Monday, December 14, 2015

A Low-Key Christmas

It's not a sparkly, bling-y, rockin' Christmas this year.

And holly jolly?

Not so much.

But advent's comfort and joy quietly make their soothing, gentle presence known, even in this year where we've found ourselves swept along by the churning tide of tremendous upheaval.  Endless transition.  Multiplied griefs.  And far from feeling that our new house is yet home sweet home.

Yet I think it's fair to say that it is well with our souls.  And for God's peaceful, steady presence, I'm grateful.

 my husband's childhood sled patiently awaits the
 companionship of a bunch of fresh juniper branches
or a fragrant green wreath


a special someone just loved chilling out under the tree
 before the ornaments made their appearance


this year, all the fragile vintage collectibles remained safely tucked away


i let the kiddos do their thing with anything and everything unbreakable


everyone seemed to have a favorite ornament or two


decorating makes you oh-so-hungry


the gang soon departs and the house becomes so still
that you can hear a lone mouse gnawing somewhere upstairs


the little wooden guy perched on the miniature file cabinet 
might like a bit of snow but I'm quite content with warmer temps


this view from the loft always reminds me of one of the reasons we bought the house


my husband stopped the car on an afternoon drive and grabbed some snippers
 from his handy toolbox so i could return home with a few berry laden branches


my vintage 1955 felt stocking still does a fine job
holding little treasures on Christmas morn'
... 4 more mantel pics are here


a cherished child's desk safely cradles
 my grandfather's miniature books in the cubbies


 an old tin candlestick lights the way to the oak dresser


holiday dishclothes quickly dry in the breezes 


advent season's morning nourishment for body and soul


even the screens can't block those twinkling lights
 that always make me smile


and some beauties shine best when undisturbed and unadorned

*

2014

2013

2012




*
joining

&

Anita  .  Kelly  .  Holley  .  Lyli  .  Diana

68 comments:

  1. Oh my! So many photos and comments I want to make about each one! You should hear the dialogue going on in my head, Linda! First of all, I love getting a peak at your new little house. Looks perfect! And having the grandkids to decorate your tree--precious! And Tim getting you that little sprig of berry laden branches--so sweet! What a guy you have! And know that I am praying daily for your multiple losses and all the hard grieving that goes with it, my friend. I know that this has been one difficult year for you but you still make it your mission to be a blessing to so many others. Consider yourself hugged around the neck, girlfriend!

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    1. As I'm sipping my tea, your warm support makes me feel like we're sitting together chatting about our year, dear Beth. Your presence from afar has offered me light and hope again and again.

      Please know how grateful I am for you. May your advent shine bright with His love ...

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  2. Thank you for sharing such beautiful photos of your home. Best wishes for a Blessed Christmas to you and your family.

    God bless.

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    1. And thanks for celebrating just a bit of advent with us here, Victor ...

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  3. I like the saying at the end Linda. Christmas is often a hodge-podge of stuff at home. But it is home. I do like your loft though. :)

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    1. The upstairs loft has become our favorite little nook in the house, Bill. It's our evening place to hang out, watch TV, and chill out. Not much to look at yet, but it's cozy and warm ... and what more could you ask of home?

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  4. I am glad it is well with your soul, Linda. Your decorations look lovely! And the people even more lovely. :)

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    1. Yep, the kiddos are a lovely, lively bunch! There are few dull moments when they're around!

      ;-}

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  5. Thank you for inviting us into your home, friend. I love the view from the loft too. My youngest son decorated both the inside and the outside for Christmas which was the BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER. My older son will be home soon. And while I'm missing someone greatly... It is well with mys soul too. Sending hugs your way and praying for God's love to feel ever so present for you and your family.
    Much love.
    xoxo

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    1. I love that your sons are coming around you during this time of deployment, Beth. Thank you for the sacrifice you make for our country every time your man goes away to serve. I pray extra special blessings for you and your guys during the holidays because I know that it isn't an easy season.

      So very glad that you're here today, friend ... know that you're loved and missed 'round these parts!

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  6. I'm so glad that in spite of all the grief, you are still feeling "God's peaceful, steady presence." It's such a wonder how He carries us through, isn't it? I love all the pics, especially of your grandkids. What a memory to treasure as they decorate the tree. :) Special Christmas Blessings to you, Linda.

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    1. It's just plain fun to hand the decorating reins over to the gang, Trudy! They had such fun, they were focused on what they were doing, they got excited discovering ornaments that intrigued them.

      I'm one happy grandma when I'm with them ... a bit tired maybe, but oh so grateful!

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  7. This is gorgeous Linda! Merry, merry Christmas:)

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Meg! Meeting you a couple of months ago has been a lovely gift ...

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  8. Beautiful pictures of your warm and inviting home!
    Blessings, Friend!

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  9. Thank you for the beauty you shared today! The pictures speak more than any words and the few words you chose were perfect.

    I have a stocking just like yours but of course with the name Mary. They don't make them like that anymore! Love being here with you!!!

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    1. You're absolutely right, Mary! They don't make them like US anymore!

      hahaha

      Love that you visit with me often, friend ...

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  10. Beautiful. I love the shot from above showing the open beams and your cozy living area! I am envious, but in a good way. I love nature and thank you for sharing a piece of yours.

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    1. You've hit the nail on the head, Lynn! Cozy is the perfect word. 5 months after our move, I'm still tossing more and more stuff for there is no room.

      It's amazing what you DON'T need ...

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  11. I love your low-key Christmas. Your images are beautiful! We're pretty low-key this year too. I didn't even put up a tree. Just decorated the mantel and added a few other decorations around the living room.

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    1. Yay! I'm not the only one! When I opened the Christmas boxes I felt myself saying 'ugh' deep inside. So I closed them tight, just taking what I truly couldn't live without this year.

      Thanks, Teresa. You've reminded me the beauty of keeping it simple. Let every heart prepare Him room ...

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  12. Linda,
    Just strolling through your home with you made me breathe more slowly and peace was ushered in. I love your antiques and beautiful touches around your lovely home. I love "vintage" too (even if that means the year I was born lol). Sweet friend, may you have a peaceful and joyous Christmas basking in what this season...or should I say Who this season is all about!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Oh, Bev, to hear that you breathe slowly and peacefully upon your arrival is music to my ears. That's the longing of my own heart as I continue to make this online space a true respite for those who come by.

      I'm grateful to do community with you, friend ...

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  13. Hello Linda, I am loving your low key Christmas! Your pictures are adorable! You are so set for the Advent...Lots of hugs and Blessings to you and your family.
    Merry Christmas, friend and a Prosperous New Year ahead
    Thanks for being part of those who made of year 2015 a fulfilling one for me!

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    1. And thank you for welcoming me into your online home, Ifeoma. You truly are a hostess with open arms ...

      Merry Christmas, friend!

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  14. Linda, I've been thinking a lot about the phrase "tidings of comfort and joy" lately. It seems like a fitting blessing this year, don't you think? Such beautiful snippets of life at your new home ... thank you for sharing them with us. I especially like the window with the candle and twinkling lights, and the berry laden branches! Peace and rest to you and your sweet family, my friend!

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    1. I so agree, Lois ... this blessing He offers us is one we truly crave and desperately need. I'm basking in that grace.

      Thanks for your kind words, friend.

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  15. Linda, love this walk through your Christmas. Beautiful. :) ((Hug)) Merry Christmas.

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  16. lovely! the twinkle lights in the window are a blessing. Kelly

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    1. I love my lights! If I could only do one thing for Christmas, that would be it!

      twinkle twinkle

      ;-}

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  17. I was so excited to see your home, my friend! It's beautiful and decorated so nicely! A special and inviting place to come home to! It's my first Christmas without my dad, too, and I'm feeling a bit melancholy as well. Sad, really. I miss him so much. I know you understand. Praying for comfort for you and your family this season.

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    1. Praying for you even as we speak, June. Yes, this is a hard holiday for so many who have suffered loss, not just this year, but in years past, too.

      May God give us sweet comfort as we recall the memories that make us smile, yet bring tears ...

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  18. Love love love your pictures! :)
    Some seasons are more reflective and quiet, and that is beautiful too. I am saying a prayer for you tonight, sweet friend!

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    1. Reflective. Yeah, I like that, Sarah. And there is so much of faith and beauty to dwell on ... all that is good and lovely and excellent and praiseworthy.

      May we all dwell in that sacred place, not just during advent but in the days ahead.

      Merry Christmas, friend ...

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  19. Oh Linda! How I loved looking all around your house! I felt as if you were hosting me and we held mugs of steaming coffee {and scones of course!} -- I can't believe you have real berries around to fill your vases! Just loved everything I saw -- especially your 1955-era stocking :) I know the holidays will be difficult for you this year but I can't help but admire your strength, residence and verve for life to meet all the changes and challenges you've experienced this year. I'm praying God fills your heart with peace especially this year. So thrilled to have met you on this blogging journey but even happier to call you friend! xoxo

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    1. Don't you just love how God can give us peace right in the middle of our storms, griefs, discouragements? I'm so thankful for His steady presence, His powerful love.

      We have much to be thankful for. He is good, even when things aren't going the way we'd like.

      Thank you for your continued encouragement, Valerie, and for how your own writings cause me to go deeper in my faith.

      Blessings to you, friend ...

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  20. That sled in the first photo is so pretty! I have been looking for a sled for decor for AGES now, but they are all so expensive! I havent had a chance to really decorate for Christmas, since the kiddos wont let me.. but this has been an amazing Christmas so far! I hope you and yours are having a merry and blessed holiday!! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. I just love this sled! It hung in our old garage forever and I thought it was time to bring it out in the open. Sadly, it needs a mantle of greenery to spruce it up {no pun intended!!}

      And I just haven't made the time ...

      ;-{

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  21. beautiful! pure joy in the pics of your grandchildren! and your husband's sledge + your stocking is just so special!

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    1. Thanks for sharing a bit of the Christmas season with me. May you see much of His joy in the eyes of your children as you celebrate Baby Jesus come to earth.

      Bless you, Jandi ...

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  22. What a beautiful home with just the right touch of decorating! We're spending Christmas at our daughter's house, so we didn't have a tree to decorate this year--but we filled our yard with Christmas lights!

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    1. I'm with you, Anita! The first box to be unpacked is the lights. Must-haves for each and every window!

      All is calm, all is BRIGHT ...

      ;-}

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  23. Linda, I just love all your pictures! I think my favorite one is of the cherub under the tree. Just relaxing under an unadorned tree--the smile is the only thing that decorates it, and isn't that enough? Wonderful post. Thanks for bringing us into your home. (This is the best way, isn't it? No mess, and the guests don't stay long!)

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    1. There are some moments in time when you just have to grab your phone ... and not to make a call, either! To capture her joy and delight was sheer joy for me!

      I'm glad you've visited here today, Mary! The welcome mat is always out ...

      ;-}

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  24. Awww I love it all Miss Linda! And I can surely identify with your feelings of a quieter Christmas-- last year was one of those for me. Love all your vintage decorations and the simple Christmas keeping. Prayers and blessings on making your new place feel like home.

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    1. Quiet's good!

      And thanks for that bit of a house blessing! I'm getting antsy to get going on fixing things up ... but where to start?

      ;-}

      Love that you're here today!

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  25. Linda, what beautiful pictures. I love the berry branches and the greenery in the burlap bag. Just beautiful. I pray God comforts and warms your heart as you enjoy a quiet Christmas after a year of upheaval, friend. Blessings of the Season.

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    1. Comfort and joy to you, too, dear Betsy. Great heaps of it!

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  26. Thanks for the peek into your home and life. Beautiful. Praying you feel His peace and comfort this Christmas. Many blessings to you!

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    1. It's been fun! I love these little Christmas home tours.

      And now I think I need a nap!

      hohoho


      ;-}

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  27. Beautiful, Linda! The photos invite me into your story and your thoughts. Thank you. You're right! Not all Christmases are bright and bubbly for so many reasons in different seasons. Thanks for the gentle reminders. (I love the simple berries in the vase and the pic of the tree from a child's perspective before the ornaments are placed on it).

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by, Pam! Wish I could share a plate of cookies and maybe a cup of tea ...

      ;-}

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  28. Thanks for the peek into your home and life. Beautiful. Praying you feel His peace and comfort this Christmas. Many blessings to you!

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    1. You're always a bright encouragement, Alecia! Merry Christmas to you, lovely lady ...

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  29. Seems like so many of us have had one of the toughest years ever... but God is shining new blessings to come tumbling over us. Loved your post here... and when i went to the other post to see your mantel photos, love the "guest" picture over your mantel!! May He speak peace and grace in and on and through you this Christmas!

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    1. Yes and amen to God's steady presence and endless blessings, Pam. He is so good ... even when things aren't exactly holly jolly, isn't He?

      Thanks for stopping in and introducing yourself. Blessings!

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  30. Your low key Christmas is wonderful, what makes it is those little kids under the tree helping decorate.
    I love your loft and it makes for such a pretty picture.
    Love husbands childhood sled also

    Merry Christmas ' Janice

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    1. They had a ball and I did, too, just watching them do their thing. The older I get, the less frantic and controlling I am when it comes to decor. Whatever.

      Thanks for being here today ... your 'name' intrigues me and I'll be coming by to visit soon!

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  31. Sweet post, Linda.

    We are doing Ann's book for kid this Advent (because we are kids at heart.)

    :)

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    1. I'll have to check that out! For the kiddos {and for me!}

      Advent blessings to you, dear friend ...

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  32. Your home is so beautiful, Linda, and the Christmas decorations so lovely. Thanks for linking up your home tour with Vintage Charm!

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    1. Your site's a regular stop for me, Diana! I so enjoy peeking at all your cool finds and getting a bit of an education along the way, too!

      Merry merry Christmas to you and yours!

      ;-}

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  33. Linda--- love the rug in the living room...just the right touch. It is good to "visit" your beautiful home and see your decorations even though it is after the holiday. Xmas for me was full of people I love and not too much quiet but when you live alone, quite is not what you are after. It was unquiet but full of peace.

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    1. Thanks for keeping me posted along the way ... it sounds like God favored you with such delight with your family's presence ... so much fun, so much joy. What a wonderful celebration!

      I know you're going to carry those memories right into the new year, Buds ...

      He is so good!

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  34. There doesn't have to be "bling" in order for your holiday decorations to shine and sparkle. Everything looked beautiful and serene and as it should be.

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    1. A low-key Christmas was just perfect for us this year! I put off taking down the lights and tree as long as I could. All was calm, all was bright ...

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda