greens to my bedroom mantel gives the entire room a new feeling.  I love this view from the top of the stairs.  It makes me look forward to unwinding, finishing the day peacefully.  During the day I love how bright the sunlight is in this room; it makes our gray winters a little more bearable.

Silver bells, layered garlands, white lights with silver covers.  Simple and classic.  Every year I wonder if I’ll be ready to do this mantel differently.  Then I unpack this garland, hang it up and fall in love all over again.

A few pieces of silver on the mantel with my white antler wreath.  I love this wreath.

Creating an atmosphere like this in my bedroom reminds me to slow down, enjoy the season, take care of myself.

Merry Christmas!

Hopeful Homemaker

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Christmas Mantel: Family Room

The stockings are hung.

I smile as I watch our younger children standing beneath them, trying to spot theirs.  It’s a really short mantel, especially for ten stockings.

I  placed my all-time favorite nativity scene above the stockings.

I get a lump in my throat every time I stop and look at it.  The simplicity of it speaks to me.  I love that the entire scene consists of the manger, baby Jesus, sheep and three angels.  It reminds me of the heavenly host – so much bigger than the small circle of witnesses present in person – that celebrated and rejoiced in the birth of the long-awaited Savior of the World.  There is a production called Savior of the World that we try to attend every year which has forever enhanced my feelings about the unseen witnesses to the birth of our Lord.  This nativity scene rekindles all those feelings for me.

The world – all of us – waited so long for Him to come.  Now we wait for Him to return.

Enough said.  I just really, really love it.

It’s hard to believe that in just over two weeks those stockings will be filled instead of hanging expectantly.  Where do the days go?  I still have much to do…

Sigh.  It’s a wonderful time of year, isn’t it?  I hope you’re enjoying it!

Jennifer

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Christmas in the Dining Room

One room, at least, is ready for Christmas.  I enjoy decorating the dining room for holidays because it’s the room that stays most like I left it.  My children cheerfully redecorate everything else they see but for some reason they generally leave the dining room alone.

I placed a vintage Christmas tablecloth across the table and replaced the large mirrored tray I’ve been using in there.   While unpacking boxes in the basement I remembered the ceramic lamb I always use at Easter and decided to bring it up.  We are, after all, celebrating the birth of the Lamb of God.

So using the lamb as a starting point, I then pulled a nativity scene from another room and used it as well.

I placed Mary, Joseph and the baby on a cake platter with more lambs to continue the theme.  I love the simplicity of it.

For height I borrowed a large trophy vase from my family room mantel and filled it with picks I had on hand; some inexpensive berries, beaded leaves purchased last year from Ballard Designs, and green flocked pinecones around the edge.

The wise men are placed around the other side of the tray to add visual interest from all three of the openings to the room.

A few ornaments were added to the dining room cabinet.  I still love the blue in that cabinet.  I’m so glad I painted it earlier in the year!

My favorite vintage bust just makes me happy perched up there.

I love walking through this room.  In fact, I realized that many members of our family walk through this room countless times a day.  Perhaps displaying a nativity scene in here was a good move because it will be so often seen by all of us.

I’ve been a total stress case this week, calm on the outside but nerves humming on the inside.  The little ones are still so needy and emotional.  In the past two days we’ve had only a couple of waking hours when one or both of them weren’t crying.  Seriously, my almost four year old cried for over 2.5 hours on Monday night, just to make sure we all knew she wasn’t happy with us.  It’s been wearing on me, I think.  I wonder if they’re just not feeling better yet or what?  Either way, I’ve got to calm down.  Maybe I should pull up a chair at the dining room table and make myself sit there until I’m quiet inside.

I hope your Christmas preparations are in full swing and on schedule!  More importantly, I hope you make time to be still and ponder the reason why we’re doing all this in the first place.

Please excuse me while I attempt to go follow my own advice.

Jennifer

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