The day the tree goes up in our home, the entire atmosphere begins to change. The everyday ordinary becomes more spectacular with the glow of Christmas lights and Christmas music playing in the background. The joy that fills the air this special time of year must mean that December has arrived.
December has become a season all about Christmas and materialistic excess. The reason to celebrate the season has been lost and it has become a season about buying gifts and rushing to the next get together. I was recently in a store and overheard a couple talking about the stress of the season and I thought how sad that reality is. The truth is, that was me several years ago. It was a time in my life that I was focused upon trying to provide my children with the toys that they wanted, decorating our home and worrying about what I would take to the next family function. December wasn't a pleasant, cozy and peaceful month that I longed for and so over the last few years our home has transformed what the month of December feels like. It has become a favorite time of year that I look forward to, a time of year that I no longer stress over, one that celebrates family and friends. I want to share a few tips with you in hopes that you will work on cultivating a peaceful and cozy home this month.
-Make time for your family and for doing fun things together. Gather in the evening to play games, read books or fit a puzzle. Make hot chocolate, pop some popcorn or enjoy homemade cookies while watching some favorite Christmas movies. Take a drive around the neighborhood to view the Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music.
Bring Nature Inside
-I like to keep Christmas simple and add in a lot of nature touches. This year I tried something new with preserving fresh greenery that has worked amazingly well so far. Fresh greenery is beautiful laying on shelves, spread in an arrangement on the coffee table and even tucked in bowls with pinecones. You can lay it in window seals or use it to create swags or wreaths. My favorite tip for finding fresh greenery is to visit the place that sell Christmas trees. Many times they will give away the branches they cut off the bottoms of the trees.
Turn off the Lights
-Candles and Christmas lights create a warm feeling all their own. It begins to get dark around 5:30 in our area and the evenings can feel so long. Lighting creates an atmosphere and I love turning off all the overhead lights, sitting around together as a family with all the Christmas lights glowing, while we watch an evening show, or just relax. This year I purchased battery operated candle lights for the windows in our home. Driving up at night and seeing the glow of the candle lights in each window is a beautiful reminder of the cozy home awaiting inside. I wonder if those passing by can feel the Christmas joy just by seeing the candle lights all aglow?
Craft and Bake Together:
-Crafting and baking are special in the month of December. There are certain things that we only make this time of year, like Gingerbread men. This year we have dried oranges, dried cranberries, made ornaments from clay and simmered a lot of stove top potpourri. The children love to help in the kitchen and I love working along side them. We turn on Christmas music and enjoy creating handmade ornaments and garland for our home and delicious treats to snack on. I love using scents of nutmeg, clove, allspice and cinnamon in the home during this time of the year as it creates a feeling of warmth.
Be Intentional About Slowing Down
-Slow mornings become a more prominent time of our day during this season. The mornings have turned cold and one by one the children will come from their rooms, wrapped in a blanket to curl on the couch, or to sit near the wood burning stove. Hot chocolate becomes a more common request and I often play Christmas music softly in the background. Creating a peaceful morning often sets the tone for the day for my children. I dislike being rushed in the mornings and so I try my best to allow them time as well, sometimes that means waking them earlier, especially if we have a busy day. Our mornings are often filled with the table full of books, each child working hard to complete the days studies. Afternoons are for individual choices of book reading, outside play time, games, puzzles and I often sew or use that time to craft or bake. I strive to create a peaceful environment and therefore the television often stays off during the day and we don't own many electronics that consume the time of the children. I love to see the children be creative and to understand what it means to live a life of intention.
As a mother, I have been given the incredible joy of creating a home environment that is peaceful and cozy. Our home is not perfect and there are days that it is full of chaos, the children aren't getting along and I began to feel the stress. I have learned to stop, to breathe deeply, to slow down and take in account the needs of each child. Many times this solves whatever issue is going on and we can get back on the path of a happy peaceful day. So I would love to encourage you to work on cultivating a peaceful and cozy home this season for your family. Do you have a favorite way of creating a peaceful and cozy home this season? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Thanks for stopping by! Please be sure to check out the rest of these wonderful ideas for creating a cozy home in the month of December.
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