lead, and joining in her contest, here are our Christmas decorations. We do a Christmas village, as well, but that will have to wait until later this week, as will the baking, stocking hanging, and other fun stuff.
When Stuart & I first got together, we started a collection of Christmas ornaments. Neither of us really had anything to speak of, and so we chose beautiful blue and gold themed decorations, for a beautiful tree. Ah, foolish young couple! The last few years (read, since Busy Boy Brian arrived), we have begun the "Natural Tree", using handmade or natural element ornaments, plus any special memory ornaments. Each year, I do a different ornament craft with the kids, and in this way we build our collection. All the beautiful (and very breakable) stuff is safely tucked away for use at a later date - when I know no small child will attempt to eat a shiny ball, or blown glass snowman. This tree has it's own special beauty to me, though, and I begin to wonder if I'll ever want to go back to the old tree. What memories we are making!
Here is a photo of my fireplace mantle. I purchased this nativity the year Katie was born, and love it dearly. You may have seen tree ornaments that look similar to this - it's a gold wire frame, with a shell insert. One of my favourite parts of decorating is setting up the nativity, and telling the Christmas Story to my children while we do so. The love of God, and His truly amazing gift to us, never really struck home for me until I had my own family, and saw how much I love my children. I have so much to be thankful for.