It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for real!

It was almost a year ago when Brian and I first stepped through the front door of our home. I had gone to Steubenville with Brian for the University Christmas party. In a twist of events, that can only be described as miraculous, we were invited to check out Chris and Linda Padgetts’ home. As we walked up the front steps, I was struck by the beauty of the gorgeous front door. We walked into a house bursting with kids and activity and Christmas and charm and a lot of other good things. I fell in love. It probably helped that Chris and Linda have 9 kids too, so I felt immediately at home. In my Christmas obsessed mind, I was already hanging garland and decorating our tree in the front room. As we walked back to our car, I told Brian that if I was moving to Steubenville, it had to be into that house. He laughed and pointed out that we didn’t even know what the asking price for the house was. I told him that I didn’t care, it was that house…period.
Fast forward a year or so… we have been so abundantly blessed. We bought this big, old, charming, Hough-sized home. And it is finally time to bust out the Christmas decorations. I have to admit that after thinking about it for a year, I was actually kind of nervous to do it. In our old house, I had a system. I could get the entire house decorated from top to bottom in a day. Now I was starting from scratch. EEEK!
I know that a lot of people think that it is still too early to decorate, but I was born in December and Christmas just flows through my blood. I can’t help it. But, I absolutely recognize the importance of Advent and preparing to receive the little baby Jesus into our hearts on Christmas day. We do Advent readings and prayers and light our Advent candles. We try to push the importance of giving, not getting. We have a list of different service projects that we would like to do over the next few weeks. And a new addition to our decorations…our Advent tree. It is decorated with pink and purple bulbs and each night as we do our Advent prayers, we replace a pink or purple bulb with a silver one. By Christmas it will be all white and silver! It is a tangible way to remind the little ones that we are preparing for Christmas and they can slowly see that it is getting closer.
2015 Advent Tree
A cool thing about this new house, that I didn’t have in the old house…mantles and fireplaces! Our stockings have been hung with care and a lot of 3M hooks.
We also have a fireplace in the living room.  We placed the nativity set there as a reminder of the real reason of this holiday.
And finally we put our tree up. The husband has outdone himself again. Every year, I am sure that he has chosen the prettiest tree and will never be able to top it. And every year, he does. He came up big this year with a beautiful Fraser fir.
Our new ornament
Ta Da!
It has been a crazy, busy year of change and chaos. A new job, new house, new schools, new friends, new church… But it has been a good year. It is obvious that this was all in God’s plan and as He gradually allows it to unfold, I am in awe of his blessings.