Christmas Decorating Underway

Entering into my final few days of expressing gratitude daily, my focus shifted today. I got Christmas decorating underway. This season is my favorite time of year. As I changed the dècor in my bedroom, I easily found five things to be thankful for.

Christmas Decorating Underway

Grateful for Something I Did 11 Months Ago

My Christmas decorations are stored in boxes, high up and out of the way. A ladder is required to retrieve the boxes. I’m grateful for Greg, first of all, who patiently handed down box after box.

Secondly, I am incredibly happy with myself, for something I did early in the new year. As I packed away Christmas dècor, I labeled the boxes, by room. So all of the living room decorations are grouped together in boxes and labeled as such. I did that for every room. Today I simply carried boxes to their designated rooms, as Greg handed them down.

Two boxes went into my bedroom, which is where I chose to start the Christmas transformation. What a difference, opening two boxes and having everything for this room right there, versus opening all of the boxes, hunting for items.

Why have I never thought of doing this before?

Christmas Decorating Underway

Something Old…

Greg recently found a small felt poinsettia he made as a child, tucked into an old bible that belonged to a grandparent. I love these kind of finds. Rather than tuck such treasures away in a drawer, I repurpose them.

Check out a previous project HERE.

Greg’s name is written on the back of the felt decoration, in capital letters. Unfortunately there isn’t a date, but Greg must have been 7 – 8 years old, making this little poinsettia vintage now! I’m grateful his grandma or grandpa saved his artwork and that Greg discovered it.

Christmas Decorating Underway

…Becomes Something New

I gathered Christmas scrapbooking papers, double sided tape, scissors, a pencil and a 5X7 wooden frame I had on hand.

Using the removable back of the frame as a template, I traced around it on the dark red, green and white plaid paper. After cutting out my rectangle, I had the background for the poinsettia. Double sided tape secured the felt piece to the paper and then I popped it into the frame.

This cute framed art joins other repurposed art work from Greg’s childhood and vintage Christmas cards that I’ve framed as well. I’m thankful for simple, effective ways to display these keepsakes.

Christmas Decorating Underway

Kaleb’s Gift

I received my first gift of the season yesterday, from my seven year old great nephew Kaleb. My sister Debbie and Kaleb came into town for a quick overnight visit, so they could attend Lola’s Bouncy Birthday Party.

Kaleb and I have a special bond, an instantaneous connection that began the moment I held him, shortly after his birth. I can’t explain it, in a way that makes sense to anyone else. Our old souls just recognize each other.

When we get to spend time together we have fun talking and playing games and singing our favorite songs, loudly. Kaleb gave me a woven piece that he made, on a little hand loom. I had such a loom as a child, and spent many happy hours creating gifts for loved ones. I’m deeply touched to receive his work of love.

Rather than use Kaleb’s gift as a potholder, I incorporated it into the Christmas decorating in my room. I love how the little woven mat looks, with a cheerful snowman candle holder resting on it. Displayed with it is a smaller hooked yarn piece that my cousin Mindy made. She passed away almost four years ago. I’m grateful to her son William, who allowed me to bring this piece home. And I’m thankful for Kaleb’s special gift. The colors are perfect.

Christmas Decorating Underway

Christmas Music

As I decorated, I took a temporary break from listening to Queen. Instead, I pulled up channel 838 on DirectTV…the All Christmas music channel. I prefer to work, cook or clean with music playing. What better than Christmas music, for Christmas decorating?

The sound of music, from holiday classics to Christmas rock, filled my room as I worked. I hummed along and frequently broke into song. Glancing at the television screen reveals what song is playing, who is singing, the album name and the year…all great info.

I’m deeply grateful for music…all kinds…and tonight I am especially thankful for Christmas music and DirectTV for creating music channels.

Christmas Decorating Underway

Christmas Decorating Well Underway

A pleasant couple of hours later, one room is completely decorated for Christmas. I started here because this is my personal space. This is where I sleep…and where I think, write in my journal, read, and watch movies. This room, and my creative studio, most accurately reflect back to me who I am. I surround myself, in both rooms, with the things that I love, the objects that inspire me, and the items that bring me joy.

Tonight the Spirit of Christmas is alive in my room, filling my heart with peace and joy. It’s a good start.

Christmas Decorating Underway

Lola’s Bouncy Birthday

Today’s gratitudes are clustered around family, and in particular my great niece, who turns four next week. She chose to party at Joplin’s House of Bounce. We gathered to celebrate her at the special event…Lola’s Bouncy Birthday.

Lola’s Bouncy Birthday

Bouncy Birthday

House of Bounce is geared toward kids under the age of ten. They have a variety of inflatables to tumble, climb and bounce on. It’s a fun place for children to play and expend energy.

The facility can be rented for private parties, such as Lola’s. This allows adults in the family to jump too, if they want. The Wrecking Ball area, with its giant inflated tethered ball and ring of platforms, draws the adults.

I’m grateful that many of the adults in my family join the kids, playing and bouncing too.

Lola’s Bouncy Birthday

Kids Love Nate

My son-in-law, Nate, is great with kids. Lola adores him. He honors her by showing up at her parties or visiting her when she’s in town. It’s so cute to hear Lola calling his name and inviting him to bounce or play.

Lola celebrated Nate’s birthday, which was yesterday, by sending him a video of her singing Happy Birthday.

I’m grateful for Nate and for my close knit family who loves celebrating each other.

Lola’s Bouncy Birthday

Presents for Lola

Lola’s bouncy birthday bash paused nlong enough to open gifts and blow out candles on cupcakes.

At four this bright girl communicates well through lilting conversation and darling expressions that animate her sweet face. She showed genuine delight, in every gift she received. After all the presents were opened, Lola stood on a pint sized picnic table and thanked us all. I already appreciate her enthusiasm for life.

Lola’s Bouncy Birthday

Blow Out the Candles

After presents were opened and exclaimed over, it was time for cupcakes. Lola selected the Minnie Mouse party ware and she chose the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with blue frosting.

She grinned as we sang to her, past the age now when such attention embarrasses her. In her typical theatrical way, she blew out the candles.

Lola’s Bouncy Birthday

The Gift of Lola

I’m grateful for this beautiful child, who loves to sing and dance and have stories read to her. I’m grateful as well for her parents…my nephew Scott and his wife Nicole…who love their children with whole hearts and encourage them to be their unique selves.

We celebrated Lola tonight, and offered her gifts. She is the gift, however, a special gift to us. Lola’s bouncy birthday was simply an opportunity to recognize how blessed our family is with her bright presence, and to surround her with love.

Happy birthday Lola!

Lola’s Bouncy Birthday