skipping Christmas traditions

Well, that post title makes me sound a little like Scrooge, doesn’t it?  But, it’s actually the opposite of that. I’m just slowly learning that doing less “Christmas” can actually result in enjoying it more.  We (mainly I) have made a few conscious decisions to not do a few things I usually feel pressured to do.  Change can be a good thing. 

Here are three things we didn’t do this Christmas:

Make a grand event of getting a live tree.  As mentioned in this post, we put up the artificial, pre-lit one the day after Thanksgiving with no trip to a tree lot or tree farm.  Low maintenance, and everyone was just as happy.  And, my husband was appreciative of not having to struggle with the tree stand and stringing lights this year.



The advent calendar.  Although I like the idea of this (and there are some really cute ones out there), Pinterest will make you think there must be an activity or prize attached to every day leading up to Christmas.  I’ll admit I did this for two years in a row and quickly nipped it in the bud.  Anything that requires a planned activity or treat every single day does not work around here.  There’s already enough going on that it ends up feeling like it’s just one more thing instead of something we look forward to doing.


source (okay, this one is pretty adorable but I’m still not doing it. . .)


Traveling.  Holidays can bring a lot of pressure to please everyone.  But, sometimes, you can run around during your Christmas break so much that you find yourself back in school on January 2nd, and it feels like you never had a break at all.  Deciding to stay home, let our kids just play, and just enjoy our family has taken a lot of stress, preparation and planning out of our Christmas this year.  And, I’m grateful.


elf on the shelf

And, speaking of taking a break from traditions. . . I’ve caught wind that our “elf on the shelf” may be getting a job promotion as chief toy maker, requiring him to stay at the North Pole year round. This little guy is creating a lot of early morning panics (Did he move last night?!) and hard-to-answer questions (“If he’s sent to us from Santa, why can you buy them from the Pottery Barn Kids catalog?”)  I think “Bob” may have overstayed his welcome at the Clark house.

Are you taking a break from any holiday traditions this year?

(Make me feel like less of a Scrooge.)

A fun night of making wreaths

The women’s ministry at my church hosted a wreath-making night last week, and I, of course, documented the whole thing for you.

wreath making


There were 100+ women at the event, and we all came equipped with our clippers and gardening gloves.  They provided the wreath form and florist pins and huge tarps full of fresh greenery.  (Isn’t that the best way to make fresh wreaths? Have someone else go out and do all of the clipping for you?!)

wreath form


wreath event


We all rushed the greenery at once and started picking out what we wanted.  It kind of felt like one of those frantic moments on HGTV’s Design Star where they’re all grabbing the items for their rooms :)

fresh greenery



The event was led by my friend Carey, who suggested we start by pinning the same kind of greenery around the outside first and then work our way in, using different layers.  (She made this look so very easy in her demonstration.)  She also said to go easy on the pins.  I didn’t necessarily follow that advice.

DIY fresh wreath


Juniper proved to be my friend in filling in the “bald” spots in my wreath:



I went for the wild and natural look, and decided to forego a bow.  The finished product:


I found the perfect spot right on the front of my white cabinet:

living room Christmas wreath

fresh Christmas wreath

wreath on cabinet