One of my very first memories is of Christmas lights on a tree and to this day I remain mesmerized by those white twinkling lights. We always had a real tree, there weren’t many ornaments but the ones that were there were beautiful. My dad would climb into the attic a week or so before Christmas and pull down an old brown suitcase containing the entirety of our Christmas decorations.
I can still recall the musty smell as that suitcase was opened. Packed inside in the midst of the bulbs were bubble lights, tinsel and a red felt tree skirt with little plastic bells and glitter glued to the edges.
It was a simple time. There were no fancy colors or themed decorations, it was red and green and it didn’t matter if your couch was gold plaid, olive print or brown with blue flowers; somehow it all worked together.
My aunt and mom “the twins” never lived more than one house apart their entire life and to them Christmas was about family and food, not so much the decorations and gifts. I never felt deprived because everyone I knew had about the same as we did.
I soon found out some people had more – lots more of everything, including twinkling lights.
As soon as I had my own home I made sure I had more than just one suitcase of holiday decorations, I would not be deprived my indulgence. Buying extra crates every year to hold the new treasures became an after Christmas ritual until an entire car space in our garage had been filled to the ceiling.
I came to the realization this year; I am obsessed.
But I realized my obsession lies not in the decorations but the feeling and joyful anticipation of the holiday, which may explain why this year I find myself being drawn back to simple.
The word “simple” no longer feels like I am depriving myself, quite the opposite . The smell of fresh pine and cinnamon sticks is soothing after years of relying on a Yankee Candle in an attempt to recreate that smell. I am suddenly drawn to the texture of burlap and the feeling of linen, and appreciate the beauty in plain cream dishes , hydrangea, mercury glass and real wood.
We all change as we get older and I think for me this is the year, I need simple. I feel like I need to reconnect with nature and acknowledge to myself that potpourri that smells like a tree no longer works for me.
I find myself delighting in the sheer beauty of pine cones and paper whites, wicker baskets and pieces of beautiful writing paper on which to write a handwritten note. I notice the beauty of a roast on a platter with tiny chips on the edges and glasses that don’t match .
There somehow seems to be comfort and a peacefulness that comes with imperfection. I feel happy covered in quilts with spots worn bare while reading leather bound books with pages falling out . There is a feeling of genuine joy in receiving gifts that have been made by hand, they are beautifully imperfect and I can see the love in each stitch and appreciate the time and effort put into making something created just for me.
I know you are saying – it’s November and Thanksgiving has not even arrived! I know but I have already have been listening to Christmas music for weeks and going through crates to give away the things I no longer feel I need, so I am really ready.
I am ready for the feeling and that is really what the holiday is all about, love and being together, that understanding and those twinkling lights that take me back to a simpler time. I want to embrace friends and family we have been too busy to get together with this summer and catch up on life that seems to slip by as we are busy planning our days.
I am ready to toss the gift bags and begin wrapping each and every gift I have made by hand in plain paper and tie it with a simple raffia bow. I want to sit by the fire with hot cocoa and just listen to the crackle of the wood.
I am ready to fall in love again with simple and pretty and imperfect.
I hope you will join me as I make my way to a Simply Beautiful Christmas. You can join me as I make gifts by hand, cook up simple and delicious meals and joyfully embrace what I know is the really important through the holidays.
We will continue this Beautifully Simple theme at least until New Years. Our spirits needs a respite from stress and constant busyness and our hearts need to hear uplifting stories and to be reminded of what is really important: joy, peace, happiness, friends and family and loving each other. Yes, it will be old fashion and I am good with that.
If you are already part of my Inner Circle then no worries because you will receive everything I do. For those of you who are new to my sites I will give you the run down.
Tuesdays is our Inspiration day and you receive my Monday morning quote and Wednesday’s inspiring story ~ yes you receive it a day before it’s released to the public. On Thursday you receive our Beautiful Life Update with recipes, simple crafts and fun ways to make your life more beautiful.
If you have friends and family that may need a little inspiration and simplicity please have then sign up and join us!
I am so excited to share all of this with you this holiday season. I want to share websites with homemade gifts that benefit others less fortunate, it’s a win-win you don’t have to fight the crowds and you help others in need. I also want to encourage you to shop locally and support local food pantries with donations whenever possible because not everyone is as blessed as we are and no child should ever have to go hungry.
So together let’s create a Simply Beautiful Christmas.
If you’re not part of the Inner Circle yet then join us now! It’s so easy, just head over to either of my websites; KimUpstone or A New Day A New Vision and then join me at Pinterest where I have created a compilation board and everyone can share their favorite Simply Beautiful Christmas Ideas. Just send me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org after you connect with me at Pinterest and I can add your name to the list of people who can post to the Simply Beautiful Christmas Page at Pinterest.
As always, everything I do, my life’s purpose and my passion is to help you make your life more beautiful, joyful and loving each day and then I ask you to share those gifts with your family and friends until it has spread around the world!
Joie de Vivre!