My über talented friend Jennifer of withHEART is hosting a holiday tour series that is supposed to highlight each blogger’s traditions and meaning behind their individual decor.
Everyone of us does something different and it is so interesting to hear. Today Sarah M. Dorsey and Style House Interiors are sharing their Holiday with HEART with you and tomorrow you can continue at Simply Organized. But you should start at the beginning of the tours at my friend Jennifer’s (click HERE) to make sure you see them all.
Yearly Family Photo Christmas Ornaments
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If you are new around here because you are coming from a different blog then you might not know that I’m from Germany. I just got my American citizenship this year actually. In Germany we celebrate Christmas on the evening of the 24th. No opening presents on the 25th in our PJs for us. My kids actually love love love this because they have fun telling their friends that they don’t have to wait until the morning like everyone else.
In Germany growing up there wasn’t a Santa Claus, we had St. Nicholaus and he came on December 6th. We used to leave out boots for him to fill with nuts, oranges and some chocolates. And he would also come to talk to us with his scary helper “Knecht Ruprecht” who brought his wooden rod that he’d pretend to whip us with if we were bad. Needless to say we were scared to death. St. Nicolaus is the original Santa Claus and reading about him is so interesting if you haven’t done so yet, you can do that HERE.
So on the 24th we went to church to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and when we came home “Christkind” (and no we weren’t deeply religious at all) had left presents under the tree for all the children. I believed in baby Jesus and not in Santa Claus.
So to combine the two and not make our kids totally left out in this country, we celebrate on the evening of the 24th but it is Santa Claus who brings them gifts although I do have to admit that I wish it would be the old ways in our house too. I love the origin of everything and don’t like how it has all gotten lost.
After opening presents, we eat broth fondue which is so much fun and our children love having to cook their own meat and vegetables in the broth and then getting to dip them into different sauces that we prepared earlier that day. This meal ensures that we all get to sit around and enjoy each other’s company for a bit longer since it is a lengthy meal due to having to cook every individual bite.
During that evening my husband and I drink a bottle of champagne or two and really love that we don’t have to drive anywhere. Just having the 4 of us for an entire evening is quite wonderful.
Another thing that my husband and I started when we got married is that we make one framed ornament from each year of us on that special Christmas Eve. We usually decorate our fun Christmas tree in the family room with those but since we have a torn apart basement family room this season, I came up with a different way to display those frames and I really love it and might have to do it again next year. In March we will be married for 17 years so we have quite a couple of frames. I also added a few that I just loved of our kids with Santa when they were smaller.
This is the desk (it’s one of my first ever furniture makeovers and blog posts, click HERE) that I usually have in the living room but it got moved into the master bedroom to make room for the tree. I really love having all these sentimental photos in our bedroom where we snuggle and watch TV a lot before we go to bed:
I’m also a firm believer in letting my kids decorate their room by themselves for Christmas. My son isn’t all that into it which is the reason that I don’t have any photos of his room. But my daughter is just like me and loves it.
Two years ago I showed her how to cut snowflakes out of white paper. Now she reminds me of elf in the movie because she’ll sit there for hours making them. She hasn’t perfected making them in pointy star shapes. They are still squares which I think is sweet. She made the garland completely herself, all I had to do is hang it. And she also decorated the tree in her room and made a duct tape star for the top. She hung a wedding photos of us on the paint by numbers.
(I get asked about the vintage paint by numbers all the time which I bought at Goodwill but I found some on Etsy just like it (HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE). You can buy a small white tree HERE, a clear chair HERE. I made the headboard myself out of Ikea curtains – read the tutorial HERE. The desk is also Ikea.)
When we got married in Germany we received a large German Christmas Pyramid as a gift and we still have it and light it every year. You can find the same one right HERE.
And my dad sends us a huge package of original “Nürnberger Elisen Lebkuchen“. Christmas time wouldn’t be the same without them. So so good.
You can see the small version in the photo below next to the pyramid:
Here is a peek into our living room:
Come see the rest of my Christmas tour by clicking HERE.
Our kids say it looks like Narnia in our living room which I love to hear.
This Christmas is also very heart breaking for all of us as we are preparing to say goodbye to our youngest, around 6 year old cat, Monkey (you can read more about her story HERE), who is suddenly dying of kidney failure. I’m trying to put down many of my projects and plans to just spend time with her and love on her and the other very old cats (16, 17 and 21 years old) with my children.
So I’m wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Holiday season and I hope you enjoyed my Holiday with HEART tour.
If you enjoyed what you saw you can stop by again to see more of my home. I just got my new dining room chandelier installed and I’m sharing the rest of my dining room in the reveal. Here’s a little sneak peek: